Aero Asset – Bringing big brokerage practices to the preowned market
Three of AvPro’s senior salespeople split off from the group at the beginning of the year to form a new pre-owned helicopter brokerage – Aero Asset.
Emmanuel Dupuy, William Sturm and Valerie Pereira debuted their new brokerage at HAI Heli Expo in Atlanta in March this year – a brokerage they say brings in the best practices of big business and injecting them into a customer-first independent approach
“We saw an opportunity to take some of the big brokerage business practices we had learnt and apply them to the helicopter space,” said co-founder Emmanuel Dupuy.
“We put the client at the heart of everything we do. We’ve invested a lot of resources to make sure the customers have all the information they need to make a good decision – with great intelligence, there can only be a great decision.”
Just two months after its official launch, Aero Asset had a static display at EBACE 2019 with two helicopters on display. We sat down with Emmanuel Dupuy to discuss pre-owned market trends, what regions are hot, and what we can expect from Aero Asset in the coming years.
“It (the reception) has been great. Right now, we are juggling listings and closings but also executing on the strategy, building the tools the resources that are going to help us do our job and serve the clients better,” said Dupuy.
The company is expanding and looking at certain international markets with great interest. Fittingly for its presence at EBACE, the company has hired a salesperson to represent Aero Asset in Latin America – specifically in Mexico City, one of the largest VIP-helicopter markets.
“60% of our business is in Europe right now. 30% is in the US and the other 10% spread out internationally. Specifically, we are particularly excited about Latin America.
“In fact, we have just hired a Brazilian salesperson based in Mexico City. He has 20 years of aerospace industry experience. The region has tremendous potential for us and we believe we can make an impact there.”
Mexico City has the second largest number of helipads of any world city with 200 across the metro. This is second only to São Paulo, Brazil which has 215, with 500 helicopters based there and 2,200 flights per day.
“It is a market that covers all bases for us. The VIP market is big out there and people are looking for predominantly light-twins while the major oil and gas operators out there are all operating heavy and medium and large twin helicopters. All the helicopter types we deal with are relevant there.
“We had done deals there prior, but to be successful in Latin America, you need someone there. Business people need to meet face-to-face and they need to feel that you have someone out there representing the region. It is one of the particularities of this market.”
The Latin American market is also dominated by pre-owned aircraft. Along with selling aircraft, Aero Asset is also writing up reports on pre-owned helicopter market trends. The reports break down the performance of the relevant twin-engine helicopters in the market right now.
Key trends for 2018 showed a general increase of retail trades of 9% in 2018 year on year over 2017. The strongest growth was seen in the light twin market, which was up 13%, with the best performing model being the EC135.
The EC135 growth was mainly driven by the EMS market, which accounted for 80% of 2018 purchases. The AW109 Power and AW109 Grand were the second and third most liquid pre-owned helicopter last year respectively.
Whilst it is early days in 2019, there are definitely some positive signs for pre-owned helicopters.
“The AW139 market and EC145 B1 market is looking on par with Q4 2018 so that is a good sign. The same number of deals are being done and Q1 was also on par year-on-year with Q1 2019 for the AW139 and the EC145
“We’re also seeing really solid numbers for Q1 2019 in the AW109 Power and the AW109 Grand and Grand New markets and we are also seeing some dealer activity, so these are all really positive signals.”