The ABC of jet sales


Jetcraft has built a virtual lounge linking to its virtual hangar and an immersive introduction to the company.

“Always be closing.” For super salesman Blake in the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, selling is simple. But in the real world, and in the virtual domain of the metaverse, selling seems to be growing more complicated.

New and not-so-new technology is enabling a fresh approach to generating leads and closing deals. So, is tech threatening to supersede the old dealmaking skills? We took the temperature of jet sales with three leading industry players.

Active in the 3D virtual world of the metaverse is Jetcraft. In mid-2022, it bought space in three-dimensional social networking platform Decentraland. Within that space, the aircraft sales, transactions and trades specialist built a virtual lounge linking to its virtual hangar and an immersive introduction to Jetcraft for those new to the company or business aviation.

But does it help to sell jets? “Initial feedback is positive, with visitors appreciating this as a first stop to understanding Jetcraft and being able to virtually explore different aircraft models, before investing time in real life viewings,” says Peter Antonenko, president, Jetcraft. “Our expansion into the virtual world reflects the evolution of our customer base, having seen a 20% increase in Jetcraft buyers under 45 in the past five years.”

Generation Z

Younger aircraft owners are often established metaverse and virtual reality users, he tells us. “A growing number of entrepreneurs from tech and finance are entering the world of business aviation and using our tech insight to support their aircraft needs.” Jetcraft says it is keen to stay ahead of its customers, particularly those who belong to Generation Z. “They are increasingly implementing technology into their day-to-day lives and putting more value on their online identities,” says Antonenko. “As these individuals move through the workplace, platforms such as the metaverse will become fundamental to how they conduct business.”

But Jetcraft’s adventures in Decentraland will not replace the personal contact that is so key to closing a deal, he adds.While our presence in the virtual world serves as a swift and convenient way for customers to interact with Jetcraft, we firmly believe that face-to-face interactions remain integral to business aviation.” Its Decentraland Lounge and virtual reality hangar are designed to complement the company’s existing service, not to replace the in-person connection that clients value, particularly after Covid.

Jetcraft’s virtual sales lounge is evidence of changing buying habits, agrees Wayne Starling, executive director, International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA). “We are seeing some changes reflected as follows: the showroom that The Jet Business in London has, Jetcraft’s virtual lounge and other dealers integrating new ideas into their business models,” he tells us.

‘Pulling the trigger’

During Covid some buyers transacted purchases without physically viewing the aircraft in person. That has all but stopped, says Starling. While younger buyers use virtual features in their decision-making and buying process, they want to see, touch the metal and smell the leather. “In most cases, they almost always want to see, touch and feel the aircraft before pulling the trigger. The older buyers are beginning to make use of some of the virtual capabilities but not at the pace of the younger buyers,” he says.

Despite experimenting with new sales models, IADA still believes that most dealers/brokers are still traditional when it comes to selling. As AI starts to play a role in all aspects of business, IADA expects it will influence how aircraft transactions are conducted. Change will happen, but it will take time, as most of the aircraft dealers and brokers are old school in the business jet transaction industry, says Starling.

Plus, buyers can have access to too much detail. “The aircraft owners have so much information available via the internet and publications that sometimes it creates more problems/confusion than help. A good aircraft broker must understand and use all the tools available and start preparing for the future.”

But Zoom (and other social networking platforms) are here to stay, according to IADA. Another fan is Jay Mesinger, founder and CEO, Mesinger Jet Sales. “Zoom and Teams are absolutely embedded in the sales process after Covid,” Mesinger tells us. “Sharing your screen is an important way to share information about a proposed business jet transaction.” But technology can never substitute for the traditional sales skills of understanding the buyer’s needs by listening (and then listening some more), says Mesinger. And not being afraid to ask for the sale sometimes gets overlooked.

‘Do less selling’

For Starling, at IADA, one of the fundamental recent changes in sales is not technology but supply. Gone are the days when all you needed to sell a jet was an available aircraft. “Times are changing and brokers must go back to using their selling skills. One thing I stress to brokers is to do less selling and more helping their clients buy what they need and want. We all like to buy versus being sold.” 

So, while new opportunities – like marketing in the metaverse and social media sales leads – are changing the way some buyers, particularly younger ones, acquire jets, fundamental principles still apply.

Back to some final sales advice from Blake in the 1990’s movie Glengarry Glen Ross: “Only one thing matters: Get them to sign on the line, which is dotted.” Was he right all along?


OMW Dashboard


Aircraft for sale

  • 657 Light jets for sale/lease – two more than last week. This represents 6.93% of the total fleet. An absorption rate of 4.21 months. 
  • 542 Medium jets for sale/lease – one fewer than last week. This represents 6.66% of the total fleet with an absorption rate of 5.07 months. 
  • 452 Heavy jets for sale/lease – the same as last week. This represents 6.85% of the total fleet with an absorption rate of 5.13 months. 

Source: Amstat, March 1st 2024


Business jet flightsWeek 8, ending February 25th, 2024



Business jet activity was up 2% year-on-year (YOY). Scheduled airline sectors were 7% ahead of last year.


United States  
The 51,480 business jet sectors logged were 3% ahead of the previous week and 3% ahead of 2023.


Business jet flights were 2% behind the previous week and level with last year.


Rest of World 
In the Middle East, business jet flights in the past four weeks fell 11% compared with last year. In Week 8 activity was 6% behind Week 8 in 2023.


Source: WINGX, February 29th, 2024.



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