Melbourne, Florida-based business aircraft brokerage JetAviva is showing two for-sale airplanes and a third available for charter this week at its NBAA-BACE static display (AD_509). It is also answering clients’ questions “about where the preowned market is and where it’s headed for the remainder of this year and beyond,” said CEO Emily Deaton.
The three aircraft on display—a 2018 Beechcraft King Air 250, 2014 Cessna Citation Sovereign+, and 2019 Embraer Phenom 300E (for charter)—represent the range of light to midsize cabin aircraft the brokerage primarily handles. The good news for buyers of these or other preowned aircraft today: “For the first time in a couple of years, we’re starting to see a little bit of realism in asking prices,” Deaton said, noting a late-summer increase in inventory that has reduced upward pricing pressure.
“In some cases, we’re seeing price reductions in aircraft that were overly valued, and that’s really refreshing,” she said. But she doesn’t expect that to last.
“We are entering into the fourth quarter,” traditionally the most active quarter for business aircraft transaction activity, Deaton noted. “I think we’re going to clear out the increased inventory we’ve seen, and that’s going to keep values relatively high for the balance of the year.”
She advises shoppers to stay calm and realistic. “I don’t think we’re in a market that requires any reactionary behaviors,” Deaton said. “We prefer to keep cool heads as we move into the fourth quarter.”
Coming off a strong 2020, JetAviva set a new record in 2021 with more than 100 transactions. Citation Excels, Pilatus PC-24s, and Phenom 100s lead those sales, according to JetAviva.
“This year, we’re on pace to meet or exceed the number of transactions,” Deaton said. Concomitant with rising valuations, average revenue per transaction has risen “slightly,” she added.
Adding to the bottom line: though JetAviva doesn’t typically inventory or buy aircraft to hold for later sale, “this year presented some opportunities that were worth taking a risk on, and it paid off,” she said. “That’s had a positive impact on our revenues as well.”
New-to-ownership buyers represented 30 percent of customers last year, but year-to-date only about 10 percent are first-time buyers, she noted, “a more normalized, sort of pre-Covid number.”
Founded in 2006, JetAviva has specialized in the light and owner-flown end of the turbine business aircraft market, but with 40 percent of its business transacted with repeat customers, that niche has evolved along with clients’ needs.
“We really do enjoy serving our owner-flown clientele,” Deaton said. “We have a tremendous amount of experience in that market segment that enables us to really serve them. [But] our clients have continued to grow into the larger categories of aircraft, so about 20 to 25 percent of our business every year is in midsize or larger category aircraft.”
JetAviva this year joined the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), whose benefits, she said, include giving the company an opportunity to join group efforts to tackle industry problems. “Right now, we are working directly with the FAA to improve accessibility to [designated engineering representatives], a very real-time challenge that we’re facing in the industry,” said Deaton.
Meanwhile, in January the company will launch “a very exciting brand-refresh project” that’s been in the works for a year.
“It will be a different look and feel that will affect our digital and print, and our physical marketing at events,” said Deaton. She was selected as one of NBAA’s 2022 “Top 40 under 40” leaders in business aviation and was named CEO of the company in January.
“When you have the opportunity to take on a leadership role at a well-established and successful organization like JetAviva, I don’t think any broad-based change is necessary,” she said. Going forward, Deaton added, the company will focus on “preserving the great things about our brand” while cultivating “the culture of operational excellence that enables us to embrace opportunities.”
Deaton succeeds Tim White, who led the aircraft brokerage firm since 2016. White is taking the role of vice-chairman, working alongside company founder and executive chairman Cyrus Sigari.