Aviation and asset finance expertise coupled with unparalleled global experience
Our business is managed by a team of aviation professionals with extensive industry experience including but not limited to aircraft finance, leasing, credit analysis, structuring of cross border transaction, legal and domicile expertise and most importantly our team possesses deep technical knowledge of all aspects of aircraft asset management.
In The Press
AirFinance is bridging the world of commercial aircraft leasing and business jets. We are proud to be recognized by organizations such as Barron's, Ex-Im Bank, Flight Global, Corporate Jet Investor, and more.
How the trends in finance and leasing have changed over the course of last few months, are you now seeing more helicopters being financed OR leased?
Kirsten Bartok: Helicopter financing has had a turbulent few years. The belief that oil and gas prices would stay high forever, indefinitely pushing up demand for offshore oil exploration was a driver behind much of the excess and hype.
Add to this phenomenon, public and private equity’s new interest in helicopter operators and lessors, and those investors’, possibly misplaced, opinion that companies owning the aircraft should be separate from the operators of the aircraft (i.e. operators should be asset light, or lighter).
The result: a period of new helicopters sales that outpaced underlying customer demand, propelled by the optimistic view that oil would never go below 75 and partly by private equity money entering the space like a group of lemmings. When oil prices eventually did collapse, the fall was steeper than it should have been because of the leverage in the industry and the private equity money artificially propping it up.
AirFinance and EXIM have launched an innovative financing facility to support multiple exports of U.S.-made HondaJet business aircraft that will support manufacturing jobs at Honda Aircraft Company in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Under the $5 million, short-term revolving facility, EXIM is serving as the guarantor of “floor planning” credit being extended by Apple Bank for Savings in New York. During a one-year availability period, the financing will support the exports of several HondaJet HA-420 aircraft to HondaJet’s exclusive distributor in Mexico, Grupo Avemex S.A. de C.V. The transaction was arranged by AirFinance, an EXIM-qualified advisor for business aircraft and helicopters. The first HondaJet to be financed under the facility was delivered in late December.
2018 marks one decade since the global economic downturn brought an abrupt end to the prosperity the business aviation industry had been experiencing. OEMs had been riding a bubble of exuberant prosperity that saw a record 1,317 business jet deliveries in 2008, but that changed swiftly.
While those once-strong correlations may have frayed somewhat over the past decade, they can’t yet be disregarded entirely, according to Kirsten Bartok, managing partner of AirFinance. “They do still apply; however, what we now see is the industry is truly global,” she told AIN, adding that while the U.S. currently accounts for more than half of the overall business aircraft market, it can’t support the industry alone. “If one economy stumbles, that can impact global unit sales, especially for new aircraft. While the U.S. economy can be strong, if the Russian economy stumbles, if we see an Asian economic flu, or the commodities tumble, that does impact sales.”
WASHINGTON, DC (February 15, 2018) – AirFinance, a global aerospace and equipment financing business, today announced the addition of H. Suha Kocabal to its business development team.
Prior to joining to AirFinance, Mr. Kocabal was with TD Bank Group’s Export Credit & Agency Finance Group from 2002 to 2018. At TD, Mr. Kocabal was instrumental in the bank’s export credit origination globally, with emphasis on US EXIM, UKEF and Canada’s EDC. Mr. Kocabal focused primarily on the aerospace, transportation, power, medical, and manufacturing sectors. In these areas of expertise, he covered both the US manufacturers as well as large corporate names in certain international markets, namely, Brazil, Canada, Eastern Europe, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Middle East, and Turkey. Mr. Kocabal was also part of the team that developed TD’s US EXIM’s Qualified Advisor initiative.
The rising dollar and declining aircraft residual values are proving to be a drag on the industry’s recovery.
With the economic downturn now seven years in the rear-view mirror, the U.S. economy has continued its slow but steady recovery this year, reaching, in the eyes of most of the world, an enviable streak of 22 consecutive quarters of expansion. But the strengthening of the U.S. dollar has placed a chill on the international business jet market, which is still dealing with the effects of declining aircraft residual values.
Kirsten Bartok is No. 10 on the Corporate Jet Investor Power List 2015.
Kirsten Bartok’s CV is impressive. She has worked as a banker (Goldman Sachs), an operator (XOJET), a manufacturer (Hawker Beechcraft) and as an entrepreneur (Airfinance). In the depths of the business jet downturn she worked hard to launch her own aircraft fund – and found serious equity – but could not find debt. This led her to the US Export Import Bank of the US.