Founded by three former bankers GA Finance does not pretend to be the world’s largest financer. “We look for smaller deals in niche markets,” says Anne-Bart Tieleman, a founding partner. This focus makes them particularly attractive to owners of light jets.
GA Finance offers operating leases for light aircraft as well as arranging financing for buyers of larger aircraft. It own two Cessna Citation Mustangs on five year operating leases to Ambeo, a UK charter company, and also has a Cessna Citation Bravo on lease to a Belgian customer.
The operating leases they offer are similar to commercial aircraft deals with operators having to meet standard return conditions. GA Finance will lease aircraft to operators, corporates and individuals.
Tieleman says that they particularly like the light jet market as they believe owners are able to pass capital costs on to customers more easily than in the mid-size jet market where many aircraft managers operate third party aircraft. “We are also confident about the long-term market for light jets,” he says. “If you want to have a meeting in Poland, then Germany and return to London in one day there is no way that you could do this with commercial flights. In the long run the air taxi market will do very well.”
GA Finance also owns regional aircraft and invests in wind farms. It limits its investments to Europe and only considers EASA compliant aircraft. It has arranged financing for larger corporate aircraft including: a $30 million loan for a Falcon 200EX Easy aircraft: a $20 million loan for a Falcon 2000EX; $10.6 million for a Cessna 560XLS; and loans for Citation CJ2s, Citation CJ3s and Citation Excels.
The three partners, who all worked at Deutsche Bank, founded the company in 2002 and are now looking forward. “We have had our first life-cycle and are getting a lot of interesting opportunities,” says Tieleman. “Our next step may be to find outside investors. But we will stay focused on niche markets and assets we are comfortable with.”