In the early days of Aviation Partners in the 1990s, we developed and sold Winglets for just a single aircraft type – the venerable Gulfstream II. The increased performance and more modern aesthetic led to rapid acceptance within the G-II community. Our Founder Joe Clark used to say, “it’s like getting a brand-new airplane at a fraction of the price.”
Others took notice of Aviation Partners’ Blended Winglets. The respected Aircraft Bluebook mentioned our product in its “add for” list as an upgrade that provided significant added value at resale. As our business expanded and G-IIs with retrofit Blended Winglets became a more common sight on FBO ramps, the desirability and value of our product at resale led to a major change. G-II buyers began to view the presence of Winglets as the de facto standard. Aircraft equipped without them received lesser offers, implying the lack of Winglets represented a “subtract for,” as the buyer would need to purchase and install Winglets after closing.
Aviation Partners has gone well beyond G-IIs since that time. We now offer Blended Winglet retrofits for all Falcon 2000, 900 and 50 series airplanes, and the Hawker 800/800XP family. What hasn’t changed is aircraft purchasers’ desire to have Aviation Partners’ Winglets on their newly acquired airplane.
Of course, the best option for a buyer is to find an airplane with Winglets already installed, which is frequently available given the significant market penetration on the available aircraft types. Sellers who have invested in Winglets see performance benefits immediately, and again when it’s time to resell the aircraft.
Winglet-equipped aircraft will typically sell for a higher price and spend less days on market, than otherwise comparable airplanes without them. Jeff Habib, Co-Founding Partner of Intercontinental Aircraft Group, told us “When we have a mandate to acquire a Falcon 2000 or 900 series airplane, clients almost always want an airplane that has Winglets. That is not only a testament to the caliber of the company, but also to its products’ performance-enhancing qualities.”
Jeremy Cox, Senior Certified Appraiser and Owner of Jet Values-Jeremy LLC, confirmed that winglets positively boost value, not just with a higher resale price: “Installing Winglets remedy a large portion of the depreciation of one’s aircraft, by increasing its utility and value. It also cuts down on marketing time and cost of debt during reselling because the aircraft is much more attractive to buyers.”
Despite these financial benefits for sellers, there are still many aircraft on the market without Winglets at the time of the sale. If a purchaser is only able to find candidate aircraft without Winglets, it represents an excellent time to upgrade for the life of the airplane. Change of ownership is when 50% of Winglet upgrade modifications occur, and it’s a convenient time to do so.
We have worked with many clients directly, and frequently with brokers on behalf of clients in this regard. Based on resale market expectations we expect to work with many more. A purchaser should engage Aviation Partners early in the purchase process to ensure Winglets will be available immediately after the acquisition closes. Winglet installation scheduling can begin when the LOI is accepted, or early in the pre-purchase inspection process, for work immediately closing. Pat Hosmann, Jr., Managing Partner of IADA-accredited dealer Southern Cross, has been through this several times, noting, “When we have an acquisition client looking to add Winglets, we contact Aviation Partners immediately to ensure a kit will be available post-closing. As an IADA Products & Services member, Aviation Partners understands the dynamics and timelines involved in aircraft transactions, and clients’ desires to have Winglets on before their new airplane enters service. They always come through.”
Aviation Partners has an extensive network of MRO partners serving as authorized installers – all are experienced in pre-purchase inspections. But given the market’s current scheduling needs of a variety of services from busy MROs, it is essential to plan out the Winglet installations with as much lead time as possible. Clients (or their brokers) desirous of a Winglet installation post-acquisition should ensure that this is communicated when scheduled the PPI.
For more information on adding Winglets when you acquire an airplane, or to find out other opportune times to make this crucial modification, visit AviationPartners.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.