China’s ‘B- ‘registry was the most popular aircraft registry in the Asia-pacific region as of year-end 2020 – 254 jets (21% of the fleet). The United States ‘N’ registry was next, with 244 jets (20%), followed by Australia’s ‘VH-‘ and India’s ‘VT-‘ registries – with 188 (15%) and 128 (10%) jests, respectively. Together, the top four registries accounted for around 66% of the total fleet in the Asia-pacific region.
The majority of aircraft in the top three business jet markets in the Asia-Pacific region were registered on local registries – 74% of mainland China’s 342 jets were B- registered, 84% of Australia’s 211 jets were VH- registered, and 93% of India’s 137 jets were VT- registered at the end of 2020. The popularity of the local registries can be attributed to the fact that the majority of aircraft owners in these regions are based and operate locally. Additionally, for countries like mainland China, aircraft registered with foreign registrations are subject to significant restrictions while operating in the country.
Macao SAR, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan had the largest number of ‘N’ registered aircraft (on a percentage basis). A possible reason why opCCCCCCerators in these regions prefer to opt for the United States ‘N’ registry is because it provides operational flexibility and cost effectiveness in maintaining validations and approvals.
The number of business jets that are registered offshore has been increasing over the past two years – from 144 in 2018 to 185 in 2020. The key benefits provided by offshore registries over onshore registries include the tax free/advantaged structures and increased privacy due to ownership data on offshore registries being kept confidential and not easily obtainable. Additionally, offshore registries often require less paperwork for the installation and replacement of aircraft parts, thus saving on time and expenses. The number of offshore registered aircraft is expected to continue growing as more aircraft owners and operators in the Asia-Pacific region become aware of these advantages.
Hong Kong SAR has the largest offshore registered fleet in the Asia-Pacific region – 65 jets as of year-end 2020, followed by mainland China and Singapore with a fleet of 47 and 24 business jets, respectively. Mainland China saw an increase of 21% in its offshore registered fleet over year-end 2020. The increasing popularity of offshore registries in the region is due to the heavy tax imposed on aircraft being imported into mainland China, whereas offshore registries allow tax free/advantageous structures.
The Cayman Islands ‘VP-C‘ register remained the most popular offshore registry in 2020, holding a 50% market share amongst the offshore registries. The San Marino ‘T7-‘ registry came in second, up by one rank since 2019, with a market share of 21%. Dropping by one rank since last year, the Isle of Man was the next most popular registry, accounting for 10% of the offshore registered fleet. The Bermuda registry came in fourth with a market share of 9%.
San Marino’s ‘T7-‘ registry witnessed the largest growth in the offshore registered fleet in 2019 – growing by 14 aircraft, from 24 in 2020 to 38 in 2020. The Cayman Islands ‘VP-C‘ registry came in second in terms of registered fleet growth – growing by ten, from 83 in 2019 to 93 in 2020.
TAG Aviation had the largest offshore registered fleet in 2020 – 32 business jets (a growth of two business jets since 2019). The operator also has the largest offshore registered fleet (74%) among any of the top ten operators in the Asia-Pacific region.
Jet Aviation and Sino Jet had the second and third largest offshore registered fleet in 2020 – 25 and 11, respectively. Deer Jet was the only Asia-Pacific operator in the top ten that did not have any offshore registered business jet in its fleet.
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