Sometimes it pays!
Elliott Aviation Aircraft Sales Manager
In our previous articles we talked about the technical side of our deals; now it is time for a discussion about the power of relationships. Dealer/Brokers thrive on repeat business from our core customer base. We all need new customers to keep our database alive but we must nurture relations with customers who have already used our services. As our client’s needs change, we need to be willing to adjust, stay intelligent and supportive.
I spent my first 16 years in the Aircraft Sales business with a full-service dealership. Our sales team represented a full line of new piston through turboprop products and enjoyed a large protected territory. We had the backing of an MRO division that grew to several OEM Authorized Service Centers. We were stocking dealer and did our own demos, deliveries and often customer training . This offering was ideal for many owners as they had local and complete support as they moved up the product line.
In the late 90’s I met an owner of a cabin-class single who was ready to move up and purchased a new twin turboprop. He would base with us and be a perfect customer… buying airplanes, hangar, fuel and maintenance. My company was happy with the deal and also happy to tell me that I would personally be doing the 200 hrs of transition training that the insurance company had decided to require. It was immediately obvious he was excellent pilot, fun to fly with and the mission was complete in four months.
The next two years went smoothly with his ownership experience and he was ready for the next logical transition to a light jet. He was a new airplane buyer and the OEM we were representing did not have a single pilot jet to offer. I painfully sat on the sideline while he bought a new airplane from the competition. We still had a fuel customer but had lost the sales and MRO business.
Interestingly, it became evident that the new jet service center being 200 miles away was very inconvenient, especially compared to the on-field service that he had become accustomed to with our product. My company was supportive of my idea to provide shuttle service to and from the competition’s facility, as needed. Yes, it was usually a piston airplane but it was a ride and he was very appreciative. This offer of support proved key, since after two years, our OEM had a single-pilot jet to offer and the customer was ready for an upgrade. We participated in the new delivery, got our local facility MRO Factory Authorization for the new jet and sold the trade!
The decision to think outside the box and offer the extra support with this client proved to be very worthwhile. He has provided countless referrals and has personally owned eight airplanes, bought two for his company and had us involved in 13 transactions. Without the decision to offer the support when he went with the completion it would have most likely ended with just the one sale. We have remained loyal to each other and that’s a win-win.
Jim Odenwaldt has extensive flying and technical experience with all Beechcraft products and sales expertise with all models of Hawker/Beech, Citation and Gulfstream. After graduating from Embry-Riddle in 1989, Jim worked as a CFI and maintenance technician. While with American Beechcraft Company, he was responsible for aircraft sales in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to his ATP, Jim is an A&P and type rated in the Beechcraft Premier.
Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).
On September 21, I dropped by the Grace on Wings Family Aviation Festival and Hog Roast at the Indianapolis International Airport. Coming from the south end of the airport (which is mostly under construction and fenced off), I begin to wonder if I was lost – soon there were signs that guided me in. I found a hangar full of life and activity!
Bidders gather for the final moments of the silent auction.
The star attraction of the day seemed to be the Silent Auction. Tables and tables full of items up for grabs! Most of the hangar was filled with patrons of the hog roast – picnic tables with pulled pork and all the trim. The can’t miss vendor table near the entrance was packed with figurines of all sizes carved from olive wood grown in Bethlehem. Plus bouncy castles for the kids in the background let you know this truly was for the whole family.
The festival was to raise funds for Grace on Wings, the nation’s only charity air ambulance service. I spoke with Hal Blank, CEO and Chief Pilot, about this festival; with a turnout of over 1,100 over the course of the day, he was very pleased. "We always pray to at least break even. We’ve been doing this for seven years, and this event was one of our best! We served over 600 meals (at $10/adult, $5/child), plus the silent auction was huge. We also gave 71 free flights to kids as part of EAA Young Eagles program. But the largest success is always getting the word out about ourselves and telling about the opportunities we've had to be able to help families in need. In fact, many of our patients were there to celebrate with us Saturday!"
This little piggie was pretty much decimated by the crowd!
Grace on Wings was inspired by the need of two young Indianapolis girls who suffered from a genetic bone disorder that required regular visits to a Baltimore specialist -- more than 11 hours away by car. With the support of charitable funding, they provide transport to patients who are needing to go long distances for important treatment throughout the United States. Their two air ambulances, "Nellie" and "Abe", two customized Mitsubishi MU-2B Turboprops, were on hand outside the hangar for all to see. Both are equipped with oxygen, oxygen saturation monitors, portable ventilator, cardiac monitors, baby pods, defibrillators and more.
Blank shared the stories behind each aircraft’s name. "Nellie is named after Nell Wood, a missionary nurse who travelled the world. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, and they funded the original $10,000 seed money for Grace on Wings to purchase the aircraft, so it was named in her honor."
"Nellie" sitting outside the hanger for all to see.
"When Nellie needed to undergo routine maintenance, we needed to purchase a second aircraft since she was going to unable to make runs during that time. We went to Farmer’s Bank (who financed the purchase of Nellie) for additional funds, and they stepped up for us again. Since the registration of this one was 777LP, we took the LP to mean the "Lord’s Promise", so Abraham was the obvious choice. Abe served five families while Nellie was down."
How a patient would be transported in "Abe" .
Blank also explained that with the two different models come different advantages. "Nellie is a J-model, which sits lower to the ground. So loading is easier – we can use a 400-pound loading system with her. Abe, the 36A-model, is the best choice for long distance flights.
For more information on Grace on Wings and the services they provide, plus how you can participate, check them out here
New business unit Jetcraft Asia to best serve clients by blending industry expertise with regional market knowledge
RALEIGH, NC, Feb. 28, 2012 – Jetcraft Corporation, a provider of business aircraft sales, acquisitions, trading and brokerage services, today announced the opening of a new office in Hong Kong, China, under the Jetcraft Asia banner.
“We believe that this is the right time to establish a permanent presence in Asia,” says Chad Anderson, President, Jetcraft Corporation. “While we have been active in the region for years, we have done so without a formal presence. Based on the projected growth of the Asian – and particularly the Chinese – market, we are now directly serving the region. By blending our proven approach to business aircraft sales with a team of Hong Kong-based industry professionals, we believe that Jetcraft Asia will offer buyers and sellers superior market intelligence and an in-depth understanding of regional business and regulatory issues. Speaking for the entire Jetcraft team, we are very excited about this latest step in our company’s growth and evolution,” adds Mr. Anderson.
“From our new office in Hong Kong, we will be able to best represent client interests in Asia,” continues Jahid Fazal-Karim, Co-Owner and Board Member, Jetcraft Corporation. “Traditionally, the Asian market has favored new business aircraft. However, we predict a growing market for pre-owned aircraft, particularly in China, within the next five years. Locally-registered aircraft are likely to remain in China since transferring registration in-country is generally simpler than importing and registering aircraft. Given Jetcraft’s commitment to offer comprehensive services in multiple markets with consistent quality, establishing a permanent presence in Asia was the next logical step for us. Jetcraft Asia will leverage regional market knowledge and our proven approach to remarketing aircraft in order to tailor solutions for our clients globally, both within the region and from elsewhere – whether selling into or buying from Asia,” concludes Mr. Fazal-Karim.
For more information or to contact the Jetcraft Asia team, please visit https://jetcraft.com/company/international-operations/
About Jetcraft Corporation
Jetcraft Corporation is an international leader in new and pre-owned business aircraft sales, acquisitions and trades. Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Jetcraft has sales offices/representation in five US cities; Basel and Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE, Moscow, Russia and Hong Kong, China. The company’s 50-year-plus track record in aircraft transactions has earned it a world class customer base and one of the strongest global networks in the industry. Jetcraft Avionics LLC, a subsidiary of Jetcraft Corporation, provides distribution of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) for aftermarket business and wide body aircraft using Elbit-Kollsman’s state-of-the-art EVS-II and AT-HUD. For more information, please visit www.jetcraft.com.
Cirrus reports growth despite uncertain economy
By Dan Namowitz of AOPA
Cirrus Aircraft reported increased production during the third quarter in an announcement that differentiated company performance from overall industry statistics showing a slowing rate of decline in aircraft deliveries
During the third quarter, Cirrus completed 68 new aircraft, seven more than during the third quarter of 2010, said Todd Simmons, vice president of sales and marketing. Although only 48 deliveries were reflected in the third-quarter industry report released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, "an additional 20 aircraft were completed in Duluth, Minn., and are currently in transit to the Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC) in Luoyang, China," Cirrus said in a news release.
Cirrus cited market-share statistics and strengthening revenue as highlights of the reporting period, pointing to a 37-percent share of the single-engine piston, tricycle-gear, certified aircraft sector versus 32 percent for its closest competitor (which according to GAMA figures appears to be Cessna), and a 77-percent share of the high-performance four-seat airplane market. Average revenue per aircraft increased 20 percent over the 2010 third quarter, Cirrus said.
Cirrus also noted nonfinancial milestones that occurred during the period.
The company delivered its tenth and final Limited Commemorative Edition SR22T, a model developed to recognize the anniversary of the first SR22 delivery in 2001. Another landmark event occurred at AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., in September, when Cirrus delivered its 5,000th SR-Series airplane—a production achievement the company heralded as "an astounding accomplishment in aviation" because it occurred in "just over a decade."
Simmons ventured a cautious outlook for the industry, but also optimistic, "especially when you add in the most generous tax incentives ever for U.S. customers."
"At the same time, we are still facing the challenge of a stubbornly slow recovery in the traditional North American and European general aviation markets, and currency fluctuations and economic uncertainty remain present in so many countries around the world," the company said.
On the research and development front, Cirrus reported steady progress on the Cirrus Vision SF50 personal jet program, noting that "exciting program announcements are just ahead."