Through the end of the month, Raytheon Aircraft Parts Inventory and Distribution Co. (Rapid) is conducting a sale on some 46,000 part and kit numbers for Beechcraft and Hawkers in an effort to reduce $80 million in excess parts inventory, the company said. Customers can use Rapid’s Web site at raytheonaircraftparts.com to conduct a parts search by aircraft type, part number, part description or download the entire parts list.
After gold hit $1,000 an ounce last month and oil reached $110 a barrel on the same day, financial markets continued to experience the turmoil that started the year. All the doom and gloom causes one to take an introspective look at the health of the aircraft sales market. So far, the biggest angst that might be plaguing industry participants is survivor’s remorse as this sector seems to be navigating the economic malaise with aplomb.
Cessna announced a new satellite-based, centrally managed parts inventory system for its Citation service centers. The system allows each center easy access to inventory availability at any Cessna-owned facility; previously, each center managed its own inventory. Separately, the Wichita-based aircraft OEM conducted a two-year study of repeat orders to establish sufficient inventory requirements for the most sought-after parts.
At nearly the halfway point, this year continues to build on what has been an 18-month-long trend of lower pre-owned inventory and stabilizing prices among most models, especially late-model and current-production aircraft. In late 2002, pre-owned inventory rose above 2,050 units and has since backed off to 1,814, roughly a 12-percent decline.
“Beechcraft and Hawker owners can now find parts for their aircraft anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse,” says Raytheon Aircraft of its expanded worldwide inventory network (WIN). WIN provides access to the entire parts inventory of Raytheon Aircraft and all its distributors and service centers. Previously, only customer-support representatives could view the parts inventory under the WIN program.
Bill Brown, president of global customer support for Hawker Beechcraft, arrived at the NBAA Convention with a renewed sense of enthusiasm following the sale of the company by defense contractor Raytheon to investors Goldman Sachs and Onex Capital Partners. That type of transaction isn’t always a reason for optimism, but in case of the Wichita manufacturer, the future is looking bright.
“Today, 13 percent of all the world’s business jets are based in Europe,” said Larry Flynn, Gulfstream president for product support. “This is our largest market outside the United States. As such, we have ramped up our parts inventory to ensure our European operators as well as transient operators in Europe receive the parts they need, when they need them.”
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming! The movie title of 41 years ago seems fitting to describe at least the perception of what is contributing to the current uptick in the large-cabin segment of the used aircraft market. Tales of aircraft selling to Russians at extraordinarily high prices have begun to capture the attention of the market.
Since the pre-owned market began to back off from its massive inventory figure nearly a year-and-a-half ago, much focus has been given to the movers, which for the most part have been just about every late-model current-production aircraft. In contrast, several model types have yet to experience much reduction in inventory. In fact, some are bucking the overall trend, highlighting the dichotomy among model types.
When Paul Fulchino became Aviall’s chairman, president and CEO in December 1999, annual sales for the 70-year-old Dallas parts distributor were growing at a predictable and respectable rate. Back then, end-of-year sales totaled $371.9 million, with net earnings of $9.7 million.