Dassault Falcon has decided to embark on what it calls a completely different approach to pricing in an effort to counter customer perceptions that spare parts cost too much. The new approach, called “Rightsized Pricing,” takes into account customer expectations of the worth of a particular part rather than basing the price strictly on manufacturing costs.
Summer is typically a time the pre-owned market experiences a seasonal bump in inventory, as buyers are out using their jets to get to their favorite summer destinations and aren’t necessarily thinking of buying. This year, however, has been somewhat uncharacteristic and today’s supply of used jets is just about where it was when the year began. The lack of any wild gyrations could be a welcome sign of stability.
Aircraft Sales and Parts is now available to anyone free of charge to search, request pricing and contact the advertiser directly. “If you are looking to buy or sell any type of aircraft or aviation product you have come to the right place,” CEO and co-founder Rob Taylor said. The service is subscription-based (rather than commission-based) for the seller, so any individual can make free inquiries and there’s no charge for sales. Users are allowed to list up to a million parts and/or aircraft from a single account.
Stratajet has unveiled a new web portal presenting aircraft charter availability and pricing in Europe. The UK-based company claims that new Stratafleet platform, which is due to go live August 1, will calculate charter quotes more efficiently and accurately than through existing systems.
Demand for charter flights appears to be climbing again, though charter hourly rates continue to be flat. Online charter portal Avinode says its April 1 demand index was 126.14–some 22 points higher than a year ago and about three points higher than last month.
At 98.1, though, the forward-looking price index for April was little changed from both last year and March 1. Charter pricing in the North American market dropped by two points from a year ago, while in Europe pricing solidified, rising about five points since April 2011.
Someone with more energy than I have is one day going to come up with a gauge that will accurately forecast the direction of aircraft sales just as the list of leading economic indicators predicts the future direction of the economy. Most of us in the industry seem to use our gut instincts to figure out where we are headed, but every day we get bankable hints. One of our sales directors mentioned to me the other day that exclusive aircraft listings are becoming harder to get, adding, “I think that’s probably a good thing.” He’s probably right.
The FAA spelled out how it intends to start charging for digital navigation charts at a December 13 meeting held by FAA Aeronautical Navigation Products (AeroNav).
Realistic pricing is keeping the flow of pre-owned business aircraft inventory moving. But it’s a fragile process, and in some segments progress is glacial.
The good news for buyers: bargains still abound.
While the pre-owned market has had to grind it out over the last couple of years to turn a deal, buyers have made a considerable dent in the number of choices since then, with 500 fewer aircraft available compared with the number of choices at the peak. As the industry heads into what is typically one of the most active periods of the year, the trend should continue.
Business aircraft sales firm Jetcraft is “seeing clear evidence” of a return to a more stable pricing environment for large-cabin, long-range business jets. “There has been a significant reduction in the gap between buyer and seller price expectations, due in part to the reduction of distressed assets that flooded the market in late 2008,” noted company co-owner Jahid Fazal-Karim.