The value of Clive Palmer’s planes has been falling significantly as they sit idle on the tarmac at Brisbane airport.
Two aging 155-seat private jets are understood to have been at the airport for more than six months, reportedly costing more than $50,000 in parking fees.
Former airline pilot and Griffith University professor Sidney Dekker said the McConnell Douglas MD-82 jet was a high-maintenance aircraft that burned fuel at a high rate and was slowly exiting the market.
He said that type of plane was best preserved in desert storage, rather than the relatively wet climate Mr Palmer’s planes would be exposed to in Brisbane.
Professor Dekker suggested any buyer interested in the planes would almost certainly wish to negotiate a significant discount, given the hefty maintenance bill required to ensure they passed safety regulations.
“The saying in the aviation world is you can keep an airplane flying for as long as you want, it’s just a question of how much it will cost,” he said.
“There is no reason why, after significant checks and maintenance, these planes wouldn’t be airworthy but I would not want to pick up the tab.”
Professor Dekker said the planes most likely would appeal to buyers in “second-world” countries or to a company needing charter planes for fly-in, fly-out workers.
In an interview with Sky last week, Mr Palmer boasted about his five jets, including one put up for sale by administrators in charge of Palmer Aviation.
The MP for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax and self-proclaimed billionaire has sidelined himself from the sell-off of his business empire.
Last month he told Queensland Nickel’s administrators he would discuss the company’s cash shortfall once it had been identified, but The Australian understands this has yet to happen and his offer to address the shortfall has never been put in writing or spoken of again.
At least a dozen assets of relatively low to medium value are expected to go on sale soon.
Original article can be found here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au