Corporate jet registrations to fall by 2023: RegisterAnAircraft
Corporate jet registrations are set to fall over the next year due to the impact of sanctions against Russian-owned aircraft, according to RegisterAnAircraft.
Its annual review of aircraft registrations, conducted by the corporate aviation service provider for the year ending February 2022, tracked registrations for both smaller private jets and corporate airliners. The research revealed a fall in registrations for some registries, such as the Isle of Man, but growth for others, such as The San Marino Aircraft Registry.
“When you come to look at the numbers next year, I think the number of registered aircraft will be down across the board,” Brian Richards, director, Register An Aircraft told Corporate Jet Investor.
Richards acknowledged that the next 12 months will be difficult to predict as aircraft registries worldwide are de-registering Russian-owned aircraft in response to international sanctions. “This will cause the number of registrations to fall,” said Richards
The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry’s (IOMAR) modest fall in private jet registrations (down by nine aircraft), included seven corporate jets and two corporate airliners. “Part of the decline is due to uncertainty because of the changed VAT status for both the UK and the Isle of Man,” said Richards. “Before Brexit, you were able to import through the Isle of Man within a single VAT area, whereas now that is not the case.”
Since the data was compiled, there have been more de-registration of Russian-owned aircraft. “The Isle of Man has announced that it has de-registered several Russian aircraft,” said Richards. If more follow suit, this will cause the number of registered aircraft to decrease significantly.
Simon Williams, director of Civil Aviation at Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration and Aircraft Registry, told CJI, “The vast majority of aircraft that have de-registered have been sold and invariably flown back to the USA.”
The number of registered aircraft fluctuates, as IOMAR offers registration for aircraft awaiting commercial leases. “By definition these aircraft register and deregister in relatively short time scales according to industry need. Thus the statistics will reflect this activity too,” added Williams.
There has also been some complications caused by Russian and Belarusian sanctions too. “If there is a sanction/asset freeze in place and a clear link between that individual(s)/organisation and the aircraft registration mark, IOMAR may act accordingly/appropriately in response,” said Williams. 22 aircraft have been deregistered as a result.
But other registries, such as the Registry of San Marino, continue to grow the number of aircraft on their registry. San Marino has added two corporate jets and seven corporate airliners to its registry during the review period.
“San Marino is maintaining its popularity,” said Richards. “They have come from absolutely nothing to a very strong registry. Now, it’s not unusual to see a San Marino registered corporate jet, which a few years ago, would have been quite a landmark.”
Malta has maintained an unchanged number of 29 AOCs set up to operate business aircraft on a commercial basis. Operators continue to be attracted by the island’s tax incentives and ease of process, with 225 aircraft registered on the Mediterranean island with an additional 14 aircraft registering over the past 12 months.
The Channel Island of Guernsey has again attracted more private jets, growing its registry by five. A lack of progress for the neighbouring Jersey registry is clear, with no new registrations being added to its inventory of one aircraft.
Over recent years, the Jersey Registry has tried to grow, but has been unsuccessful so far, said Richards. “It relaunched a few years ago as the world’s first blockchain-enabled registry, but it hasn’t quite taken off yet. There is just too much competition. There are also other alternatives, like San Marino, which is doing very well.”
Registrations February 2021/February 2022 – at a glance
Registry Corporate Jets Corporate Airliners
Aruba (P4) 36/38 25/24
Bermuda (VP/VQ-B) 61/56 35/37
Cayman (VP-C) 133/131 44/43
Guernsey (2) 49/55 8/7
Ireland (EI/EJ) 13/13 2/1
Isle of Man (M) 230/213 26/24
Jersey (ZJ) 1/1 0/0
Malta (9H) 170/180 41/45
San Marino (T7) 176/178 27/34
Source: Sovereign Group and RegisterAnAircraft