• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

‘Nigeria’s private jet market hits $3.75bn’

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The increasingly growing insecurity in the country, ageing commercial fleet and incessant accidents, among others, may have fuelled the growth of Nigeria’s private jet market as it hits $3.75 million.

Experts at the Nigeria aviation business conference organised by Evergreen Apple Nigeria and Embraer in Lagos noted that about 150 private jets currently operate in the country and are owned by Nigerians.

Segun Agbaje, group managing director, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, in a presentation on Jet Financing in Nigeria, noted that jets in Nigeria are “at an average cost of US$25 million per aircraft, the market size is estimated at about US$3.75 billion, making it Africa’s largest private jet market.

“The Nigerian private jet market grew 650 percent from 20 jets in 2007 to 150 jets in 2012, making it one of the fastest growing private jet markets in the world, both foreign and locally registered aircraft though predominantly foreign registered.

“Current private jet owners include operating companies, special purpose vehicles, clergymen, governments, and charter operators”, he said.

Agbaje noted that economic growth at an average of 6.6 percent since 2002; constant flight delays; ageing commercial fleet; accident and un-realiable flight schedules had recently contributed to the growth as businessmen prefer privacy.

He said an operator can spend a total of N250,000,0000 as associated cost of maintenance, landing and parking in a year, adding that on the average, each jet costs $25 million, which carries both local and international registrations.

“Acquisition cost is between $10 million and $65 million; other associated costs include registration & legal; pilot & crew; fueling & maintenance; insurance, landing, parking & overflying and depending on the jet usage and size, the associated costs can be $250,000 to $1,000,000 per year”, he added.

Agbaje noted that the most popular jets common among Nigerian billionaires in the country today are Gulfstream, Bombardier, Global Express, Hawker Legacy and Dassault Falcon, among many others.

Most of the jets, according to him, are imported from the United States of America, Canada, Europe, Brazil and South Africa.

He, however, noted that banks in the country are yet to invest in aviation industry because of attendant risks involved with commercial aviation, but explained that with the involvement of financial institutions, the sector would record a boost.

According to him, cash acquisition of aircraft amounted to 70 percent; leasing, 14 percent while direct lending was 16 percent.