Mallory Cantrell | August 31, 2021

Slim Inventory but Keep Calm and Carry On?

Slim Inventory but Keep Calm and Carry On?

Regardless of what anyone may have heard recently regarding the current inventory of the pre-owned aircraft markets, aircraft are continuing to trade hands. Inventory is at a multi-decade low and the average asking prices are ticking up as supply continues to tighten. The aircraft search, by unrepresented buyers, has become complicated and intense, often leading to a frustrating dead end. If there ever was a time to hire a dedicated aircraft broker to work on your behalf, that time is now. Buyers lacking professional representation are facing an uphill climb. The secret recipe to this market is knowing where to look and acquiring that knowledge before everyone else. Some may have purchased all their aircraft without broker representation in the past, but the current market is quite different. As we near the fourth quarter buying push and the possible end to favorable tax incentives, the successful buyers will be represented by a professional acquisition expert.

Two or three years ago, I wrote articles about “Hot” markets that had less than 5% of a particular fleet for sale. Back then, it was especially rare, almost unheard of, to see a market with less than 4% of the fleet for sale. Today, not one or two, but numerous popular aircraft fleets are reporting sub 2% of the fleet currently for sale. The craziest part is that we are only in August! Buckle up and put on a helmet as we close in on the fourth quarter.

The argument could be made that with little inventory left to buy, the fourth quarter could be all bark and no bite. However, in my experience, the individuals and corporations that own corporate aircraft rarely throw up their hands in defeat. The same tenacious attitude that leads to their success will push them to find other avenues for aircraft procurement. I expect my phone to be ringing off the hook with buyers in September and October. As always, I am forever available to any potential clients, but I expect that the bulk of my time and resources will be dedicated to my clients with an acquisition agreement. These clients will be the ones with the most to gain in this market and the greatest odds of success.

Some buyers plan to wait until things cool down a bit and inventory returns, and I completely understand. No one will fault this logic given the current frenzy that the pre-owned market is seeing. That said, it is prudent to mention that the current monetary and tax policy out of Washington will likely change in 2022. Whether this will hurt or help the pre-owned inventory numbers is anybody’s guess. Sitting on your hands and wishing for more planes to hit the market is definitely a strategy…but we all know the saying about which hand will fill up first. There is little to no risk for a buyer in hiring a broker to explore this market on their behalf. Worst case, a buyer is back to wishing for a different market with little penalty. Most likely, an aircraft that wasn’t even known to be for sale is the one that ends up on the buyer’s ramp. The desktop commando may know every public aircraft listing by heart, but still lacks the insider knowledge that a broker possesses. It’s not always a science, it’s a complicated tap dance of who you know and what resources you have access to. Success lies in the hands of those who want it. Buyers wanting to purchase an aircraft in this market, need to hire a broker to navigate this madness.


Ryan Linn – Vice President of Aircraft Sales

Those who know Ryan know his longtime passion for planes. As a matter of fact, Ryan soloed his first aircraft before receiving his driver’s license at age 16. Today, he holds multiple jet type ratings (LRJET, CL604 and B737) and is responsible for aircraft sales, brokerage, acquisitions, market analysis, data research and special projects. Ryan puts client needs first, always respecting time and understanding the importance of investments. Outside the world of aviation, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He also enjoys heading out to the golf course as often as possible. | (916) 753-4797

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