Why are lenders so concerned with age on jet aircraft while being more flexible with pistons?

The used turbine market is extremely tight right now making options limited. 
AOPA Aviation Finance

So, prospective buyers are casting their sights on older jets, some of which may be two and a half to three decades since manufacture. Lenders, however, tend to have an aversion to such “vintage” aircraft. Why the dichotomy?

To a prospective owner/operator, the older jet fits the mission perfectly. To a lender, the jet is an old, complex, pressurized piece of turbine equipment, the systems of which may be one or more generations obsolete. Whereas the buyer may see an eclectic mix of older and “classic” avionics and be up for the challenge to use them, the lender sees an avionics suite requiring a complete replacement upgrade just to be marketable. To them, the added expense of more maintenance associated with the older systems, along with the avionics upgrade, increases risk that in the event of default they may need to spend money in order to sell an asset. Meanwhile the jet will only continue to decrease in value over the life of the loan. Hence why older jets tend not to get financed.

Not to say deals involving 25 or 30-year old jets cannot be done. If the jet is rated for single-pilot operations, and if it’s still in production, lenders are more inclined. Also, finance companies will seriously consider jets that are no longer in production if the manufacturer is still in business and is also offering a continuing support program for that particular airframe. Respective examples include the Embraer Phenom 100 and the Cessna CJ line.

Our perennial advice is to find the jet for your mission rather than find a jet for its own sake. A Falcon 900 might be admirable, but a slightly smaller, newer jet that performs the same mission profile may make more sense. A newer aircraft almost always broadens financing options, both in terms of the cost of money and its resale value.

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: AOPA Aviation Finance Co, Financing

Related Articles