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«Spring 2024

Straight Talk About Navigating a Private Jet Acquisition or Sale

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The purchase or sale of a business aircraft can be a complex undertaking requiring expertise to ensure a maximum return on investment. When purchasing an aircraft, you’ll need to analyze many factors to determine which make and model is best suited for your budget and mission. Purchasers and sellers alike need a clear picture of model-specific market variables. This involves extensive research of on- and off-market options, the technical and ownership history of available aircraft, and many other variables impacting the value proposition of each serial number under consideration. Once an agreement is struck, you’ll need to manage the complexities of the pre-purchase evaluation, validate and resolve technical discrepancies, and handle the legal, tax and closing logistics of the transaction. Throughout the process, you must expertly deal with the myriad of one-offs, hurdles and challenges unique to every transaction. Having someone you trust to represent your interests and mitigate risks is a must.

Duncan Aviation was founded as an aircraft brokerage organization and has been helping clients with the sale and acquisition of business jet and turboprop aircraft assets since 1956. The Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions Team compiled some of their expertise to prepare a Straight Talk book, which explores important considerations when navigating the pre-owned aircraft marketplace.

Airplanes Are Complex Machines

The unique nature of aircraft as long-range mobile assets, the FAA and IRS regulations that govern their safe use and operation, the global marketplace within which they operate, and the tremendous business and lifestyle benefits they offer present inherent and multifaceted complexities to their ownership and/or transfer of ownership. There are several aspects of an aircraft asset that are analyzed to varying degrees in every business jet transaction.

It’s Not Always What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Leading aircraft acquisition and sales organizations are typically well-known in the industry. They have sales executives who facilitate and nurture relationships, and build extensive networks of aircraft owners, operators, tax, accounting and legal advisors, and other brokers. Each company’s network is carefully crafted with the goal of connecting buyers and sellers and gaining access to off-market aircraft opportunities and “inside” information that is not readily available or easily accessible to the public. In any high-value transaction, immediate access to high-quality intelligence is key to optimizing returns and achieving a successful result.

The Details Are In The Data

The preowned business jet market is fueled by data and there are scores of market intelligence resources dedicated to tracking, analyzing, and helping buyers and sellers to make informed decisions based on the ever-changing market conditions. Extensive resources are needed to examine and collate the massive amounts of available data and more importantly, translate that data into a simple story that effectively guides decision-making. Thorough market research saves time, ensures focused consideration, informed decision-making, and maximized returns.

The Proof Is In The Purchase Agreement

The cost of hiring a professional aircraft transaction specialist is typically outweighed by the savings they generate by helping you make strategic decisions and manage risk. Their negotiation skills, industry relationships, insights, and ability to identify optimal choices based on actionable data and experience can lead to monetary advantage, time-saving efficiencies, stress avoidance, and consensus between buyer and seller.

We’re Ready To Help


When your strategic goals involve the acquisition or disposition of an aircraft, our dedicated team can help you streamline the process, manage risk, and maximize your return on investment. Duncan Aviation has completed more than 3,500 aircraft sales/acquisition transactions. Our network of more than 3,000 aviation experts provides a wide range of services for more than 9,000 business aircraft every year. In the last 36 months, Duncan Aviation has conducted business with 92% of the Fortune 100 companies that own business aircraft, along with countless small and medium-sized flight departments and individual aircraft owners. Each client is unique, and we take pride in tailoring our services to meet their specific needs. In 2023 alone, enterprise wide, our teams helped support clients and aircraft based in 86 countries/territories.

As an IADA Accredited Dealer and founding member, we have a reputation for honesty and transparency. We adhere to the highest ethical standards in our dealings and are committed to providing a superior level of service, knowledge, and value to our customers.

If you have any questions about preowned business jet or turboprop markets, would like to discuss a potential transaction, or wish to learn more about the services we offer, you can visit us at DuncanAviation.aero/AircraftSales or email us at AircraftSales@DuncanAviation.com.