Surveyors of used aircraft entered the year with little else to do but cross fingers and hope that the market plunge brought to the doorstep of the New Year would abate. Buyers slowly began to perceive value as prices fell 30 to 50 percent from their previous lofty perches. It seemed that the press–which had for several months filleted business jet ownership–had run out of negative things to say.
Through the end of the year, customers at participating Signature Flight Support and Executive Beechcraft FBOs in the U.S. will receive triple Avfuel Avtrip rewards points. The Top Off promotion, said vice president of sales Joe Gibney, “is aimed at encouraging customers to purchase more gallons, specifically by giving them an incentive to top off when their planned fuel order is close to their total fuel capacity.”
Customer service training provider ServiceElements has added a new capability: collecting and analyzing market data to help customers expand their businesses and prepare for the improving economy. Owen Robbins, vice president of survey research and performance metrics and a clinical psychologist, will head the new initiative.
Roaring Thunder Media (Booth No. 4016), a specialist in private jet terminal advertising signage, has partnered with Maguire Aviation at Van Nuys Airport in California.
Shell Aviation (Booth No. 3259) is offering a new customer loyalty rewards program for purchasers of Shell-branded aviation gasoline and jet fuel at participating Shell Aviation FBOs around the country. The new Shell AeroClass program allows individuals or organizations to earn points based on fuel purchases, which can be redeemed for MasterCard gift cards.
It goes without saying that the development of the Internet is one of the most significant achievements in history. The ability to mass communicate without geographic or time limitations allows even the smallest company to have international market potential at practically no cost. Yet while a company such as eBay, the online auction Web site, has capitalized on the Internet’s potential, aviation has yet to fully embrace it.
Used aircraft prices have gone parabolic since last year, first launching to lofty heights only to arc back down to earth. While the drop began just before last year’s NBAA Convention, at the show aircraft purveyors had that deer-in-the-headlights look as they shook their heads in disbelief as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,000 points during the three-day event, punctuating the beginning of a year-long correction in pricing.
StandardAero, well established in the airline engine MRO business, is refocusing its attention on the business aviation segment. While the company’s roots are intertwined with business aviation as far back as the early days of the Garrett (now Honeywell) TFE731 engine, StandardAero hasn’t done a lot of marketing to the business aviation community during the past few years.
The marketing hype surrounding very light jets (VLJs) has “largely subsided,” according to Brian Foley, president of business aviation consulting firm Brian Foley Associates, and the VLJ “has yet to prove that it’s anything more than a subcompact business jet.
The good news is that the bad news seems to have subsided for the time being and business aviation’s recent negative publicity served to make aircraft that much more affordable.