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Business Air News Bulletin
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PIA smooths path to aircraft ownership
PIA recently completed two co-owner matches for a Challenger 3500 and a Praetor 600. Most clients choose pre-owned, but they are seeing an uptick in customers for new aircraft.
PIA president Mark Molloy.
Read this story in our January 2024 printed issue.

Partners in Aviation (PIA), a US company that matches two owners to share one aircraft, allowed two recent customers to skip the current two year waiting list involved in ordering a new aircraft. PIA president Mark Molloy says the company recently completed two new co-owner matches for a Bombardier Challenger 3500 and an Embraer Praetor 600.

"We have owners across the country interested in bringing on a co-owner to share their aircraft and split the cost," says Molloy. "The PIA Managed Co-Ownership programme allows non-owner candidates to skip the waiting process and get into a new or used aircraft immediately. Because our clients typically fly 100 hours per year, both owners can fly all their trips, at half the cost."

Bruce Bonafiglia, a former Challenger 350 owner based in New York, now co-owns a new Challenger 3500 through PIA.

He says: "The entire process with PIA couldn't have been more satisfying from my end. The programme made sense based on our limited usage, and PIA introduced me to a wonderful co-owner. I've owned several aircraft and appreciate the value-proposition of splitting the capital and operating costs."

Simon Elliott, a Florida resident and long-time aircraft owner, was not considering co-ownership when he first ordered his 2023 Praetor 600 two years ago: "My industry advisor introduced me to PIA and suggested its programme might interest me. Initially, I was reluctant, but its legal team and structure made me comfortable with the model, and I liked the math. I could choose my pilots and manager, which was crucial to me, and the co-owner they introduced me to is a great fit. I now have the aircraft I ordered at half the original cost."

PIA Managed Co-Ownership, founded in 2016, matches co-owner candidates in the same region and provides the legal construct that allows two owners to securely share one aircraft. The programme appeals to users flying 50-150 hours per year who prefer ownership to membership, and satisfies the stringent requirements of the FAA and the IRS. Customers can enter the programme as current owners looking to sell half of their aircraft or as non-owners seeking a 50 per cent interest in their chosen aircraft.

"It took several years for our client base to reach scale, but we now have matches flying coast-to-coast and vetted co-owner candidates ready to be matched in every region of the country," says Molloy. "Most of our clients choose pre-owned, but we are seeing an uptick in new aircraft customers due partly to the OEMs' two-year backlog."

The majority of PIA clients come from membership and jet-card programmes. "They are ready to move beyond their current membership programme but aren't flying enough to justify whole ownership," he continues. "The economics of co-ownership just makes sense to them."

PIA has co-ownership opportunities in every turbine category, from turboprop and light jets to mid, super mid and heavy jets, and works with all major OEMs.

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