The Isle of Man Private Jet Story

The recent furor over the the so-called “Paradise Papers” has the news organizations all riled up over alleged offshore financial legerdemain. In particular, the newsroom snipers are scoping-in on the the supposed misuse of offshore private jet registration, connected to ‘tax-avoidance’ schemes.

In fact, according to the ‘newsies’, the Isle of Man is apparently harboring ‘over a thousand‘ private jets, Gulfstream G550’s, G650’s, Global 6000’s and Falconjets of all stripes….holy moly…before long, there’ll be more private jets than sheep on this tiny isle…and on a certain wild and long weekend in the summer, the jet population will only probably be exceeded by the number of motorbikes dislodging manhole covers and laying waste to centuries-old dry-stone walls.

manhole cover ?..what manhole cover ?

There appears to be keen interest in Lewis Hamilton’s personal use of his Challenger 605…(has anyone checked the passenger manifest records/destinations of any large US corporate flight departments recently ?) Lewis Hamilton apparently availed himself of a multi-million dollar VAT refund. As Hillary might say “this is old news, nothing new here“.

Lewis on the lookout for the taxman

Frankly (and if the news sources are to be believed), Lewis Hamilton could have saved the same amount as the VAT-refund windfall if he’d paid the right price for his Challenger 605 in the first place. Lewis’s purchase price looks ‘a little‘ on the high-side, especially for a 2013 purchase.

There’s an entire alphabet soup of private jet registries…Andorra, Bermuda, Cayman Islands etc. It seems that every diminutive jurisdiction with a white sand beach or a few mountain goats is getting in on the act. That said, we believe that the fun-factor would disappear from offshore ownership if beneficial owners had to forgo their clever and creative tail numbers. M-reg. is custom-created for whimsical tail numbers.

This one says it all and they’re not all big jets !

Full disclosure on this Isle of Man registry topic; Aviatrade’s current 2017 G650 for sale offering is “M-reg”…these offshore registries serve a very useful purpose, when security and confidentiality are a concern.

G650, 2017 model, only thirty five hours total flying time, delivery hours with no owner use.

One last observation on the subject of private jet registration; there are plenty of countries that ‘accommodate’ those private jet owners who wish to stay out of the limelight. Registries such as 9H (Malta) and OE (Austria) seem to be very popular with Russian and Eastern European nationals. In fact, the Austrian private jet population has been dubbed “the Russian Air Force” and a couple of local management companies quietly thrive on their fleet of anonymously-owned private jets.

The Oligarch US Registration ‘Bust’

There are also (not so) new revelations concerning foreign entities using US trusts in order to register an aircraft under “N” registry. Poor old Bank of Utah is spotlighted, however, just about every large US bank is in on this act…with a healthy spin-off business for aviation and other lawyers who process the trust paperwork before the beneficial owner gets to sport N-whatever on his vertical stabilizer, or on his engine cowling.

There seems to be a lot of Asian interest in such trust formation in the US and the ongoing crackdown on corruption in China is probably just a coincidence…isn’t it ?

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