Jet ownership: flagship on the Isle of Man

In 2007 the Isle of Man was looking at areas of industry that could be developed in order to diversify the island’s economy. The Island had successfully established itself as a leading register for ships and superyachts and the launch of the Isle of Man Aircraft Register looked to follow in its footsteps.

Over the past 10 years the Isle of Man Aircraft Register has continued to grow year on year, firmly establishing itself as a leading register for high quality private and corporate jets and high quality twin turbine-engine helicopters.

Evidence of the success of the aircraft register was recognised on an international level, winning the Best Global Aviation Registry in World Commerce Review Magazine’s 2017 awards. This is a credit to the entire team who, over the last 10 years, have driven the register forward.

In July 2017, a total of 953 aircraft have been registered with an active fleet of 438 aircraft. I have no doubt that during the registry’s 10th year, the 1,000th aircraft will be registered!

The Isle of Man Aircraft Register has a number of key benefits:

  • High regulatory standards
  • High service levels and quality international reputation
  • The largest, European based, dedicated private and corporate aircraft register
  • Neutral Nationality registration prefix ‘M’
  • Competitive Scheme of Charges
  • Secure mortgage register
  • No insurance premium tax
  • European time zone
  • Professional infrastructure with experience in aviation finance
  • The Isle of Man is on the OECD ‘white list’ of countries complying with the global standard for tax co-operation and exchange of information.
  • Clear and simple taxation regime
  • Stable legal and political environment


There are ground rules for registering aircraft on the Isle of Man Register which are key:
the Isle of Man Aircraft Register is a private and corporate aircraft register. Aircraft registered on the Isle of Man are prohibited from conducting Public Transport / Commercial Air Transport or aerial work flights.

There is a policy to only accept airplanes over 5,700kgs Maximum Take Off Mass. Aircraft between 2,730 kgs and 5,700 kgs will be considered if there is a significant economic benefit to the Isle of Man.
The flexibility applied in respect of aircraft weight allows aircraft including the Pilatus PC-12 and the new HondaJet to be registered if they are within Isle of Man ownership structures.


Structuring the ownership

The purchase of a business jet is a complex process and requires a number of specialist advisors in order to manage the project. There are a number of questions that need to be answered early to ensure that the correct structure is put in place. There is no one perfect solution for all clients and a number of key considerations need to be considered, including:

How will the aircraft be used by the ultimate client?

  • Who will be travelling on the aircraft?
  • Who will be managing the aircraft?
  • Will the aircraft be made available for charter?
  • Is financing required?
  • Does the aircraft need to be imported / EU VAT considerations?

All of the above will have an impact of how the ownership is structured and where the aircraft is registered. The Isle of Man Aircraft Register would not be suitable if the client wishes to have the aircraft made available for charter, however an Isle of Man ownership structure could still provide a number of benefits.

Obtaining the right advice and engaging the right professionals will ensure that the structuring and purchase process is completed seamlessly.

About the author:


Allister Crossley is a Senior Manager in charge of aviation at Döhle Corporate Trust Services and is based on the Isle of Man.

Contact Allister:

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