Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 5/6/22
Do any of us ever have a chance to make a bold statement that NO one can argue with? Well, here is mine. These are such interesting times. Go ahead, just try to argue with that. Every day I come to my office thinking today will be the day that change occurs. So far that has not happened. From where I sit, I still see demand at all-time highs, I still see supply trickle in and prices remain at all-time highs. Yes, in certain areas of the market a few more planes are coming to market, however, this is not causing pressure on pricing.
All the reasons that should be in place for a change are in place including geopolitical events, interest rate hikes and on and on, but none of these market-changing events are changing the market. I am still seeing sellers limit drastically the allowed inspection protocols. I am still seeing sellers say well that was easy, maybe I should ask even more and give even less. I am still seeing buyers being willing to accept these prices and terms.
What may my new mantra be? I will just come to work each day and it will be what it will be. How can we possibly see interest rates go up more than has happened for a hike in the past 22 years and the stock market goes up 900 points? How do we possibly model that?
BTW, I am not really going to come to work each day and think well today it will just be what it will be. I am going to continue to advise my clients, both sellers and buyers, to act prudently. Act deliberately and keep putting themselves in the other’s shoes. Balance is what we must strive for, or I believe we will be setting ourselves up for a harder fall. I am not suggesting that a buyer should not pay a reasonably higher price and I am not suggesting that sellers should not price their plane commensurate with the current selling prices of like planes. I am suggesting that everyone should be very careful to not drive the other side to sit on the fence. We should keep the playing field safe and inviting for all to join in.
I still feel that though the prices are higher than in the past, the terms of a sale should be reasonable and allow for the due diligence that we all have enjoyed in transactions since the beginning of our industry.
I would also hope that the process of inviting offers could go back to an enjoyable time. It always amazes me when we make an offer on day one and it is for the asking price then the seller says well that was just day one, I think I will leave it out there. What is that message, don’t rush to put your best foot forward because that may seem too easy or quick, or risk waiting and missing the plane? Somehow the buyer gets penalized for being a good listener.
Balance is critical for a continued sustainable process. Balance cannot occur if both sides are not participating. Keeping balance will keep our market going forever, lack of balance will throw us all off. So, from where I sit, I see an opportunity for both sides to work to create and sustain the industry we all have enjoyed.