…and they have been quiet – mired in modesty for many years here, but as we celebrate 50 years in this industry, its about time we begin egregiously sounding them off proudly. So, here’s the start of a shameless plug that we cannot help but share.
50+ years in this industry. We have essentially been in business aviation since there has been business aviation.
853 aircraft transactions since 1989.
Over 10 billion dollars in aircraft traded.
What perspective does 50 years give us? Here are a few noteworthy things that give us a unique vantage point, as we were a part of all of them.
- Witness to the start of corporate aviation with Bill Lear. My father, Joe Sr., went to work for him in 1968 and he watched the concept of business aviation catch on. Bill Lear once said he thought the market could handle about 300 corporate airplanes – I think he underestimated that a little.
- Joe Sr. was involved in the creation of one of the first, if not the first, significant aircraft management company in the US with a charter certificate – Executive Air Fleet began in 1970 which grew to over 110 aircraft under management by the mid 1980’s.
- Involvement with the start of the fractional concept at NetJets in the 1980’s and 90’s.
- Formation of an aircraft brokerage firm in 1989 that has been through several transformations and name changes, but Leading Edge and its predecessor Wings Aviation can lay claim to 853 aircraft transactions – 180 Gulfstreams, 102 Challengers/Globals, 108 Falcons, 213 Citations and 118 Hawkers.
- We were one of the earliest members of NARA in 1995, and now a founding member of IADA.
- We began offering analytics, consulting, fleet planning and simply a smarter more mature approach to aircraft brokerage in 2004 when Leading Edge was formed. We were one of the pioneers to do this and have a staff led by Frank Janik who holds an MBA that perform this function.
- Personally, I have proudly served on the NBAA Associate Member advisory Council for 6 years.
So, in sum – what experience can we make available to you? Well, sold new airplanes for an OEM – check, the first one in fact back when it was a new idea. Aircraft management and charter experience? We were there from the beginning too. Consulting, fleet planning, residual value analysis and analytics? Yup, one of the first to do it. Deep knowledge of fractional ownership? Uh huh, 30 years’ worth. Aircraft acquisitions and sales? Perhaps we have executed more than anyone else out there. Involvement with the leadership and steering of this industry via NBAA leadership? So proud to say yes to that one.
Few of any can boast this breadth of experience. Back to the horn blowing comment.
OK, so the shameless plug is done. Thanks for listening to us sound our horn for the first time in such fashion. As we recently developed our fresh face with a new website celebrating our 50 years, we just couldn’t help it.
And satisfied clients who believe in our approach? Hundreds. See our client testimonials here and listen to a few of the horns our clients sound for us. Please stay tuned and subscribe to our blog. I promise we will discontinue the shameless plugs and horn blowing, instead but update you with industry insight, noteworthy news, market soundings and anything else we think you may find compelling to read.
By: Joseph Carfagna, Jr.
President, Leading Edge Aviation Solutions