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Walking for the first time into Executive Jet Center (EJC) at Southeast Florida’s Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)- one can’t help but be impressed by the quality and scope of the facilities. The level of attention to all the small details demanded by a high-end business aviation facility might seem unusual for an independent FBO. That degree of attention begets a commitment to quality and service- though- which seems typical of EJC’s parent- Aero ...

Dave Higdon   |   1st May 2008
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Dave Higdon Dave Higdon

Dave Higdon writes about aviation from his base in Wichita Kansas. During three decades in...
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Aero Toy Store The World on the Wing.

Walking for the first time into Executive Jet Center (EJC) at Southeast Florida’s Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)- one can’t help but be impressed by the quality and scope of the facilities. The level of attention to all the small details demanded by a high-end business aviation facility might seem unusual for an independent FBO. That degree of attention begets a commitment to quality and service- though- which seems typical of EJC’s parent- Aero Toy Store.

Satisfying the client and providing them with consistently high-quality service and attention to the details of their needs seems to permeate throughout this family of aviation oriented businesses. And Aero Toy Store is not just a regional phenomenon. Aero Toy Store also operates another comparably high-quality FBO at Dorval in Montreal- where the company is expanding completion facilities at the Canadian airport to help handle its refurbishment load. Additionally- Aero Toy Store opened an office at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas- Nevada- last year which serves its bustling domestic and international sales.

The company has built its business on the basis of a bustling trade in new and pre-owned business-turbine aircraft. “Aero Toy Store has evolved in the same way the needs of our clients have evolved-” explained Gary Anzalone- senior vice president. “Our clients recognize that ‘time is money’- and we have expanded our operations so that we can continue to provide our clients with a turn-key product in the shortest period of down time.”

After 15 years of successful work- the folks at Aero Toy Store still buy many of their new aircraft stock directly from the manufacturers- as exemplified by orders for a new Global Express XRS and two Learjet 60s that the company announced with Bombardier at last fall’s NBAA convention in Atlanta.

And let’s not forget the company’s AeroCarz operation. In fact- buying and selling classic- vintage and investment-quality collectable automobiles- a business avenue squarely in line with the company’s mainstream clientele- helped spawn the founders’ decision to move into business aviation. That expertise in automobilia also influenced the company to pursue and win an alliance with a legendary Italian auto-design firm. With all this- you need only to throw in a little rail stock and the company’s motto could be “Planes- Trains and Automobiles.”

“All of our clients are extremely busy people and their time is important-” Anzalone reiterated. “Each division of Aero Toy Store has been designed to support our business of buying and selling aircraft- keep our clients in the air whenever they need to be- and keep their lives simple in the process.

“Whether it be financing- refurbishing of an aircraft or organizing charters- these are all very involved processes that should be handled by people with a high level of experience and efficiency. Our goal is to keep the process simple for our clients – whatever our client’s need. It only takes one phone call… we pride ourselves on our ability to handle the rest.”

Sales with Selectivity
It’s no accident that when Aero Toy Store founder and CEO Morris Shirazi tapped Bombardier for its XRS that the jet seller opted for the Global Vision flight-deck system announced only three days earlier at the same convention. Aero Toy Store strives to offer products that represent the best value in flying hardware- using the highest available technology for enhancing safety and utility.

“Foremost- we make it a point to listen to the needs of our clients-” continued Anzalone. This approach shows throughout the fleet of available aircraft the company lists- whether light- medium or large jet- or helicopter. However- it can be a challenging task- anticipating a market’s needs several years in advance and ordering future stock to meet that future need.

“If there is a product that meets these needs- regardless of the manufacturer- we are interested to be a part of it-” Anzalone explained. “When you are talking about the resale of new aircraft specifically- the risk of unsold inventory is minimal for as long as the manufacturers continue to have a backlog of new aircraft positions.” Not only does the company strive to cover virtually every element of a client’s air-travel needs – supplying aircraft through ownership- charter or a time-share program – but the company also maintains its aircraft- and handles in-house its own refurbishment of re-sale stock- as well as new aircraft completion work. That stock can include helicopters from AugustaWestland- Bell- Sikorsky and Eurocopter and jets from Bombardier- Gulfstream- Boeing and others. “We are confident that all of the manufacturers recognize the merits of maintaining a deep log of aircraft positions- solidified through strong deposits-” Gary continued. “None of the manufacturers want to promise production capabilities that they are not going to be able to meet and maintain for a long time to come. For them it is fundamental supply and demand.”

According to Anzalone- for 2007 the total sales approached $1 billion dollars- with a very diverse spread between pre-owned and new- and rotor and fixed wing. And now the company is moving ahead as a designated factory representative for something all-new in corporate aviation: a supersonic business jet (SSBJ).

“Aero Toy Store is so proud to be appointed as a factory representative of the new Aerion Supersonic Business Jet-” Anzalone said. “We are certain that this aircraft is the future of our industry and we are excited to be a part of it.”

A business aircraft capable of efficient supersonic flight has been a recurring goal in the industry- stretching back to the dawn of the 1990s when Gulfstream- under Allan Paulson- entered a partnership with Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau to develop an SSBJ. Until Aerion began logging letters of intent- though- and taking deposits a few months ago- no program had developed as far.

The potential for corporate operators to leap oceans at Mach 1.6 has generated considerable excitement in the market. “Just imagine-” Anzalone offered- “New York to Paris in 4 hours. Our clients share in our enthusiasm as we have already secured 12 agreements in principle.”

As evidenced already- it has been a combination of opportunity and ambition that fueled Aero Toy Store’s expanding international presence. Anzalone noted that “It is only recently- through the development of several emerging foreign markets coupled with higher values of the foreign currency that we have elected to ramp up our inventory to meet the Global demands.”

And the company isn’t through pursuing its international goals either. “We are always vigilant of expansion opportunities- but we do not want to compromise our efficiency by becoming so large that we become inaccessible to our core clientele-” Anzalone added. “With that said- we do have our eyes on Dubai.”

Making Dollars Make Sense
Founder Morris Shirazi initially started Aero Toy Store to provide aircraft finance services to clients of his main business at the time- and today finance services remain an important element in the company’s efforts. With extensive contacts with banks and other financial institutions- both domestic and international- the company is positioned to help the buyer with a plethora of issues.

These contacts and the company’s depth of experience can prove particularly valuable in times of economic flux such as today’s. “We have these conversations on a daily basis just like everyone else-” Anzalone admitted.
“The bottom line remains that the demand for late model aircraft continues to outweigh the supply.
“As long as the foreign currencies continue to thrive- it will be difficult for any foreign investor to resist the values that exist currently. You have to remember that even in a cautious market- the corporate aircraft is still one of your most powerful business tools.”
But the finance sales aspects proved to be merely the seed for what Aero Toy Store has grown to encompass.

Completions with Personal Imprint
Aero Toy Store’s completion services are provided by Jet Center Interiors- another division of the company. Aero Toy Store is qualified to facilitate the refurbishment of pre-owned aircraft as well as oversee the completion of brand new aircraft- while Jet Center Interiors offers the added benefit of understanding the owner’s needs from an operator’s perspective.

From refurbishing an older jet to completing the interior of a bizliner- the company controls the process- working with the customer from design through engineering to oversight of creation of the interior components and- of course- installation and return to service.

“Aero Toy Store can provide an aircraft completion at one-quarter of the time of another premier completion center without any compromise of the standards of the job-” Anzalone revealed. Lest doubters question the company’s commitment to quality and competitiveness- they should check out the company’s own Pininfarina Edition work on its jets and helicopters.

Founded in 1930- the legendary Italian design house Pininfarina is known for its treatments of Ferrari- Maserati- Fiat – even the Volkswagen Karmen Ghia. In 1986- Pininfarina established Pininfarina Extra to spread the parent company’s design work into areas outside the automotive field in which it had for so long been a major influence.

Pininfarina Extra tapped Aero Toy Store as the exclusive provider of Pininfarina Edition aircraft and the Ft. Lauderdale company made its first example a Learjet 60. Since then- the company has offered special edition Pininfarina versions of new helicopters- and its signature creation- the Aero Toy Store-completed Pininfarina BBJ.

More information from www.aerotoystore.com

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