Lee Rohde discusses how the consulting company he founded advises aviation-related entities on a wide range of aircraft acquisition, strategic planning, financial, operational and management matters. Specifically, Lee covers:
Mr. Lee Rohde, founder, President and CEO of Essex Aviation Group, Inc., brings over 30 years of experience in financial and operational analysis, manufacturing, distribution and corporate business development. He advises aviation-related clients on a wide range of aircraft acquisition, strategic planning, financial, operational and management matters.
Throughout his career, Lee has worked with a wide range of clients representing them throughout the process of new and pre-owned aircraft acquisitions, providing analysis of their current flight operations, as well as audits and management reviews of both internal and third-party flight departments and charter management companies.
Additionally, he has managed several new aircraft completions, pre-purchase inspections and retrofit projects for various aircraft types. Lee has also managed the exportation and importation of aircraft on and off the United States and various foreign registries. Lee has worked with all the major fractional, membership and jet card programs representing clients in the acquisition, leasing, re-purchase by the program provider and sale or leasing of various fractional shares to third parties.
Lee is a member in good standing of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA). Lee is currently an active Board Member of the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) and member of the Robb Report Corporate Aviation Advisory Board.
Lee has held prominent positions within top aviation services companies. Lee served as President and COO of Aviation Management Systems, Inc., (2005 – 2013) an aviation consulting and aircraft acquisition firm. Lee was co-founder of Londavia, Inc., (1988 – 2004) which was acquired in 2001 by the Marmon Group becoming part of the AmSafe Aviation group with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, China and Singapore.
Lee served in the United States Air Force where he held top-secret security clearance and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant before his honorable discharge. Lee is an experienced pilot and holds a MBA and BA in Economics from the University of New Hampshire.
Essex Aviation Group, Inc. has had the privilege to be a part of the decision making group for hundreds of clients. With over 90% of our relationships being cultivated through the referral of existing clients, you can feel confident that Essex is the right choice for your aircraft acquisitions and advisory services.
Essex Aviation’s executive team has combined 95 years of aviation experience. Our position within the industry is well respected as a consumer advocate and our reputation with service providers and vendors in the industry is one of character and honesty.
Tony Kioussis (00:33):
Welcome to another Asset Insight Podcast covering the aircraft ownership lifecycle. I am Tony Kioussis, president of Asset Insight and your host. Joining me on this podcast is Lee Rohde, founder, president and CEO of Essex Aviation Group Inc. Lee, welcome to our Aircraft Ownership Lifecycle Podcast series.
Let’s start off by discussing private air transportation options as there are a number of those choices available. What should prospective users consider in reviewing their options for meeting their travel requirements? I believe that you call that exercise a transportation analysis.
Lee Rohde (01:14):
Yeah. So we often get calls from family offices or wealth advisors that may already use some sort of private aviation travel, whether it’s fractional share, owning their own airplane. And then we also, especially in the current climate, have been getting calls from folks who, on a short term basis, are looking for a mode of transportation outside of the commercial aviation options.
Lee Rohde (01:37):
For us, the basic questions that everybody would always ask, where are you going, how many people, et cetera. But in order to look at the different options, you also need to get a sense of, are these one way trips that are only being done to move people from point A to point B and they won’t be coming back? Or is it business related where they tend to leave from a starting point, go to multiple locations, do the work they need to do and come back?
Lee Rohde (02:01):
So when we go through this process for someone, it’s not just the simple question of where you’re going, but how many people, what are the expectations of aircraft type? What’s their understanding of the industry? How charter is sourced versus a fractional program is a very different supply source. So we try to walk them through the whole process of how do you define what can be your needs and then what are the pros and the cons of the different options that we’re going to look at so that they’re comfortable, both in how the vendor will provide the transportation that they need, and also if it’s something that’s going to be longer term, how are those programs set up? What are the commitments? What are the abilities to terminate and get out? So that they’re well aware of what they’re getting into ahead of time and not figuring those things out later on, further down in the process.
Tony Kioussis (02:48):
And presumably the solution for them can be a combination of options, correct?
Lee Rohde (02:54):
Yes, absolutely. Corporate clients mainly are the ones that we tend to put together an overall aviation program where they may own a dedicated aircraft, but they’ll always have some form of supplemental lift, which is used in situations where you may have multiple travel requirements on the same day or aircraft have to go down periodically for maintenance. So, when the airplane is down and the executives still need to travel, they need an alternate source.
Lee Rohde (03:19):
And then there’s also some of the public companies we deal with that have larger boards. Those are sometimes used to move board members around to attend meetings and participate in events as needed. You end up with an overall program. Most high net worth clients, usually if they have an aircraft, that will be their primary means of transportation. Sometimes we’ll see them use a secondary source and that may be more for moving family members around on a regional basis. We see it a lot in the Northeast in the summertime where families may be going out to summer homes and instead of flying their airplane back and forth, they may use a smaller aircraft or a smaller program that can meet the need and not necessarily have to be that large of an airplane for the trip.
Tony Kioussis (04:06):
So, in the event that an entity determines they want to acquire an aircraft, how should they go about determining the best aircraft model to meet their travel requirements?
Lee Rohde (04:17):
So, similar to what we talked about in the transportation analysis, we want to take a look at where they expect to primarily be going, operational aspects will include if there are specific airports that they are going to be going in and out of on a regular basis and if there’s any limitations that may come up by operating there, some of the common ones people usually hear about is the mountain airports and the ability to get in and out of there, depending upon the amount of people that are traveling. So we run into that and then also general questions of range capability. Do they require that the legs they fly will always be nonstop or some clients will say, “I only do those longer trips two times a year. So I’m fine with a smaller aircraft that for the majority of my trips can do them round trip and when I do need to do the longer trips, I’m fine with making a fuel stop.”
Lee Rohde (05:08):
Some clients, they prefer not to do that. So all those different factors come into play. And in some cases there’s a manufacturing preference in terms of the models we’ll look at. The analogy I’ll use is cars. A lot of people, they tend to stay with a certain manufacturer of car. So whenever they’re buying and upgrading cars, they tend to stay with the brand that they’re used to. The same thing sometimes comes into play when it comes to corporate aircraft, those that have been flying certain models often like to stay in that manufacturer’s portfolio.
Tony Kioussis (05:38):
Do you find that brand attachment is increasing? Decreasing? Is there a particular group that has more of an attachment to a brand?
Lee Rohde (05:48):
I think you see it in the corporate flight department, partly because if you do change manufacturers, the knowledge base, both that your crew has in those models of aircraft and your maintenance crew has in maintaining and supporting them, the relationships they have with service centers, et cetera. If you were to go from one brand to a whole new brand, you’ve got to restart that whole process all over again.
Lee Rohde (06:11):
So, flight crews have to go through training to get typed in the aircraft if they haven’t flown it before. So their experience level isn’t there. Maintenance people will need to go and learn about the airplane. And also if there’s a fleet change going over, I think usually the existing manufacturer and their relationship will probably be a motivator to try and make it worth the client’s while to stay with them and have probably more flexibility in trying to work with them on the transaction.
Tony Kioussis (06:39):
Let’s talk about new versus pre-owned aircraft. What are the factors you find most influence the decision to acquire a new versus a pre-owned aircraft?
Lee Rohde (06:49):
Some corporate clients will tend to be more towards new in that the airplane will be under warranty from the time that it’s acquired. They are looking to restart the tax benefits that may be taken advantage of. If it’s a lease, often new airplanes will come through and it makes the lease process easier. Others will look at the pre-owned market as more of a value proposition in that, like cars, aircraft tend to appreciate more in the early years.
Lee Rohde (07:18):
So if you look at an airplane that, let’s say, is going through its first major airframe inspection in the near future and you also plan to do some upgrades, refurbishments, changes on the interior, it’s a good opportunity to buy the airplane, put it into service when that major maintenance event comes up, go ahead and do the refurbishment work in conjunction with that event, because you’re already going to be taking the interior out. You’re going to have the airplane down for an extended period of time.
Lee Rohde (07:45):
So you’re able to take advantage of the maintenance requirement that you know you have to do and then the additional upgrade work that you’d like to do. Part of it can just be a personal preference. Some people just prefer new aircraft and then the warranty period runs out or a certain given period of time, they want to sell that airplane and replace it with another new model and technology-wise, and they know they have the latest and greatest that the OEMs have been producing.
Tony Kioussis (08:10):
Your experience with someone buying new, how long would they normally hold onto the aircraft? Would they tend to sell it just before the warranty runs out? After the warranty runs out? Does the warranty play a big role in the length of time they hold on to the aircraft?
Lee Rohde (08:27):
I think it does for some clients. That consistency of cost and maintenance, I think some will also, the next time period they’ll look at is that next major airframe inspection, which depending upon the aircraft type can be six or eight years. Some will want to sell the airplane in advance of that and not ever go through that major airframe inspection.
Lee Rohde (08:48):
But we do have owners that have acquired new airplanes and have basically said, “I’m going to keep this airplane for at least 10 years. So that’s why I wanted to get new so that I know what my maintenance schedule is. I know what my events are going to be. But at the same time, starting from brand new, owning it for 10 years, I should have a good feeling of what my costs are going to be and when those maintenance events are going to come up.”
Tony Kioussis (09:10):
Let’s assume the best option for me is to acquire a pre-owned aircraft. Can you discuss the issues and complexities associated with the refurbishment or upgrading of a pre-owned aircraft?
Lee Rohde (09:22):
Sure. So, when we talk to clients about doing what we would call a project pre-owned airplane meeting, you know that they’re going to want to do refurbishment. They’re going to want to get the look and feel that they want. A couple of things that we try to then have them focus on is the veneer, or the hard goods as we refer to it. That’s something that the airplanes you’re looking at, you really want to like what you have, not necessarily be looking to change that because that’s a significant cost. The other is the basic floor plan of the aircraft. If you get into taking out, say, a divan and trying to put into club seats, again, the cost can get pretty extensive because it’s not just the seats that you’re removing. You have side panels, you have PSU panels, you have multiple things that are behind the divan that all has to be redone.
Lee Rohde (10:08):
So, what we talk to them about is finding an aircraft with a strong ownership history, or pedigrees as we like to refer to it. Who owned it, where it was maintained. It has the floor plan that you like, your veneer is in good shape. And then what you’re really focusing on is the soft goods. Changing leathers on the seats, putting in new carpets, maybe changing sidewalls so that you get the look and feel that you’re looking at from a aircraft interior perspective, all those seats are essentially brand new. They’ll use the same frame, but they’ll replace all the foam, they’ll redo all new leather on the seats.
Lee Rohde (10:44):
We try, when we’re looking at it, to focus on the areas that we want to make sure meet the need now, and the other items, the cosmetic items, those can be changed. And we’ve been involved with airplanes that the owner has essentially taken it completely apart and put all new items in there. It can be several months and a longer process, but for someone who’s familiar with the aircraft model, they may be able to tell that it’s an older than a knew her airplane, but from a fit and finish, it’s essentially a brand new airplane when someone walks on it.
Tony Kioussis (11:15):
You mentioned pedigree. How much does pedigree play in today’s environment relative to used aircraft? I’ve often heard it said that aircraft that are maintained by an OEM service center have a better pedigree. How much value do people place on pedigree today?
Lee Rohde (11:36):
From my perspective, it is a big factor. The first basic thing we look at, which is available through public databases as you’re looking at available airplanes, is how many people have owned the aircraft? Who owned it? Where was it based? And how was it operated and maintained? So, if you have an airplane that was acquired new, operated by the same owner or management company for the owner, gives you a baseline to start from. If you have an airplane that has been transacted three or four or five times, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worthwhile, but then you want to follow that path of how was it owned? How was it operated?
Lee Rohde (12:16):
An ideal scenario, corporate flight department been operating airplanes for many years. The passengers are just employees or staff of the company versus say, an airplane that was primarily used by a charter operator where you’ve got multiple people flying the airplane, multiple people flying on the airplane as passengers, certainly flying many more hours.
Lee Rohde (12:39):
That maintenance perspective, a lot of people go to an OEM service center early on in the ownership of the airplane because warranty is still in place. So, it’s usually easier to deal with that. When you get out of the warranty phase, there are certainly several major independent third party service centers in the industry that are very well respected and are ideal for taking airplanes that have reached that stage in their life to do work, whether it’s scheduled maintenance, refurbishment work. So, that’s certainly a plus on our side.
Lee Rohde (13:08):
If the airplane has been operated internationally, then that certainly comes into OEM versus well-established international service centers that we’re aware of. And that’s where getting into inspections of an airplane and reviewing all the records and making sure that you’ve got a good history and traceability of all the primary components on the airplane.
Tony Kioussis (13:28):
So based on the issues and the complexities that you just identified, what sort of expertise should someone secure that is planning to acquire an aircraft? In other words, whom should they have on their side, if not leading that process?
Lee Rohde (13:44):
On a preowned aircraft, especially if it’s a first time buyer, even if they’ve owned fractional shares or they flown charter, we often, early on in the process, like to walk them through all the different aspects that are going to happen and all the decisions that they’re going to need to make. We always hope that they will have an industry representative representing them on the buy side. Ideally, the seller will have an industry representative that’s representing the seller.
Lee Rohde (14:12):
We’ve seen cases where you have an owner who has a pilot who may be told to go and try and sell the airplane and while they may know the airplane and all that, if they’re not familiar with aircraft transactions that can create issues for either party that’s involved. Preferably both parties will have aviation industry legal and tax counsel involved because there are various taxes that come into play on a transaction. In terms of sales tax use tax. If it’s a foreign airplane, it has to be imported. So those are all aspects of the structure of the purchase agreement and that whole process, someone who’s not familiar with doing that, there are a lot of components to that that will be missed if you’re not using an aviation experienced attorney.
Lee Rohde (14:55):
In terms of technical and flight crew support, if it’s an existing operation or an aircraft owner, obviously the pilots and the maintenance people will be involved. Now, in some cases, if an owner’s upgrading, they may, as we were talking about before in terms of changing manufacturers, they may be currently flying one manufacturer, but they’re upgrading to a different airplane, a different manufacturer. So certainly those pilots and maintenance people will be involved in the process, but you may need to bring in a technical contractor or a third party to assist with the onsite review of the aircraft, whether it’s a new delivery or a pre-owned pre-purchase inspection, because they’ll have experience and knowledge of the aircraft model. They’ll know the various aspects that are standard items that people want to check, review service bulletins or upgrades to see whether they’ve been done. So, you want to formulate that whole group to be able to shepherd through.
Lee Rohde (15:51):
And the other issue that comes up with an existing flight department, especially if it’s in-house flight department, is the pilots and the maintenance people are still keeping the owner flying. So, there are certain timelines and deadlines and things that need to be done and they can’t necessarily delay them if the crew has to be flying a trip for the owner. So, our preference is that you’re partnered up with them and of course anytime they can be with you and onsite, they should be there. But if they can’t, we shouldn’t be interrupting the process and keep things moving along.
Lee Rohde (16:20):
And that way, if both parties have good, strong representation in the process, it makes for a much smoother transaction. Decisions can be made quickly. If issues do come up, they can be discussed between the parties and the process can continue to move along effectively.
Tony Kioussis (16:35):
Do you see yourself as representing both parties at any given point in time, the buyer and the seller?
Lee Rohde (16:41):
No. We choose to just do the acquisition side. You will not see us listing airplanes for sale. There are occasions where a client that we deal with may ask us to be involved during a sale in terms of providing onsite support or whatever, but you have to be careful about being on two different sides of the same transaction. At the end of the day, if I’m negotiating to buy an airplane, then there are certain things I’m trying to accomplish in terms of the inspections we want to do, the due diligence we want to do, you could get into negotiating cost reductions, or how an item is going to get fixed.
Lee Rohde (17:16):
And if at the same time you’re representing the seller of the airplane who has a different approach in terms of how much they want the inspection to be done, where are they willing to move the airplane, how do they want to have something fixed in order to meet the requirements? Because it’s not uncommon that there’s more than one way that a discrepancy that’s identified during the inspection can be rectified. And if I’m the seller, I may have a certain position of how I think I should do it and if I’m the buyer, I may have a different position.
Lee Rohde (17:42):
So, it’s something that if that situation did come up, I would hope that both parties would be well aware of the fact that whoever’s involved is connected to both parties and everyone would have to make sure they’re comfortable on how that’s being handled.
Tony Kioussis (17:58):
I can see that being a challenging situation for anybody placed in the middle there.
Lee Rohde (18:03):
I think there’s people who can do it and they can do it the correct way. I don’t think it’s the best way. If a client came to me and asked me about it, I would highly recommend them to have someone else at least be a part of what’s going on, to be their direct advocate. But circumstances do come up. If you’re an actual broker dealer, especially if you’re one who is inventorying aircraft, where they go out and they actually take title to the airplane and they buy it and then they are the selling party, it’s very difficult to turn around and say to them, “Well, someone happens to call you directly that’s interested in that airplane” to not be involved.
Lee Rohde (18:40):
As long as everybody is transparent, discloses what’s happening, there’s no alternative agendas, then it can be done properly. But my preference is that we work with one side of the transaction. We represent them. And that way there’s no concern from our client’s perspective, that there’s any conflicts of interest.
Tony Kioussis (18:59):
That makes total sense. I think transparency is really the key to making that work if you choose to represent both sides, although that’s a difficult situation to handle.
Lee Rohde (19:09):
It is. And I find the best transactions that were involved in, the parties right out of the gate, when we’re negotiating, offers the purchase, purchase agreements, talking about the scope of work, getting proposals from the pre-buy inspection. I try to engage the other side’s representative as much as I can so that everybody is completely clear, this is what we’re going to do, this is how we’re going to do it.
Lee Rohde (19:30):
We prefer to go to where the airplane’s home base is when it’s getting ready to leave for the pre-buy, that way when we’re there, part of the purchase agreement is the exhibit that describes the airplane and included in that is loose equipment, spare equipment. We get down to the mundane of the glassware and the silverware that’s on it. Is it staying or is it not staying? And my objective is when I go to meet the seller and we’re going to move the airplane to the pre-buy, I want it to leave with everything it’s supposed to have on there and nothing that it shouldn’t have. So at the end of the day, we’re not scrambling to try to find things or having a discussion about that.
Lee Rohde (20:07):
If you touch base on all that upfront, everybody’s clear on it, then it makes it a whole lot easier than hoping that everything is the way you expected it to be. And then inevitably the other side of the transaction, it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to have the exact same thoughts and opinions that you do of what was being sold or not being sold.
Tony Kioussis (20:26):
Let’s discuss pricing. Always an important element of the acquisition process, right? What are the various factors that should be considered when a prospective buyer is determining an offer price for an aircraft?
Lee Rohde (20:38):
So, like any market, obviously first is the airplanes that are available and what are the expectations of those sellers? You obviously need look at equipment comparisons between airplanes to do the additions and subtractions of value in terms of does an airplane have a wifi system or does it not have a wifi? Does it have certain avionics upgrades or does it not? Are there other items that you know your client is going to want to do regardless of what airplane? So you’ll need to factor that in.
Lee Rohde (21:07):
So, what we value the airplanes as they stand taking into consideration a multitude of things like time on the airplane, programs for the engines, APU or airframe, et cetera. The other aspect we’ll look at is where is it in its maintenance life cycle? As we talked about earlier, those major airframe inspections, certainly from a seller’s perspective, if you have a major airframe inspection coming up in a year or so, that’s going to impact the expected sell price versus someone who may have just been through that major inspection is on the other side, because now a buyer doesn’t have to go through that. They know the inspection has been done and assuming that where it was done was perfectly acceptable to the buyer, then there should be an enhanced value to that airplane.
Lee Rohde (21:50):
So, it all has to get pulled in. And two different buyers may look at candidate airplanes differently because of their plans to use the airplane. Say someone’s only going to fly domestically versus someone who intends to fly the airplane internationally. There may be some avionics or equipment items that one buyer may not be as concerned about versus another. So those are all different aspects that will come into play. And the other thing will be foreign registry versus domestic registry. Certainly easier if it’s already a US registered airplane to do that.
Lee Rohde (22:22):
If you are going to buy an airplane that’s foreign registered, it’s another step in the process of having to logistically move the airplane. Trying to do due diligence can take a little more time. And then you do have to go through the process of understanding what are the requirements in order to meet the FAA certificate of airworthiness needs and what sort of work will need to be done to the airplane? And you’ll have to work to export the airplane off the existing registry and then ultimately import it into the U.S. And then put it onto the U.S. Registry.
Lee Rohde (22:52):
So, it’s an added step in the process. Adds a little bit of time and some cost. Certainly not something that can’t be done, but needs to be factored in.
Tony Kioussis (23:00):
Okay, so we’ve made an offer and it’s been accepted. The prospective buyer now wants to examine the asset closely before making a final decision. Outline what a pre purchase inspection entails and why they’re such an important part of the aircraft acquisition process.
Lee Rohde (23:17):
So, as part of the negotiation between the buyer and the seller, there will be a defined inspection to be done on the airplane. The parties will agree what facility there’ll be going to to do the inspection. Again, it could be an OEM service center, could be a third party. One of our preferences in picking the service center is you don’t necessarily want to go to the one that the aircraft has been regularly maintained by because part of the review is to the aircraft and also to review the records. And essentially you’d have the service center who had done all the record updates, had done all the work, reviewing their own work.
Lee Rohde (23:53):
Another aspect we’ll look at and picking the service center is if we know the aircraft is going to be based in a certain region of the country, there may be a service center near there that will be their primary location that they’d like to use. So, there can be some benefit of bringing the airplane there in that they will then be looking at the airplane, they’ll be familiar with it, they’ll have a good history of it. So when it comes in and they start using it, that can be a benefit.
Lee Rohde (24:17):
Now, in some cases, when the market is very active, you may be driven by availability of input date to actually start the inspection. We do go through periods of time where there’s a lot of transactions going on, and you could be looking at an extended period of time to get into a specific service center that you may want to go to. So, that can come into play.
Lee Rohde (24:37):
The way that the inspection scope of work is normally pulled together is the initial starting point is the OEMs or the third party facilities will have a standard pre-buy inspection scope of work that they recommend for that model of airplane as a baseline. And that’s developed over time in terms of normal things that everyone would look at and also if there are particular items with that model of aircraft that are known to be areas of concern. So they will routinely check those.
Lee Rohde (25:06):
The next aspect that we’ll usually look at on a pre-buy is if when we reviewed the records as part of the offer process, if there was ever any unscheduled events, damage, work that needed to be done on the airplane, outside of normal schedule maintenance we may have certain tasks done around that area to check that part, just to make sure there’s no ongoing issues. And the last part is to look at the aircraft scheduled maintenance going out, usually we’ll say 12 months and whatever the normal projected annual utilization would be for the new owners. So, say 300 hours. And we’ll want to look at what’s scheduled maintenance is coming due, and we like to pull that into the scope of work so that it all comes in.
Lee Rohde (25:50):
We like to do that for two reasons. One, it gives you some other items that you can review. And two, when we close the new owner owns the airplane. They’ll have a nice window of time that they’ll be able to operate the airplane before their next scheduled maintenance is coming due. So the parties will negotiate back and forth. Those of us that are in the industry and do these transactions all the time, that’s a pretty standard process. There’ll be a little give and take, depending upon what’s scheduled maintenance is coming due.
Lee Rohde (26:14):
In some cases, if it’s a major maintenance event and the seller is agreeing to do it, they may structure the sequence where the pre-purchase inspection portion of it may be done and then the buyer will need to essentially preliminarily except the airplane based on the records review, the pre-purchase inspection results before the seller will be willing to go ahead and start the major airframe inspection.
Lee Rohde (26:41):
If they’re doing it a little early, or if it’s going to put things out of sequence, then they don’t want to do that until the buyer made their commitment that they’re going to move ahead and acquire the airplane. So, that sometimes will take some negotiation on how that timing’s going to work and how those costs are going to be allocated.
Tony Kioussis (26:59):
That really is a good summation of the pre-purchase. You’ve done an excellent job establishing Essex Aviation within the business aviation community. Specifically, what do you want people to know about your company’s capabilities and services?
Lee Rohde (27:14):
So, I think from a client perspective, we like to be engaged with our clients in order to have them view us as their information resource for the portion of their life or their business that involves aviation travel. For a company or for a high net worth individual, I often say to them, you look at your airplane or the use of aircraft in the same way most of the world looks at their car. It’s something that they have, it’s a pretty major purchase or something that they need to do periodically, but they essentially use it to live their life or to do the job that they do and usually their knowledge base on the core aspects of it is limited. And it’s rare that someone has someone in-house who is regularly involved in this part of the industry.
Lee Rohde (28:00):
So our preference is whether you fly a few times a year, or whether you have multiple assets, we just want to be your source of information so as needs come up, changes come up, contracts expire, time to change aircraft, we want to be the go to person to help them evaluate all the options, understand the pros and cons of each, both from a expense capital cost side and from an operational and logistics side, so that they can make as informed a decision as they can and then we can help them execute on that decision.
Lee Rohde (28:31):
From the industry perspective, as you mentioned transparency and credibility for us is the ultimate test in our industry. So, I always hope that the people that we work with, whether it’s a management company selection or it’s OEMs with buying aircraft, that everyone feels that they’re getting a fair shake, they’ve gotten a good opportunity to make their presentation, make their pitch to the client. And at the end of the day when it’s done, if they unfortunately aren’t the ones selected, we try to give as much feedback as we can. And my hope is always that at the end of the process, even if they weren’t successful, they feel like it was a fair process and they got a fair chance to make the presentation to the client. And it wasn’t just we’re going through the process to get to an ultimate conclusion that everybody always knew we were going to get to.
Tony Kioussis (29:16):
I think that’s fair for everybody and really it provides another level of service to the industry, taking the approach you’re taking. Thanks so much for your time today, Lee, and thanks so much for all the information you provided. Great educational opportunity for people unfamiliar with the process and good luck going forward.
Tony Kioussis (29:37):
This has been another Asset Insight Podcast covering the aircraft ownership life cycle. Please visit our ever-growing podcast library at assetinsightpodcast.com and select from any number of topics discussed with business aviation industry experts. This is Tony Kioussis and as always, thank you for listening.
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