Two years ago, the German-based aviation dealership introduced the concept of yacht and jet trade-ins as part of sales. “I think there is a niche for such business, because there are not so many aircraft and yacht dealers in the market who can offer this,” Axtmann told SuperyachtNews.com. By dipping its toes into the waters of both sectors, FAI rent-a-jet AG is increasing the visibility of the superyachts to those similar clientele already in the aviation industry but as yet unfamiliar with yachting. “Many of the yacht owners, and I’m talking about bigger yachts of 40m-plus, have a jet, but not so many jet owners have a yacht,” adds Axtmann, who is firm in his belief that the company’s approach offers a viable way of introducing jet owners to the concept of yacht ownership.
Considering trade-in deals of this nature is something Axtmann believes the yachting industry should be taking seriously in the context of a recovering second-hand market and an ongoing order book of new builds. “It’s not the intention of a yacht owner to sell at the lowest price, but to sell at an acceptable price is becoming more difficult in this market.
"From my point of view, the stock of used yachts is still swelling. The [order] book is getting bigger every month and the number of big yachts for sale has been increasing, not decreasing, for a long time now. So trading in a yacht for a jet has the financial benefit of a jet being in operation where it can create income nearly 365 days a year, something you cannot do with a yacht which has two seasons; the winter season in the Caribbean and the summer season in the Med, and between these seasons there is just no possibility to generate revenue or income. That’s totally different with a jet.”
Should an owner not wish to use his or her jet every day of the year, however, Axtmann adds that a jet’s time unused costs far less than an unused yacht. “To park a jet in storage is a fraction of the cost involved to keep a yacht in storage, because of a simple explanation: a jet in storage does not need crew and expensive berth; a yacht in storage still needs crew and berth. The costs in owning a jet are different to the costs involved in owning a yacht.”
This is not to offer the opinion that one type of ownership – jet or yacht – is better than the other, but looking at FAI rent-a-jet AG’s business model certainly provides another option for superyacht owners looking to recoup some of their costs from their time in the yachting industry, whether their reason for selling is to find another yacht or, as in some unfortunate cases, to leave the industry altogether. It is an opportunity, nonetheless, that Axtmann believes both industries will utilise in the not too distant future. “I think certainly sooner or later other dealers will copy our model, which is not bad for the industries at all,” Axtmann concludes, “because the more offers there are, the more occasions there are for deals to be closed in the market.”
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