View Full Version : Flying an aircraft for incidental business travel, which has been rented by company
25th Jun 2012, 13:15
If my company, which I own, rents a plane and covers all fuel, etc, can I fly it on my PPL for incidental business travel?
If so, can I also carry my staff with me - assuming they genuinely have the choice of travelling however they wish, and would rather come along for the ride?
Thanks in advance.
25th Jun 2012, 14:44
I have done so for about 40 years, the tax people want to see a valid reason for the flight: visiting customers, suppliers, trade shows etc. If you use the aircraft for business purposes it can save a lot of time and money. Some suppliers/customers will even offer to pick you up from the nearest GA airfield, they will certainly remember you as the one who flew in.
25th Jun 2012, 15:06
I'm clear on the Tax side, but it's the legalities side I'm concerned about as I would be paying for less than my share of the direct costs of the flight - due to my company paying for it instead.
25th Jun 2012, 15:13
I think as long as your not carrying passengers of any type then it doesnt matter who pays for the flight?
Now I was having some similar thoughts the other day about taking clients flying somewhere nice for lunch and the company paying.
I guess since I have a CPL and that I'd have to hire such an aircraft which would therefore have a public cat CofA or whatever the equivalent is nowadays then I should be in the clear?
25th Jun 2012, 16:30
Beware of tall poppy syndrome in UK. If your customer knows you arrive in a plane, you'll most likely lose the account as they think you're a ponce. So, stay schtum about it.
25th Jun 2012, 16:33
You can carry passengers, you cannot be paid to fly. One engineer I used to pickup from Biggin or Cambridge was the only one in the world capable of servicing my equipment. Sometimes it was a 1-hour job. He needed 3 days to get to my place by car (1 day travel/one day on the job, one day return) or one hour by GA each way. Some days I flew out in the morning to get him, he was back home the same night. the invoice was for one day service instead of 3 days with two night in a hotel. Nicely paid for the aircraft and fuel/landing fees and more.
It is best to discuss this with the tax inspectors beforehand and show the benefit for the company.
25th Jun 2012, 16:58
My understanding is that the situation you describe is perfectly acceptable but I would like to here that totally confirmed and if any difference if a G reg or N reg on the same principal in the UK.
From a tax / costs point of view I think perfectly fine as long as company business and I find wise to put that in the log book as well as a reference on the invoice from the company you are renting from.
You are under no obligation to go via the lowest cost source on travel and if you want to charter a lear jet to go for a legitimate business meeting with your staff then that is up to you.
I know your question relates to hiring the aircraft and then you being PIC
25th Jun 2012, 19:03
Yeah, from a tax point of view, I'm completely comfortable.
It looks to me like everyone is happy that my PPL entitles me to fly (in respect of (but not as part of) my business) a plane rented and entirely expensed by my company, and that I can also carry staff / clients as passengers at the same time.
If I've misunderstood that, then please someone correct me.
The background, is that I have an aircraft which belongs to one of my companies, and another of my companies sometimes rents it from the first company to allow me to fly it on business. I suddenly started becoming concerned that this might not be legal from a licensing point of view.
26th Jun 2012, 07:23
Public transport and aerial work – exceptions – recovery of direct costs
268 (1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a flight is a private flight if the only valuable consideration given or promised for the flight or the purpose of the flight is one or more of the following:
(a) valuable consideration specified in article 262(1); [rental costs]
(b) in the case of an aircraft owned in accordance with article 269(2) [jointly owned], valuable consideration which falls within article 269(3); [contribution to group funds] or
(c) the payment of the whole or part of the direct costs otherwise payable by the pilot in command by or on behalf of the employer of the pilot in command, or by or on behalf of a body corporate of which the pilot in command is a director.
(2) Neither the pilot in command nor any other person who is carried is legally obliged, whether under a contract or otherwise, to be carried on the flight.
(3) If valuable consideration specified in article 262(1) [rental costs] is given or promised the flight is a public transport flight for the purposes of Part 3 and Part 4 (other than articles 37(2) and 39(2)) [i.e. has to be on a public transport C of A if it's not an EASA aircraft]
A you'll note from para (2), the "genuine choice" you describe in the OP is necessary.
26th Jun 2012, 07:39
The one other thing you might like to check on are insurances, your own plus employees liability.
I have done it a few times in the past and had a comment from one customer who thought it must cost a lot of money, by the time I explained I was able to see more customers in a day etc they had no problem with it.
26th Jun 2012, 08:27
In Australia, the answer is absolutely yes. You can fly for a company. Using the company's aircraft or hiring an aircraft to fly, for and on behalf of the company, as long as the company doesn't charge anything or make any profit from the flight.
26th Jun 2012, 12:11
From a licensing perspective there is not an issue. The problems are on the tax front: there can be vat and benefit in kind issues for the director/employee pilot. I seem to remember a thread a couple of years ago on this topic. Be careful you don't get taxed (as an individual) on the value of the flight, particularly if it is a regular occurance.