By Vincent Wigmans

When you are in the market to purchase an aircraft, you probably have noticed the term “off market”. But what does this exactly mean? There are multiple definitions about an off-market aircraft, but in general we can say that an aircraft is off market, when it is not traded or marketed on the open market/channels. Aircraft owners, who like to sell their aircraft off market, can have multiple reasons for it. On some occasions it is caused by disappointing company results, public perception, while others have security reasons to keep it off market. Most of these off-market transactions are being conducted confidentially.

But how can a buyer find these off market aircraft? The easiest way is to set up an agreement with a trustworthy aircraft broker with a large network worldwide. Be very clear on your wishes and budget, so that the broker can search for your favorite aircraft. This can be done by using their worldwide network of aircraft brokers, but also by contacting aircraft owners of the aircraft the buyer is looking for. As many aircraft owners are also entrepreneurs, you would be amazed how many owners are open to sell their aircraft for the right price!

If an aircraft owner wants to sell an aircraft off market, you can use a similar strategy. Let the broker do a valuation on the aircraft and decide together on a possible asking price. Be also very clear that you don’t want to promote the aircraft on all worldwide sales platforms. The aircraft broker will therefore need to use his worldwide network of aircraft brokers and buyers to tell them about this off market aircraft. In any case, the aircraft broker must always be open and honest during the sales process about the aircraft he represents. 

If an aircraft owner wants to sell his/her aircraft off market, but don’t want to set up an agreement with an aircraft broker, there is a change that multiple brokers will compete over one aircraft. It happens that an aircraft owner contacts sometimes five, or even more, aircraft brokers with the request to sell the aircraft off market for the highest price. Due to a lack of commitment from the aircraft owner, these brokers will mostly not spend much money on visiting the aircraft, copying logbooks, making a professional photoshoot etc. Therefore, these aircraft will be promoted only in their own network, mostly with the same photos that the other brokers have as well, and without an aircraft registration! An aircraft owner is hoping that this strategy delivers the best price for the aircraft. These owners only forget that not many brokers are prepared to go for the extra mile. Next to this, the lack of transparency will be repaid in a lower sales price or even a cancellation of interest of a serious buyer.

When you ultimately find that needle in a haystack for a buyer, it gives a lot of fulfillments, especially when you receive reviews like this! 

“I was quite apprehensive as this was not only my first aircraft acquisition, but it was also a jet. FA Aircraft Sales/Vincent took me through each and every stage of the acquisition step by step, explaining everything to me so that I was completely comfortable at every point of the acquisition. They found me the exact aircraft that I was looking for to suit my mission, within budget, in a market where availability of aircraft was incredibly scarce. Through their wide network of contacts, they managed to source my highly sought after CE525 off-market which in itself was an extraordinary feat. From dealing with the escrow company, walking me through the entire pre-purchase inspection with their deep knowledge of aircraft maintenance, through to the final closing of the purchase, they were methodical and professional throughout. I cannot praise FA Aircraft Sales highly enough, and I would not hesitate to use them again for my next purchase. Their knowledge, network, honesty, professionalism and total “customer satisfaction” orientation made my purchasing experience both delightful and memorable. A great bunch of people who were a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend FA Aircraft Sales to anyone who is thinking of acquiring an aircraft.” Garth M – Owner of D&G Jet Leasing