- 04 Apr 2023
- Matt Harris
- BizAv Market Insight
Ronnie Frank used his decades of experience in the pre-owned aircraft sales business to launch his own brokerage, Tango 4, recently. AvBuyer’s Matt Harris spoke with him to discuss the vision for his company…
Irrespective of what the pre-owned aircraft sales market is doing, you can’t keep a good broker down.
After some extremely busy years driven by the onset of Covid and its aftermath, the inventory of aircraft for sale hit record lows while prices skyrocketed on most models, and a growing percentage of transactions were being completed off-market by the middle of 2022.
Though the market is cooling slightly in 2023, it’s certainly not without its challenges with rising interest rates, international geopolitical tensions with evolving sanctions, regulatory adjustments, and pre-and post-election cycle reverberations in the US and elsewhere being just some of the external factors driving uncertainty and increased volatility in the market.
It’s in this environment that Ronnie Frank, well known in the industry for heading up the international sales department at Bell Aviation for 21 years and later becoming a partner at East Coast Jet Center, launched Charleston, South Carolina-based Tango 4.
Ronnie has amassed 26 years’ worth of experience in aircraft sales, bringing together numerous prospective buyers and sellers of business jets. And he says it’s his career in Business Aviation to date that enables him to acquire and develop the know-how to build a broad base of satisfied clients today.
“Tango 4 is the natural continuation of the process,” he explains. “Our strength lies in existing relationships, mutual trust and our honest reputation, leading us to embark on this latest venture.”
Ronnie forms one half of a team with Romina Rosen who brings over 15 years of project management and business analyst experience to Tango 4. Romina will work to ensure operational and administrative excellence.
To date, Ronnie has lived in South America, Europe and North America, so it’s unsurprising that he and his team speak a combined six languages. These will be useful in supporting the company’s focus on evolving markets around the world. Over the years Ronnie has established contacts in over 160 countries, and successfully closed deals in 26.
“Marketwise, the North American continent is, by sheer volume and weight, the core playground for anybody in this business to place and find aircraft for the foreseeable future,” he acknowledges. “Beyond that, we cater to the aviation requirements of existing long-standing business relationships in Latin America and greater Europe.
“And at the same time we are identifying and developing new opportunities in Asia and the Middle East, including North Africa where we have closed deals in the past.”
Of course, it takes more than language to pave the way to successful international transactions. Beyond all the usual technical, commercial and legal steps that apply to any aircraft transaction that are taken in a specific sequence with the necessary and sensible guardrails, there are the locations, timings, regulations, exchange rates and technical compatibility to consider, Ronnie says.
“We anticipate, explain and incorporate these steps in a suitable manner, avoiding unnecessary hiccups that might otherwise cause disruptions that could crater a deal.
“Clear and timely communication and consideration of possible differences and viewpoints on certain procedures allow for a smooth flow not only towards the closing, but also a successful insertion of the aircraft into the new owner’s jurisdiction and operation.
“Understanding subtle regional and cultural cues and differences is a critical asset in allowing [an international] deal to come to fruition,” he adds.
With so many external factors at play currently impacting the pre-owned aircraft sales market, Ronnie is wary about trying to predict the complicated relationships between socioeconomic factors and the health of the aircraft industry.
But his expectations for the industry tally with those of most analysts. “We are starting to see asking price reductions and a gradual increase of aircraft available for sale,” he notes. “Having lived through similar cycles, if this trend continues there will come a point when the attractiveness of certain aircraft will bring current prospects off the fence.
“From a mid- to long-term perspective, sustainable travel options that appeal to younger and more environmentally conscious consumers will eventually have an impact as they become a part of Business Aviation.”
In the meantime, the Tango 4 team focuses its resources on understanding the specific needs of clients in diverse markets and customizing the right solution for them.
Striving to pair clients with opportunities by monitoring the evolution of aircraft supply, coupled with price variations of specific aircraft categories, “the core idea of our mission is to protect the client’s investment in Business Aviation,” Ronnie concludes.
“That way they will want to ‘Tango’ with us on their next aircraft transaction.”
More information from https://tango4solutions.com/