It’s 2011 and things at work are looking up. You realize you need to be back in front of your clients, but you’re unsure if rehiring your former sales team is the right approach. So you wonder what your options are. Denny Banner, owner of Banner Aviation, would like to help you evaluate your choices.
What started as a passion that Banner pursued on the side of a successful sales career 30 years ago is now a thriving business—Banner Aviation. Banner and his wife, Susan, have owned more than 50 different jets and Turbo props, and Banner has logged over 10,000 hours of flying experience.
They have provided private flight programs to some of Chicago’s finest athletes and celebrities, designed airplane interiors, hired aircraft staff from pilots to flight attendants to mechanics, located hangars, audited flight departments, and guided numerous clients through the complicated and overwhelming process of buying and/or selling airplanes.
“There’s a huge inventory of aircraft available now,” says Banner. “The price point of jets is at its lowest level ever. What cost $15 million 5 years ago, costs $5 million today. We have a very opportunistic market,” he adds. “I like to show companies how the right plane, a multi-use asset, can be absorbed into their budget as a sales tool. The time to buy is now.”
Coinciding with the vast availability of planes of all sizes is the growing frustration with the current state of commercial travel. “When you own a plane, you can literally drive up to the hangar, park your car, have the pilot throw your luggage in the back, and we take off,” explains Banner. “The same holds true in reverse. When your meeting is over, you’re back on the plane and home in time for dinner.”
Banner says the biggest mistake made in the world of private aviation is that people often buy more plane than they need. “It’s often a reflex reaction for people to call the maker of a plane when they are ready to buy. Since most aviation companies are staffed with brokers who work on commission for selling a specific model of plane, buyers don’t get the objective opinion they need,” explains Banner. “I can provide that objectivity. I see it as my responsibility to enhance a good business decision. That’s why I like to begin relationships with my clients at the beginning of the purchasing process.”
With the emergence of companies selling shared ownership in planes, Banner says the private aviation market has become more confusing. “Some of my most recent clients are individuals who have entered into such agreements and are looking for me to help them get out. Typically, these contracts are binding. People tend to enter these arrangements because they think the idea of owning a plane is too cumbersome. But the truth is private ownership is much more doable today than it has ever been before. There is a large inventory of pre-owned airplanes and Turbo props that are more affordable than people might think,” concludes Banner.
Banner wants those buying an airplane to understand that the actual purchase is the easy part. “It’s the rest of the transaction that’s tough,” he says. “Because I’ve bought and sold planes of my own, I know the questions to ask. Most airplane brokers haven’t had this personal experience and don’t know all of the intricacies involved in the transaction.”
To contact Denny Banner with your private aviation questions, call 847.226.1128, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ann Marie Scheidler