With the current state of the preowned aircraft market and the increased interest in private jet travel, Part 145 facility JETS Bournemouth has appointed Duncan Aviation to locate at least six project aircraft.
The aircraft will ideally have overdue maintenance or need extensive cosmetic improvements. JETS will then bring them to a beautiful, modern and airworthy condition.
CEO Dan Rogers says: “We are in the business of fixing aircraft and with the increased demand of entry-level charter to our customers we see a real opportunity for a competent Part 145 organisation such as JETS to give these older, unloved aircraft a full refurbishment and new lease of life.”
Rogers and Tim Barber, UK aircraft sales and acquisitions consultant for Duncan Aviation, have worked together previously on a Hawker project in late 2021 where, on that occasion, Barber was working for the seller and JETS was able to act swiftly to secure the aircraft.
Barber adds: “I was impressed with the speed with which Dan and his team were able to respond. In the current market, that's absolutely paramount.”
In line with JETS extensive maintenance capabilities, the aircraft sought are Hawkers, early Challengers and Phenoms, although Learjets will also be considered.
The aircraft that was secured late in 2021 has been retained by JETS and put into operation with Gainjet in Ireland. Going forward, the first three acquisitions will be retained and placed into charter operations with JETS customers, but Rogers is keeping an open mind.
“As a maintenance organisation, we are acutely aware of the challenges faced by operators in managing the cost of keeping their aircraft flying, so we have come up with a unique solution," he says. "Once refurbished, these aircraft will be available to charter operators on a fully maintained basis, removing the common complaint of keeping an older aircraft flying and forecasting the cost of doing so. We believe there is real value for operators in having a reliable, cost-effective aircraft with the guarantee that the maintenance is all covered for one fixed price. On the back of strong demand for our existing Hawker, we have engaged the services of market leader Duncan Aviation to help us acquire aircraft to grow our fleet.”
“One of the things I enjoyed about working with JETS was the simplicity,” Barber says. “It reviewed the aircraft, made an offer, we negotiated a deal within a day or so, and then undertook the evaluation of the aircraft. A purchase agreement was in place over the weekend. On that occasion, I was retained by the seller. Moving forward, I am confident that JETS will be equally responsive with the aircraft we identify.”
Barber has recorded nine aircraft transactions in the last nine months, with a 10th likely to conclude within days. “My contact list casts a wide net,” he says, “so if we find an aircraft that JETS doesn't choose to pursue, I am certain I will be able to locate another buyer.”