The Aircraft Financing Timeline

What does the timeline for financing an airplane purchase look like? Good question. 
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What does the timeline for financing an airplane purchase look like? Good question. There’s the normal timeline and then there’s the current, non-normal timeline. Both include time to approve the buyer, time to inspect the airplane and time to close. The current, non-normal timeline also factors in logistical complexities caused by the pandemic and the fact that there’s an added rush to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. Add into the mix the red-hot aircraft market.

Under normal circumstances, buyers with simple financials might expect two days to a week for the loan application process to occur once it's submitted to AOPA Aviation Finance. Once we submit it to a bank, the turnaround time could be as short as two to four business days. Loan packages on some larger turboprop or turbine aircraft may need to go to a bank board or credit committee, which could add up to a month to the approval process! 

If all the buyer’s financial information is complete, the aircraft is deemed airworthy, and the paperwork presented is clean, some lenders can fund the loan within two weeks. Add it all up and a typical timeline is between four and six weeks. Big caveat: If you make any changes to the application during the process, you’re back to square one.

Unfortunately, under current, non-normal circumstances, it’s too late to increase your tax deductions through an aircraft purchase for two reasons. First, there's the added COVID protocols. Second there's the fact that it’s the end of the fourth quarter. COVID limits how many people can be in an office or working around an aircraft, creating cascading inefficiencies. Now add in the number of buyers last-minute rushing to get that tax write-off before Dec. 31st, and you can understand why the transaction isn't likely to finish before year's end.

However, if you’re one of our many members who can afford to wait until January, then you’re in fine shape. And any time of year, the fastest way to shorten the timeline is to get preapproved.

Great advice. Great rates. From helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

Adam Meredith
Adam Meredith
President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, the longtime president of AOPA Aviation Finance Co., died after a long battle with cancer in December 2023. He is remembered for his passion for helping fellow pilots, leading a team devoted to putting flight training and aircraft ownership within everyone’s reach.
Topics: Buying and Selling an Aircraft, Financing, Ownership

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