Concept Group, a Guernsey-based provider of offshore corporate services and overseas pensions, has unveiled a new partnership with a private jet operator, which sees it helping the company to expand its regional footprint – and in the process, diversifying its own business.
Through its Concept Private offshore corporate services division, Concept said it had helped its private jet-operating client to obtain Guernsey’s second public category Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Guernsey’s civil aviation registry.
The AOC was issued to a recently-formed, Guernsey-based aircraft management entity, known as Business Aviation Services Guernsey Ltd, Concept Group managing director Roger Berry told International Investment.
The first aircraft to be registered under the new AOC certificate is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is expected to be hired for global use by wealthy individuals and government officials. It will not be based in Guernsey, where the airport isn’t large enough to accommodate it.
Going forward, Concept Private will continue to assist the company with a range of locally-based management services, as the airline builds its business, Berry said.
“This partnership demonstrates the strengths of Guernsey as a well-regulated, safe and secure centre in an uncertain world,” Berry added.
Lyndon Trott, a non-executive director of Concept Group, said the registration highlighted Guernsey’s advantages, in aviation terms, over some of its rivals, including Jersey and the Isle of Man – which, he noted, under their current regulations, are only able to register aircraft used for private flights.
Aircraft registry launched in 2013
Guernsey’s 2-REG Aircraft Registry was established in December, 2013, although Guernsey didn’t issue its first AOC until 2016.
Like the business of boat registries, aircraft registration – along with such other offshoots of the aviation business as aircraft financing – is becoming a popular alternative line of business for small offshore centres.
Among the attractions for aircraft owners is that such centres often have a lower corporate tax rate than larger countries, in which their planes may actually be located. (Guernsey currently has a zero-10 corporate tax regime, meaning that most companies pay no income tax, and some, in the financial services, pay 10%; a few others pay 20%.)