The Isle of Man loves business jets

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In the last few months I have been accused of being downbeat (I don’t mind this as I welcome any feedback!) so this week it was great to spend a couple of days in one part of Europe where the business jet market is booming. I am, of course, talking about the Isle of Man.

Last year many people thought that the introduction of VAT on business jets would stop the Isle of Man being a popular jurisdiction for business jet transactions. In January 2012 it looked as if they could be right. Deals dried up and just one aircraft was added to the island’s register. Since then business has returned to normal. In the next few weeks the Isle of Man will register its 500th aircraft. Registering 500 aircraft in just over five years is an amazing achievement. More than 10% of Europe’s private jet fleet now have the M-prefix.

The Isle of Man may be a small country but it hard to think of any nation that is more supportive of business aviation.

Yesterday ICM Aviation ran an excellent conference selling the benefits of the Isle of Man. Representatives from customs and the Island’s chief tax inspector urged delegates to call them directly if they have any questions. Manufacturers and bankers stressed how good the service at the registry is. Allan Bell, MHK, the chief minister (the equivalent of the island’s prime minister or president), also gave his personal commitment to business aviation.

“The Isle of Man government will do everything it can to provide the aviation industry with the best possible environment,” said chief minister Bell. “We are keen to work with you and alongside you. Your success is our success and we are committed to provide an environment in which the aviation industry can continue to flourish.”

If only all other politicians thought the same way.

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