How to Get Value from a COVID-19 Affected BizJet Market

There’s value for both buyers and sellers in today’s used aircraft marketplace, says aircraft broker Jet Tolbert. Following are some tips to both sides on extracting best value from a transaction…

Jet Tolbert  |  24th June 2020
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    Jet Tolbert
    Jet Tolbert

    Jet Tolbert is president of Florida-based American Aircraft Sales where he oversees all aspects of aircraft...

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    Cessna Citation private jet over-wing photo of powerplant and tail

    While the current COVID-19 situation is unique, there remain some timeless strategies that can be used when it comes to finding the right deal. These strategies are available to both buyers and sellers of business aircraft willing to brave the market at this time.

    It is certainly true that savvy buyers with the right professional advice can extract greater value than before from their aircraft purchases. Primarily the value comes from identifying, and making the right acquisition at the right price for today’s market.

    Deals are happening, and buyers who are prepared to follow through on their interest in an aircraft are accessing market opportunities that were not available a few months ago. Buyers who are ready and able to fly a business jet in today’s pandemic environment need not be hesitant in making offers.

    If you’re one such buyer, you should understand that not every seller is willing to accept a changing market price – so it is a good idea to move quickly when a seller is located who is ready to work with the market realities.

    Nevertheless, entering today’s market won’t be akin to taking candy from a baby. As a buyer, you’re certainly not alone shopping the market, and consequently there are very few fire sales. Sellers are not rushing to part with their aircraft like they were in the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 for various reasons.

    As is usually the case, if you want to realise maximum value from a purchase it will pay to work with an established team of professionals, including a buyer’s agent, who will provide you with the expertise and knowledge of the marketplace to capitalize on the best opportunities available by gaining the inside track and the access before the competition.

    Advice for Business Aircraft Sellers

    Sellers should see this time as a good opportunity to sell. Prices are difficult to peg down currently, but serious discussions are taking place around the globe regarding aircraft acquisitions, and sales are being consummated.

    If you are considering selling your aircraft, then a market valuation from an established broker or appraiser who has been through previous up and down market cycles will go a long way to help you understand value in the context of today’s market. It will also help you decide the right strategy to deploy in order to gain the best value.

    This is particularly important because, while there are buyers in the current market they are spread more thinly, making a lost sale that bit more costly.

    Therefore, using active marketing strategies with specific tactics to help increase the pool of potential buyers for your aircraft will ultimately yield the most-timely sale at the best price. This could be more important now than ever before as the current market conditions will amplify the stigma attached to poorly marketed aircraft.

    In Summary…

    It’s important to remember that the cause of any change in our market has the potential to also become a driver for our industry.

    While optics may play a part for companies that are laying off large numbers of employees, and who want to avoid the stigma of flying in a private jet at the same time, the benefit of private air travel is undeniable; possibly even more so, given the additional layers of safety and protection a business aircraft provides its cabin occupants compared to the airlines.

    With a gradual reopening of business across the United States and in other parts of the world, the access a business aircraft provides its passengers could be crucial to their success. It’s that access which creates additional value to all those who are in the market to acquire one at this time.

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