Mesinger Pulse: Will 2H2023 Be a Bastion of Hope? - Mesinger Jet Sales

Mesinger Pulse: Will 2H2023 Be a Bastion of Hope?

Originally published as a blog for AINsight for Aviation International News on 6/2/23

As we came out of 2022 many of us took a deep breath and said hopefully the frenzy will be over and a dose of normalcy and balance will return. As we wrapped up the 1st quarter of 2023, and settled solidly into the 2nd, most of us would admit a slower start to the year, and our collective eyes are peering optimistically toward the rest of the year. If you remember, 2020 for many, was reported to be one of our best transactional years albeit one that was accomplished in just 6-9 months since the pandemic accounted for 3-6 months of recalibrating our sights to what this pandemic was going to mean for us.

We just participated in the Spring IADA meeting and heard the same optimism from all attendees. This could be a 2020 kind of year. Everyone expects a surge of good, balanced activity that will see us operating in an environment of higher supply for our clients to choose from. Prices have tempered down a bit and transactional processes are back to a place where due diligence is the key word in transactions. All that sounds great, doesn’t it? As the title suggests, are we a Bastian of Hope?

Hold on! We must all be very careful not to create a panacea yet. We have a very serious problem facing us all. Finally, we have sellers who are allowing us to get back to the right way to accomplish transactions by allowing pre-buys. So, what is the problem? After finally winning back these rights for due diligence, now pick up the phone and call to get a slot for the prebuy. Sure, you can find one, but maybe 2-3 months from now, or possibly even longer. This roadblock will totally impede our ability to get a plane transacted. There is no way we will allow a client to buy a plane without this critical step. We are even calling facilities in Europe to try to find nearer-term slots.

I am not one to just find problems and dump them on your doorstep. I am proud of how I always look for a solution for every problem, but this problem is out of my control. However, it may not be out of our collective control. We must work in tandem with the facilities and their upper management who can accomplish these critical inspections to see how we might be able to thread the critically needed needle. Is the problem labor or shop space? If it is true that transactions are incrementally down year-over-year then why now is this issue raising its head? We need support to overcome this damaging issue. The word Sorry is not enough.

We on the transactional side can only see the problem, we need to help be a part of the solution. Should the shops allow holding a slot starting earlier that would allow for a more liberal cancelation policy. Sure, this may mean more work for the shops to manage a move-up strategy for canceled slots, but we need help.

Here we are finally finding some sunlight and the dark clouds of pre-buys are gathering above us. I might suggest the shops create a method for us to have an internal round table or town hall. Sure, I understand that might be too difficult for us to put competing entities together so possibly it can be one OEM or independent facility at a time. I assure you we are not looking to put anyone on the defensive, but we are in trouble and need like never before to discuss this phenomenon and solve it somehow.

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