Navigating the Ups and Downs, Jetcraft Goes from Strength to Strength
Jetcraft has spent the last six decades carefully building a global company and creating strong foundations with its clients. As a result, the company has been able to withstand the downturns and maximize the upturns – and it has no plans of stopping.
With six decades of business under its belt, Jetcraft has successfully navigated the ups and downs of the industry.
So, it should come as no surprise that, when COVID-19 sent much of the industry into a tailspin, Jetcraft maintained a level head and kept doing exactly what it’s always done during tough times. “We strengthened our team, leveraged our global presence, found new ways to structure unique deals, and ensured that our customers always got the service they deserved,” says Jetcraft President Chad Anderson.
Clearly, the strategy worked, as the company just posted its biggest year to date.
“In less than two years we went from a situation where most aircraft transactions were put on pause to today, where there simply aren’t enough aircraft to meet demand,” adds Pascal Bachmann, Jetcraft Senior Vice President of Sales for EMEA. “It’s a good position to be in, but it’s also a challenging one.”
A Changing Who and What
But skyrocketing demand is just one of the many changes Jetcraft sees happening in the industry. Another big change is who’s doing the buying. “Since the pandemic, the true benefits of business aviation have been realised, particularly by new entrants who have had the means to fly privately but never previously had the inclination, and we have seen our industry thrive,” says Bachmann, who also notes that many of these new entrants are younger, under 50s.
It’s not only the who that is changing, it’s also the what. “In general, we’re seeing a trend towards younger, ultra-high-net-worth buyers who are especially interested in larger, long-range aircraft capable of transcontinental travel without the need for fuel stops,” adds Bachmann.
Jetcraft Sales Director Sean O’Leary says that traditionally, first-time buyers would start with smaller aircraft, such as a Cessna Citation or Embraer Phenom, and make upgrades every few years as their business aviation needs grew. “With the increased use of charter, fractional, and jet card programmes, we’re now seeing a lot of first-time buyers jump right into mid-size or large, long-range aircraft, as that is what they are used to chartering,” he says.
Throughout the pandemic, the company has seen many first-time buyers purchase pre-owned, well-priced midsize and long-range models such as the Dassault Falcon 2000S and 7XS, the Gulfstream G280S and G650S, and the Bombardier Challenger and Global series.
This trend towards bigger jets is particularly prevalent in the growing under 50 crowd. According to the company’s latest Market Forecast, 80% of aircraft purchased by Jetcraft buyers under 50 in the past five years have been large jets (carrying over 10 passengers).
“If you are a tech entrepreneur or CEO who has been successful at a young age, you're more likely to buy a large jet because it fits with your lifestyle and the global nature of your business,” notes Jetcraft Sales Director Fabrice Roger. “You may have a home in Italy and an office in California, so need a larger, long-range aircraft to make the non-stop journey between the two.”
An Expert in Every Market
The geography of the business also continues to change. While the North American market remains dominant, growth is being seen across the world, including in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa.
To better serve this increasingly global market, Jetcraft has further expanded its international network, which now counts more than 20 locations. “Having experts in every market around the world is a huge strength – and a key to our 60 years of success,” explains Roger.
It was also key to the company’s success over the last two years. With COVID bringing international travel to a screeching halt, Jetcraft leveraged its local teams on the ground – a move that enabled it to provide up-to-the-minute insight into regional markets. It also meant the company’s teams could always assess each business jet in person, understand its technical condition, and plan its movement.
As a result, in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the company was able to close multiple transactions in as little as 14 days. “Having experts on hand in the location made these transactions possible and removed the need for our team to cross international borders,” says Jetcraft Sales Director Massimo Burotti.
Throwback to 1962
New demand, new entrants, new interests, and new markets – one could say that it’s the start of a new era for business aviation. But, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
“Through all this growth and change, we continue to embody the small company mentality set out back in 1962,” says Anderson.
For Jetcraft, this means placing the customer front and center. Each sales representative has a personal relationship with each of their clients – a relationship that continues well-beyond the point of sale. “The most important aspect is for our clients to have full trust and confidence in Jetcraft from beginning to end,” adds Burotti. “We want our clients to rely on us so much that they can call ‘their guy’ at Jetcraft and know they will get the best deal.”
“By carefully building our global company and creating strong foundations with our clients, we have been able to withstand the downturns and maximise the upturns – and we have no plans of stopping,” concludes Bachmann.
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