Blog - Mesinger Jet Sales

Mesinger Pulse: Are Preowned Biz Aircraft Prices Going Up?

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 7/2/21

In every “room” either wedged in the corner, hiding in an adjacent closet, or perhaps under the rug there is an elephant. In our collective industry, our elephant centers on the pricing of aircraft. As I spend more and more time on industry webinars and podcasts this elephant is always sharing the space. These opportunities to get together with hundreds of my fellow sales professionals, and other segment industry leaders, is perhaps one of the best-ever methods of sharing and learning how to address it.

Are prices of pre-owned aircraft going up? Is the scarcity of available inventory causing price hikes? Does the pre-owned market follow suit with other inflationary products that in many cases have been spurred on by supply chain issues?

Here are a couple of quick facts that often lead the reasoning behind the discussion. The overall number of aircraft for sale in the pre-owned global market space is 6.6% of the available fleet. That is reported to be the lowest availability in 25 years. Next, in the first 4 months of 2021 there have been 864 pre-owned transactions, up 36% over 2020.

I see many of you nodding your head and saying I told you so. The facts don’t lie. Prices must be going up based on just those two facts. A couple of counters to those statistics, 6.6% is still not a bad percentage of choices, even though a bit lower than you might like. And having an increase of 36% over the same period last year is a bit misleading since the first 4 months of 2020 had us all grappling with the early pandemic when most deals were unwinding rather than going together.

Some markets do have fewer good choices, so when a buyer finds that unique plane that just perfectly fits their needs, they may be compelled to pay the asking price or very close to that. I would be very careful as a seller to say, “oh that was too easy, let’s get a bidding war going and get even more.” May I remind you that sometimes the first offer is the best offer, and yes, sometimes that happens even on day one of a listing. The rules of smart engagement have not changed even in today’s market. If you can find a buyer who can really perform and you can identify their qualifications, engage! I promise not all buyers are built alike and not all can really finish as promised. Look for the buyers to have qualified representation, good legal counsel, and acts on each step as directed by the LOI, including a timely placement of the deposit into the title company. Do not lose precious time with a non-performing buyer.

So, the takeaway from this article is as follows. Do not go with the idea that prices are rising and maybe this is not the best time to buy. We as an industry do not want to create a fence sitting clientele. We also do not want to lead our clients into a seller’s market where they will be forced to overpay. That will only happen to those buyers who are being led into this market by people who are more concerned with making the sale than having the shared patience to find the right plane and the right price for their clients. Understand that patience is a virtue and you must be prepared to wait while your trusted sales professional works their market magic to find the best plane. On the other hand, be prepared to act immediately when the right plane comes along. It may be day 90 or it just might be day 2. Get all your tax planning and partner arrangements in place before you start the hunt. One thing that has changed during this pandemic is that the image of our industry has continued to be strong and in fact might even be better. That is huge for us all as we work every day to build our businesses.

Mesinger Pulse: It Is Too Complex To Go It Alone

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 6/4/21

Nothing replaces good representation in an aircraft transaction, including trying to go it alone. It seems that I hear from buyers and sellers in waves contemplating or recovering from just such a decision. We are going through that wave again right now. It is that wave that says, “I got involved with a transaction that I should have trusted my gut about.” This is a familiar mantra from both buyers and sellers who did not do the proper vetting of a sales professional before they signed on the dotted line to hire them to help with either an acquisition or sale.

What also seems to run in waves are the group of buyers and sellers who try and avoid a commission by relying on themselves to complete a transaction. There are so many nuances that ride just below the surface of a sale or acquisition that are unknown to the novice, including a deep historical and mechanical understanding of the aircraft being considered for purchase. A good broker will do proper due diligence before ever spending your money on a purchase agreement or a pre-purchase inspection; also making sure your specifications are accurate on the sale side to avoid renegotiations and costly mistakes regarding equipment advertised to be on the plane that may actually not be installed.

Today, after the 4th quarter of 2020, and the continued strong activity in many aircraft markets and segments, and inventory levels diminished, sellers can be lulled into thinking all they have to do is answer the phone, get a bidding war going and sell their plane, easy peezy.

I always say if it were that easy everyone would be doing it. Believe me, it is very complicated to enter into and complete a transaction on an aircraft. We have an internal check list at our company with over 100 separate and critical steps to complete either a purchase or sale. As much as I keep looking for that magic wand, it does not exist.

Why on earth would anyone think making magic is easy? Forget the actual aircraft and the complexities that follow that path, how about the complexity of the myriad of personalities involved in a transaction. Brokers, lawyers, maintenance personnel, company management of the buyer and the seller. The list goes on and on and if everyone is not working in concert, not only do you not make magic, you don’t make music.

I have always said we are not in the airplane business we are in the people business, people selling and buying aircraft to and from people. So, as we work to come out of this pandemic and get ourselves and our industry back out and about, let’s all remember we are in the buying and selling game together. If we fail at this juncture, we will fail to make the most of our industry right now. Buyers and sellers will get frustrated and begin to think the problem is the industry itself. I assure you the value proposition that is so valuable to us all by being able to fly to our clients, get out ahead of our competition, safely and efficiently will bear the brunt of the frustration. We must help those buyers and sellers who want a transparent and honest transaction to achieve it.

Just the awareness of the need for professional assistance is not enough. It is the actual putting into practice the principles laid out in this article. This is such an exciting time for us all on many fronts. See you on the playing field.

Mesinger Pulse: New vs. Pre-Owned Gap Narrows for BizJet Buyers

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 5/7/21

At our company we are starting to see a very positive gap narrowing between the contemplation of buying pre-owned aircraft or buying new.  It has been over a decade now since the great recession, and many buyers have developed a very clear picture of the value of buying pre-owned over new in this period. This by the way is not to say that the OEM’s have not been having great sales years. They have. This is to say that now the delineation between new and pre-owned is shrinking and I think it can be traced back to several factors. One being that the opportunity to buy really good, late model, pre-owned aircraft is harder to accomplish, and the price between the two choices is narrowing. Take the Gulfstream 550 which is a very popular aircraft with high demand and low supply. In the last few years there has been a smaller number of 550’s produced, and those have been reduced even more by the special purpose designation builds, which have been a sizable percentage of new ones. This leaves very little choice at the top. This alone can drive a buyer to consider new as well as pre-owned.

This is very exciting for the manufacturers. Of course, it can be intoxicating for the manufacturers to consider ramping up production. Good news though, the manufacturers are both very smart and have great memories. They understand what can happen by getting out ahead of your skis with production and then having hiccups in the market that result in an oversupply of inventory.

Now let’s talk about the industry sales professionals like us, serving our buyer clients correctly so as to be able to properly support them when buying new. We are often in the background with our clients as they consider the new product. No different than the choice of buying pre-owned, there is the proper choice of which manufacturer to choose, as well as which model to focus on. Mission fulfillment is typically the deciding factor. But once the new aircraft is chosen the integral pieces of the puzzle must come into play.

We must be a total advocate for the client. There is the negotiation of the purchase agreement which has its own set of nuances from a pre-owned contract. Then there is the process of spec’ing the aircraft. Some buyers will want a very specific interior configuration and options package, and will not be swayed, however sound advice on the future residual value of these decisions should be given as some decisions can have significant economic impact in the future pre-owned market. Having skilled support is critical in this process as well as the completion process to ensure that all the components play well together, including the seats, paint and avionics all being installed with the highest degree of fit, finish, and functionality. Our firm has helped many clients in this process, and I can assure you it is a value add to their bottom line.

One must choose their advocate carefully so as to be confident they have a clear responsibility in this project shoulder to shoulder with you. After all, this same advocate who helped you buy should be there with you when it comes time to resell in the pre-owned market. This advocate should be able to answer back to you throughout the purchase experience, ownership cycle, and finally at the closing table when you sell it sometime in the future. As I often say choose your partners wisely. Choose one with the skillsets needed for these complex decisions. And then let’s put on our sunscreen and bask in the sun with our OEM friends!

NBAA – Updated Forecast for Used Aircraft Sales in 2021

Below is a link to the NBAA podcast – An Updated Forecast for Used Aircraft Sales in 2021 from April 26, 2021

Host Rob Finfrock speaks with: Jay Mesinger, president and CEO of Mesinger Jet Sales; Dave Coleman, aircraft sales and acquisitions executive for Duncan Aviation; and Janine Iannarelli, founder and president of Par Avion Limited

Podcast: An Updated Forecast for Used Aircraft Sales in 2021

Mesinger Pulse: Airplanes Defy Gravity

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 4/9/21

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease. That is the first way that airplanes defy gravity, and no one can argue with that. The other more arguable ways are in the valuation of airplanes. There is of course the demand/supply calculation. In most commodities, prices can go up when demand outpaces supply. That is such an interesting and factual measure of change in value for most market driven items. Not so with airplanes. Perhaps it is the fact that airplanes are pieces of equipment that get older every day and get closer to the next inspection interval with every hour, cycle, and calendar day that passes.

Unlike classic cars and fine wine, aircraft do not increase in value based on older age. So, what does make an aircraft increase in value? Honestly, the only time I have seen that occur was between 2003 and 2008 when the emerging markets were exploding and there was just not enough supply of new or like-new aircraft to fulfill the appetite of these new markets. In those days it was not out of the realm of possibility for the price of a new plane or airplane position to have a premium of as much as 15% over retail. That would also apply to planes that may have been one or two years old. I might add, that as soon as the economic downturn occurred in 2008 and 2009, the price of planes lost between 50-70% of their value. One of the drivers for such a steep decline was the fact that people had paid full retail as well as that premium.

It is true that when supply exceeds demand the price of the aircraft can be driven down much more readily than the opposite effect of higher demand over supply driving prices up. Often what occurs in periods of lower inventory levels and picked over supply is that the residual loss rate will narrow but the idea of prices going up does not occur. In fact, even in the 4th quarter of 2020 when the market was in a frenzy driven by buyers wanting to capture the bonus depreciation and fulfilling the appetite of the first-time buyer, prices still went down sale over sale. Albeit at a slower rate.

Today, at the end of our first quarter of 2021, sales remain steady, but we are suffering a bit from picked over inventory from the 4th quarter. Our job then as sales professionals is a bit more challenging finding a diamond aircraft to transact. There are sellers today who believe this reduced inventory level should be driving prices up, especially in a few popular categories. I am seeing unusually high asking prices set as well as final sale price expectations rising. But I am also seeing even with the lower inventory levels these attempts to sway the market falling short of the seller’s expectations, resulting in longer days on the market, and discounts below the expected market price. If you are a buyer today be patient. I know you will be successful at finding that choice aircraft. I know you will not have to feel like you have gotten swooped up in a pricing frenzy. I believe 2021 will be a very balanced market year. I am hopeful that the corporate buying will return, and I am also confident that the corporate selling will result in some added inventory for us all to choose from. I am convinced that some corporate operators will resume a more normal operation this year as countries open. I am also convinced there will be some right sizing of fleet size compared to the fleet sizes of pre-pandemic. This should be a good year for operations, transaction levels, and pricing.

Mesinger Pulse: Could There Be New Faces Popping Up?

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 3/5/21

Every few years market events change, sometimes only slightly, and sometimes with greater velocity. When these events occur our industry often gets new players. I am speaking of a new crop of industry sales professionals hanging up shingles. I have often discussed how our segment of the industry, aircraft sales, can look sexy, lucrative, and easy from the outside. Believe me it is the hardest work any of us have done. It is a nice wage but hardly lucrative, and anything but sexy.

I believe that the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing some new faces to pop up. As I have written about before, the barrier to entry is fairly low for those people that want to cross over to brokerage. There are no licenses to qualify for; There are no state of federal tests to pass, or number of hours one must put in as an apprentice to qualify. Please do not mistake my comments as suggesting that all new faces will be unqualified or bad actors. This is, after all, not really an aircraft business it is a people business first. Like in any industry there will be a few bad apples.

My concerns as new people cross a very low bar to enter our profession are that they come in trying to attract business by quoting very low commissions, giving poor valuation information, and unqualified cost expectations. This combination of low-cost and high-value can attract clients for all the wrong reasons. I was on a webinar the other day and was a bit shocked hearing from some of the panelists who said they were already getting calls from recent first-time buyer clients that were talking about selling the planes they had just recently purchased. This can only mean a few things. The cost to operate the planes they had just purchased was possibly underestimated, and/or the complexity of aircraft ownership was not properly explained.

The outcome for these people will be terrible when they realize that not only will the cost to operate be higher than expected, but the cost to get out will be significant. With such a short ownership life the value of the asset may have gone down 10 to 20% or more. Given the poor information regarding operational costs or complexity, the person helping these first-time buyers buy may have also been flawed in the, what to pay for the aircraft equation.

This exercise will cause many to declare that this industry may be plagued with bad actors. All of you reading this article know for sure that is not the case. Though there may be a few, the vast majority of players in our business are great people, working for the good of the clients they are serving and not just working for a sale and a quick commission. Are you one of the people who are questioning a recent purchase? Before making a knee jerk reaction, perhaps the smarter approach would be to find a seasoned, well versed industry player and be sure there are not better methods to manage the asset, as well as better cost opportunities. Aircraft can be everything you hoped they would be. They are safe, efficient and can bring real joy!

Mesinger Pulse: 2020 Was Only a Nine-month Year for Bizav

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 2/5/21

It’s hard to believe it has been a year already. Before last February, we had barely ever heard of coronavirus, much less Covid-19. Then the business aviation industry stood still from March through May, unsure of the effects.

There is nothing good about the pandemic, with lives lost and businesses disrupted or closed completely. Just think about the hospitality and restaurant industries—devastated.

But let’s take a look at business aircraft sales starting in June 2020. No less devastation from the pandemic, but our industry started to percolate. I have talked to many industry players, from lenders to attorneys to sales professionals like myself. We all began to feel, see, and do business at a pace that some had never seen or experienced, or for many an activity level that they had not felt in years. Bottom line, transaction-wise, 2020 was one of the best years in memory for aircraft sales.

When I hear that I remind them that the year, which seems unrivaled, was actually only a nine-month year. Imagine cramming all that business into nine months? Imagine if it were like that for a full 12 months? Could 2021 be that year? Could we find ourselves enjoying 12 months of that accelerated activity?

I think we could. As I look at the first month of 2021 at our company, we are being awarded new acquisition jobs, and getting more than usual opportunities to provide proposals to both buyers and sellers. We’re adding new inventory and fielding more calls than a typical January. As I know many of you know, January is often a reflective month for prospects and clients as they look inward at their own companies and build strategies for the new year.

Here are some things to watch for as we hope for a successful 2021. Phone activity is always a good barometer. If the phone is ringing, then opportunities can be created.

Corporate activity will also be interesting to watch. As I reported earlier, most corporate buying had retreated last year, in part due to optics, but in larger part due to domestic and international travel restrictions.

I’m happy to report that some of our 2021 new opportunities are coming from the corporate side of the world. They are back out in the market looking for preowned aircraft. This is a great thing.

In addition, continue to monitor the strength of the first-time buyer phenomenon. This segment really grew legs in the second half of 2020 and filled the void left from the corporate retreat.

Next, we should keep our eyes on inventory levels. We will need inventory to complete a successful year. I believe opportunities will arise as we witness what might be a slight culling of fleet sizes by corporate operators. I can already see some downsizing of fleets as those with four airplanes contemplate cutting down to three or some variation of that.

Some new lessons and habits that are being created by the travel restrictions of companies might stick. That may seem bad for our industry but remember, those downsizing do not throw the aircraft away—they just shift ownership. Since I believe that most new aircraft activity and sales will continue in North America, and more specifically in the U.S., the overall fleet size operating here will not go down. The pea may just be under a different shell.

So could the nine-month year now be increased to 12? My answer is yes! Hold on, keep your eyes and ears open for the tell-tale signs I mentioned above. Let’s get ready for a shot in the arm, getting back to a more normal world, and continued success in our industry.

Gulfstream G280, S/N 2026, N285DX – SOLD

This outstanding Gulfstream G280 S/N 2026 N285DX has been owned by one US company since new.  The owner is a long-time Gulfstream operator with multiple Gulfstream aircraft in their fleet. And, this G280 has been managed by the same great management company on their FAA Part 135 certificate since it was new.

Some of the highlights of G280 S/N 2026 include:

  • The engines and APU are enrolled on the Honeywell MSP Gold program
  • The Ten Passenger Hallmark interior with a forward cabin pocket door
  • A flight observer/attendant seat with the observer intercom panel
  • Gogo AVANCETM L5 4G High Speed Internet with Wi-Fi
  • Cabin High Definition Video System with Dual 19” Widescreen HD LCD Monitors
  • Collins Avionics Software V3.6, ADS-B Out, FANS 1/A+ CPDLC, WAAS/LPV & TCAS 7.1
  • Head Up Display (HUD II) 2020 System & Enhanced Vision System (EVS)
  • ICG ICS-220A Iridium Satcom System & Dual HF Comm System
  • Secondary Flight Data Recorder (FDR) System & Upgraded CVR RIPS

The Gulfstream G280 has been a successful product in the super-mid size aircraft category with many companies operating not just one, but fleets of G280s.  The G280 was designed under a completely new type-certificate from its predecessor the G200 and it has several interior and performance improvements.  Some of those improvements include increased interior cabin length, new engines, a new T-tail with larger horizontal and vertical stabilizers, wing anti-ice provided by engine bleed air, four additional cabin windows and access from the cabin to the baggage compartment.  Additionally, the G280 has a new larger wing design allowing the aircraft to climb directly to 43,000 feet and fly faster than its predecessor.  Per Gulfstream, the aircraft’s published maximum range is 3,600 nautical miles and it has a maximum mach speed of 0.85. The G280 is a very comfortable domestic and internationally capable aircraft.  I have personally flown across the country on a G280 with every seat full and a flight attendant and it was an extremely comfortable great experience.

Please call or email us to learn more about the opportunities we have available, +1-303-444-6766, sales@jetsales.com.  

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