Please read the new AIN weekly blog series that Jay Mesinger will contribute to the first Friday of every month. Other great contributors will participate on other Fridays.
I was talking to a great friend today who is from the publishing side of our industry. He had a question to ask me with respect to the hows and whys of certain practices in our standard operating procedures as aircraft brokers. He wanted to know if the participants in a deal really understand the nuances of a deal? Since he is not truly in the day to day operations side of the industry, he relies on what he reads and what he is responsible for publicizing. This leaves him with a slight void as to what the real implications of a process may be.
His question actually stopped me in my tracks. I thought about who I typically direct my articles to and realized that I usually write to my fellow aircraft brokers, as well as the industry touch points. I may not have been focused enough on those people who come into and out of the acquisition and sales arena no more often potentially than every five to ten years. Meaning, I may not be talking enough to the customers.
When I talk about market conditions and pricing trends, those are topics for a large audience. However, it is important that I write directly to the customer more often to bring to their attention some of the new phenomena in our industry such as off-market aircraft, back-to-back transactions or other potential deal pitfalls that they should be on the lookout for as a possible concern. These were not necessarily in play the last time they were engaged in a transaction. So, I am dedicating this article and more in the future to the customer to help them become a more informed consumer.
Gone are the days of the “Hand Shake Deal”. This does not mean that trust and good faith are eliminated from the deal, it just means given the complexity of aircraft and the transactions, the idea that a deal can be sealed over lunch and a handshake should not be standard operating procedure. I always say if it is not written in the four corners of the contract it does not matter. The “what ifs” are just too many and have too far reaching of implications if a deal begins to go awry. I have seen friendships destroyed over napkins and handshakes. After all, no aircraft should come between old friends or well-intentioned people.
No one today should be uninformed. I remember the days before computers and industry listing services like AMSTAT and JETNET the value of the dealer was what they knew that no one else knew. Today information abounds. In fact, there is so much of it that one needs to be sure what they are reading is real and interpreted correctly. I cannot tell you the amount of false reporting we hear and see in our office with respect to sales prices or records findings on aircraft that are for sale. Our industry is really very unsophisticated compared to most others in this regard and it leaves a buyer and/or a seller in the dark. Being in the dark is a not very transparent place to be.
A specification sheet for an aircraft that is no more than a cut and paste of the spec sheet that was used to buy a plane ten years ago with just the new times and cycles written in and the new paint and interior colors added may not be worth the paper it is written on. This is truly just a recipe for error and repurposing a deal. When you buy a plane today be sure you have an inspection item in your pre-buy that tasks the inspection facility with auditing the spec sheet you were provided. So many small but critical things could have been changed since the old sheet was developed from scratch that the plane you thought you were buying is not at all the plane you have under contract. When our firm is hired to sell a plane the first thing we do is send our technical director to the plane to build a new specification sheet from scratch with supporting documentation from the logs and records. We know they will be audited by a smart buyer.
Now here comes the plug for why you should hire an aircraft broker to assist with your sale or acquisition. Due to the complexities of today’s transactional world I promise you it will cost you less to engage than it will to go it alone. In every transaction, and not for malicious reasons, things can go wrong. Examples being accidental misrepresentations, changing regulatory requirements, equipment installed on an aircraft that may work the second you buy the plane but due to lack of future support by the manufacturer will leave you with a boat anchor if it does fail, can all be huge costs. This type of equipment includes cabin management systems, switch panels at each seat to control basic functions like reading lights, satellite TV systems and on and on. Having a professional at your side is cheap by comparison of even one antiquated system discovery. I intend to continue to write about more new phenomena in upcoming articles.
Approach this industry with open eyes and smart support. Remember as my old friend Zig Ziglar used to say, “price is a one-time thing and cost is a lifetime thing.”
I want to end this article with a big Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all had safe holidays. I had a very good and successful client say to me yesterday he believes the global economy is strong. 2018 should be a great year for us and our clients. See you soon somewhere in the world!
It is worth taking a few minutes to reflect and remember the year. For many of us the year has been more and more challenging. It seems deals take longer to get over the finish line. Even just getting into a maintenance facility to start a pre-buy takes weeks rather than days. We all know time kills deals. As I have written before transparency in our industry seems to be turning opaque. Making strategic plans that can be counted on are more and more elusive. I have to say for us the year end is bringing good numbers we can be proud of. It also means we have work to do going forward and we never put up the “Gone Fishin’” sign.
We are hopeful that 2018 will bring the same if not better outcomes. At Mesinger Jet Sales we will continue to do all the right things with respect to honoring our fellow professionals as well as our clients. This dedication has served us for over 43 years. I am watching, as I mentioned in my last month’s newsletter, that the industry as a whole is beginning to look closely at itself and its practices. People want to identify the weaknesses and strengthen the defenses against those who are not interested in best practices. We must circle our wagons and protect our industry from those who are not as desirous as the vast majority of us are about sustainability and doing things right!
If any of you are wondering about lower inventory numbers here is an interesting statistic. Feeling like fewer people may be entering the market as sellers we went to our multiple listing provider, AMSTAT, to get some validation for this feeling. They say that over the last 6 months year-over-year there are approximately between 150 and 200 fewer new listings. As we all sit back to figure out the root cause, several reasons come to mind. On a very positive note I think some people who had considered selling have now decided that in fact the value of owning and operating a business aircraft makes sense for them again. Their individual businesses and needs are getting stronger.
On a less positive, but perhaps a more realistic reasoning, there are a group of sellers who were just plain opportunistic. They were either on the market or had hoped to come to market but are now realizing the value of their plane is not rebounding or where they had hoped it would be. Lastly, sellers may just not think that there are enough real buyers to absorb another entry for sale. The combination leaves us where we find ourselves.
The reality of fewer aircraft for sale just makes for an even more frantic frenzy among those who portray themselves as aircraft professionals. We have never needed to support the cause of working together and doing it right more than ever. The good news is we do have a real and important industry segment that will not go away. I might also say that the acquisition side of our business has not been as strong as it is now in many years. Even going to the manufacturers to buy new is picking up.
I wish each of you a bright holiday of wonderful health and family togetherness. I hope I get to do business with many of you next year for the first time and again with all of you that we have known for years. Please call or write. I enjoy the communication.
NOW ABOUT DOGS
As many of you know by now our family is passionate about our dogs. You have seen Louie and Miles in our ads and hopefully have seen the charitable work we do for the breeds. I am so excited to share a new milestone. I was just asked to join the board of Morris Animal Foundation. I have added a link to their website and the story about my joining. Of course, you can always just go to the bottom of all the pages on our website and push the Golden Button. I look forward to your shared stories about your furry friends.
We are proud to represent on an exclusive basis for immediate sale a 2001 model Gulfstream V, Serial Number 614, Registration Number N614CM. This aircraft has been owned by one U.S. company with the same flight department since it was new. The owner also owns their own first-class management company and Part 135 Charter certificate and they are based just outside of Dayton, OH. This GV is operated on their Part 135 certificate and it is maintained to the highest standards. The 192-month inspection tasks were performed in February 2017 by Gulfstream Savannah and the engines and APU have been enrolled on JSSI since new. The engines are on the JSSI Platinum program with 100% coverage for mid-life inspections and overhauls.
In addition to the outstanding pedigree, this GV is ready for the future. No expense has been spared and no item left untouched. The cockpit has been upgraded with the Gulfstream/Honeywell PlaneDeck (Primus Elite DU-885) LCD Flight Deck retrofit. The original cabin management system has been replaced with the Collins Venue HD Cabin Management System. And, NEXTGEN upgrades have been complied with. This GV meets FANS 1/A+ CPDLC, ADS-B Out (DO-260B) and TCAS 7.1 compliance standards.
The company that owns this aircraft understands the current competitive market and is ready to be competitive within it. We have represented them in other transactions and they understand what is common and customary. Buying this incredible GV will be an enjoyable experience. Call or email us today to learn more (+1-303-444-6766 or firstname.lastname@example.org). You won’t be disappointed.
Gulfstream V, Serial Number 614 Specifications & Photographs: http://jetsales.com/jets/2001-gulfstream-gv/
Gulfstream V, Serial Number 614 Video: https://vimeo.com/245948110
Gulfstream Vs entered service in 1997 and with their introduction the business jet industry was transformed forever. This long-range large body business jet was derived from the GIV and can fly up to Mach 0.885, up to 51,000 feet and over 6,000 nautical miles. In 2003 Gulfstream started producing the next generation of the GV, the Gulfstream G550 of which is still in production today 20 years after the GV started delivering to customers around the world.
Before I launch into this articles topic, I wanted to take a moment and comment on this year’s NBAA BACE in Las Vegas. Aside from Vegas being a great city for this event, including weather, restaurants, static display venue and hotel accommodations, we must remember it is no better than the people. Mix in great industry participants with an amazing convention development strategy and execution made in great part through the leadership of NBAA and you have another very successful event. Congratulations to all who lead this event and participated at every level. Bravo!!
I had a chance to talk to many industry leaders during the event. In many cases, and often unsolicited, a common theme kept coming up, the ethics of our industry. Of course, every conversation included the “how’s business” question and often that ended up in the same place. Never worked so hard, earned less per deal. But the deals were happening and the majority of people I spoke to endorsed the North American activity and were excited to see a steady growth in transactions. The conversations however, kept coming back to ethics.
So, why now? Maybe it goes back to the other side of the conversation, never worked so hard and earned less per deal. Maybe there is a glass ceiling or tipping point that we as an industry are coming up to. Maybe there is an underlying feeling that it may be time to create an industry theme and work in sync to instill some barriers to entry as well as methods to identify and police violations to usual and customary best practices. The vast majority of our industry participants use best practices without mandates or written Codes of Ethics. It is just the way most people conduct their life as well as their business. After all, written Codes of Ethics are meaningless, unless actually followed and adhered to. You might say without adherence they are not worth the paper they are written on!
What are areas of concern that most people who were having these discussions focused on? Pretty much universally it was transparency. How does a lack of transparency affect a transaction? Financial parts of the transactions can be masked thereby creating opportunities that are not disclosed to benefit someone in the transaction. One can see this in back-to-back transactions and accepting or paying finders fees or referral fees that are not disclosed. These can be small remunerations or large out of balance payments.
The discussions during my visit to BACE leaned towards trying to develop sweeping industry best practices. By the way, this is not just about the brokerage or consulting side of the aircraft transaction. These discussions also included every other facet of the industry including maintenance, management, fueling and equipment sales that were experiencing violations of best practices.
As I said, maybe like never before are the players in our industry tired of feeling as if they have never worked harder for less. They feel as if the reason for the less is due to the feeling that buyers and sellers of all the areas of our industry are feeling they are getting less value from the service providers and so they want to pay less for the service. They may feel that due to hidden fees and remunerations they are not comfortable paying higher or more reasonable fees. They cannot put their finger on exactly why, but it may be a general feeling of distrust due to hearing stories of improprieties as well as possibly having actually experienced them.
Why not before? Simple. Often it takes that boiling point or tipping point to collectively reach an end of wit’s feeling. I found it so interesting that as an industry we may have hit that wall together. Best practices are a wonderful thing. In fact, one does not have to shout it and say, “look over here we adhere to best practices!” Reputations always proceed the act. Typically, people who do it right don’t do it by accident, they do it because it is their way of life. People that do not adhere to best practices or lack of transparency also do not act that way by accident. It almost seems as if they don’t know how to do it right and would mess up time after time as if it is their way of life.
This will be very interesting to see if this discussion dies on the vine or really gets traction. It would be a welcome change for everyone that wants to play on a level field.
We are proud to exclusively represent for immediate sale Bombardier Challenger 300, Serial Number 20007, Registration Number XA-UXW. This is a good pedigree, well-equipped beautiful airplane that has always been very well maintained. The owner has replaced it with a longer-range aircraft to accomplish an evolving mission profile which is what is driving this sale. The engines on this Challenger 300 are enrolled on the Honeywell MSP Gold program and APU is enrolled on the Honeywell MSP program, the avionics have been upgraded to the version 6.0 software and the interior is configured with capacity for ten passengers with a forward four-place club arrangement, a three-place divan opposite two club seats and a belted lav seat .
Bombardier started developing the Challenger 300 in 1999 as a “clean-sheet design” and they delivered the first customer aircraft in 2003. The Challenger 300 has been a very successful product for Bombardier and today there are over 450 Challenger 300s flying around the world. We have helped clients buy and sell many Challenger 300s over the last several years and it continues to prove to be an aircraft type in high demand by private individuals and companies alike as well as both first-time and seasoned aircraft buyers.
Our client understands the competitive market and they are ready to be competitive sellers within it. View detailed specifications, lots of photographs and a video on our website at http://jetsales.com/jets/2004-challenger-300-sn-20007/ and call us today to learn more. We look forward to speaking with you.
We are proud to exclusively represent for immediate sale a one owner Cessna service center maintained Citation X S/N 243, Registration Number N373AB. This is truly the best value Citation X available for sale in the world. It has winglets, the full five tube Primus Elite cockpit retrofit with XM Graphical Weather, an extensively refurbished interior that looks and smells like new with almost every cabin surface touched by Cessna Wichita in 2017, SwiftBroadband internet with Wi-Fi, fresh inspections and more and it is priced under $6,000,000 USD. Additionally, it has low total time with roughly 3,800 hours, the engines are enrolled on Rolls-Royce Corporate Care, the APU is enrolled on MSP Gold and the airframe is enrolled on the Textron ProParts and ProTech Labor programs.
Citation Xs first entered into service in 1996. They are one of the fastest business jets in the world rivaled only by the Gulfstream G650. Over the years the X set several speed records and in 1997 the Citation X design team was awarded the National Aeronautic Association’s Robert J. Collier Trophy. The Citation X has long been a staple of many fractional ownership program fleets and corporate and personal flight department fleets proving their reliability. Citation Xs are still in production today (now the Citation+) and there are now approximately 340 Citation X and X+ aircraft in service worldwide. Cessna also has a vast service and support network supporting their fleet of Citations around the world.
Now with the options to add the Elliptical Winglet upgrade and the Honeywell Primus Elite 875 cockpit retrofit one of the world’s fastest best business jets is even better than before. Learn more about both of these incredible enhancements using the links below.
Honeywell Primus Elite 875 Cockpit Retrofit – http://d31hzlhk6di2h5.cloudfront.net/20170814/07/25/76/3e/43de321b1ea84dc943b618b9/2014-01_o_Primus_Elite_DU875_CitationX_SB.pdf
The Citation X is an incredible choice for domestic and international missions. Call us today to learn more about this great aircraft at +1-303-444-6766 or view detailed specifications, lots of photographs and a video on our website at http://jetsales.com/jets/2005-citation-x-sn243/. We look forward to speaking with you.
There are multiple private and public industry events taking place this month and next. Many of the airframe manufacturers and fractional companies are gathering small select industry participants to discuss our current market as it pertains to their specific positioning as well as broader discussions about trends and projections. We are always honored to be invited to these group discussions and always leave with a greater sense of worth and understanding about our great industry. On the more public side of events, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), recently hosted their Regional Forum in Morristown, NJ, and NBAA-BACE takes place in Las Vegas next month.
All of these events allow for a gathering of large and small operations to collaborate, consolidate and deliberate the markets and influencing events. No doubt the continuing topics will touch on market strengths, pre-owned pricing and availability of aircraft, new versus pre-owned sales statistics, as well as new product roll outs and introductions. Some of the discussions fall on historical knowledge, some rely on predicting trends and some just fall into the gut check area.
As I am writing this article a quick glance at the Dow Jones for today show the markets up 260 points due to a collective sigh of relief for the minimal apparent loss of life from Irma. I only bring this up to demonstrate the fragility of the financial markets domestically and internationally. Just last week the markets were struggling for days over the provocative statements being hurled around by the US and N. Korea. As I read the different blogs that appear daily regarding financial markets as well as specific trend prognostications about our industry I see a theme occurring regarding what is looking in some circles as a lessening of the residual loss rates of aircraft in some categories. Also, along with that sentiment is the discussion of the differentiation between the cost of the new offerings from manufacturers and the opportunities afforded in the like-new aircraft. The theme is twofold. First, is it sustainable and second, is it real? Funny how time changes things. Go back down memory lane with me to 2007, and remember that not only did the value of young aircraft not go down against the price of a new ones, in many cases they actually could have been the same price.
And what about the discussion of supply and demand? It is said that there may be a percent of available aircraft by category that equals as much as 10-15%, but then the conversation goes on to say that once you parse the list of available aircraft down to the select few that are registered in the United States, have great pedigree, no damage history and the most popular configuration, you may only be left with a very few aircraft rather than 10-15% of the fleet in that segment. This may be true, however the distraction that can be made by the noise that we hear and see daily with eblasts like “Huge Price Reduction” or “Next to Sell” or “Owner Wants It to Be Sold Today” can be very seductive for what the untrained eye may make one feel about a deal as they approach a market segment. This distraction can cause you to miss the real deal by taking precious time away from the right opportunity.
If there is one take away from all this it is the reality of the tenuous nature of the market we are all in. Deals are taking longer to close. Still not totally sure there is any one reason for this phenomenon but it adds to the stress of each transaction. The saying “time kills deals” has never been as true as it is today. Given the volatility of our world and the added time of the transaction the collective sigh of relief that is heard when a deal closes is remarkable. Hurricanes, debt ceilings, dictators and unstable geopolitical environments are all contributing to a shaky recovery that could take two steps back rather than one step forward at every sunrise.
So why say circle the wagons? It seems like in old westerns the circling of the wagons provided a barrier from the enemy. I’m not always sure who the enemy is in our case, but providing a barrier never hurts. It also gives us a chance to talk amongst ourselves to discuss the ideas and share the thoughts that can help build a strong front for our future. I look forward to seeing you all next month in Las Vegas. It is always joyous to gather and enjoy each other’s company. This year is shaping up to be a record year for attendance and an amazing opportunity for understanding shared product introductions and new service offerings. If you have not already made plans to attend NBAA-BACE it is not too late. Go online to NBAA.org today and register. I have seen the list of educational and informational programing and it is exceptional.
Also, please make plans to attend the Corporate Angel Network event on Wednesday night. This event is perhaps the best networking event at the convention. Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Wynn Hotel Las Vegas – Lafite Ballroom. See you there!
Every once in a while, a song title or lyrics can be used to perfectly describe totally unrelated current events. Now, if you can break away from humming this Fleetwood Mac song, let’s move on to the topic. Is the market changing? Is it raining now and creating this discussion “thunder” or is change not really happening?
There are a few categories of planes, that upon closer inspection and culling of the available aircraft, are much less supply rich than they appear to be at first glance. So, take any list of the total aircraft and pare it down based on the criteria that either your client has for you or just general usual and customary criteria such as pedigree, equipment, total time, damage history, configuration and registration history. Now once you have created your internal checklist of items required to meet your clients mandate is there an aircraft that actually checks all of the boxes? Is there an aircraft that checks most of the boxes? Are the unchecked boxes criteria that can be checked with additional investment or are some unchecked boxes those that cannot ever be checked due to the specific criteria? For instance, you cannot buy your way out of damage history or history of corrosion and repairs. You will never be able to turn the hands of time back to make an otherwise great plane with just too much time fit your mandate. But what do you do with an aircraft that does check all the boxes? Is that a plane that perhaps you might be willing to pay slightly more for based on the aggregate of the offering?
My short answer to buyers is, yes, if you can get the mandate boxes checked with twenty-five or fifty cent dollars rather than having to buy the plane that has most boxes checked, but then spend one hundred cent dollars, do it. Why pay more for less when you can get what is no doubt a better buy with smart calculations made on a willingness to pay slightly more for the better plane? I do not think that residual loss, even quarter over quarter, is over. I am just saying that approaching markets with an attitude that there is so much inventory that every plane is a steal may be misleading. I always tell my clients that our goal is not to buy a cheap plane cheap, but rather to find and buy a great plane at the best price. This “Best Price” discussion means some consideration for benefits and value.
Back to the original question. Is the market changing? Again, the short answer is, yes. Is it shifting dramatically? The even shorter answer is, no! Prices are still trending down in almost every category. In a few, the residual loss rate may be slowing, but prices are not going up. In fact, let’s not forget that these pieces of equipment are just that, they are not investments like real estate or stock shares. These pieces of equipment get older, they suffer with time and they are impacted by use. What may be changing is the perception of the market. The perception cannot continue to be that markets are supply rich. The perception needs to shift to be that markets are still around 10% of fleet supply, however as I mentioned above, they are not all good and qualified to meet your clients’ mandates.
The transactions that are taking place are still predominantly in North America which means that much of the available inventory that is not US based is harder to contract and costlier to purchase. This continues to shift the focus on the available aircraft based here in North America. Don’t get me wrong, there are not inherent problems with aircraft based out of the US, however there are regions of the world who’s regulatory recording bodies do not track liens or identify owners and just focus on operators. These nuances create a more problematic and even risky situation to know with certainty that there are no liens lurking in the shadows.
Another significant development that is taking place now with respect to process and timing of a sale is that the service centers are slammed. It now may take as long as 30 days to get a slot for a pre-buy. Once in a facility, since there seems to be a lot of over promising with respect to labor availability, the inspection is also taking longer. One thing we all know is time kills deals! This is also holding true with modification timelines. What took three weeks can now take five weeks. Therefore, good planning and setting the right client expectations, are critical.
So, is that a sonic boom or is that thunder and is it really raining?
We are proud to represent for immediate sale a 2016 model VIP configured Airbus Helicopters H145 (formerly known as the EC145 T2). This helicopter has a beautiful 8 passenger custom interior specifically utilizing lighter weight materials and extra soundproofing and it is also loaded with options to make it a perfect helicopter for personal or business use and yacht landings.
Some of the highlights include: Helionix with dual pilot IFR Garmin GTN 750 avionics, NVG (night vision) compatibility, emergency floats, lashing points, Bose headsets at every seat powered directly by the helicopter and several USB ports to power devices such as phones and iPads. The owner has also created a unique beneficial larger aft cargo bay through some customization of the carpet, freeing the seat tracks to allow the aft seats to move forward creating more storage. There is no other like-new, turn-key, U.S. based and registered VIP H145 helicopter available for sale; and with an asking price of $8,630,000 it is a great value.
The owner is a passionate aviator with other fixed wing and rotor aircraft. This is being sold because of a changed mission profile. We have bought and sold several aircraft for this client. They spare no expense on maintenance, they understand and expect common and customary terms in pre-owned aircraft transactions and they are a pleasure to engage with.
The Airbus Helicopters H145 twin helicopter is the current production evolved version of the original EC145 and it offers more power, less noise and great style. The differences between the H145 and its predecessor are significant. The H145 has the new Helionix state-of-the-art glass panel avionics suite and Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines rated at 894 shaft horsepower each delivering 21% more takeoff power than the original EC145 engines. It is faster, it can carry more weight, it can climb higher quicker and it posts dramatically better hover numbers than the original version. The H145 also has a longer composite tail boom attached to a shrouded tail rotor or Fenestron increasing safety and decreasing noise. And among other benefits, the H145 incorporates FADEC controls increasing efficiency and safety and decreasing pilot workload.
This is a great modern option for anyone looking for a personal or business use helicopter. We are excited to represent this like-new option for sale. Call us today to learn more, +1-303-444-6766 and find detailed specifications and lots of photographs on our website at http://jetsales.com/jets/2016-airbus-helicopters-h145-sn-20077/.