One thing you’ll hear members of the AirMart team talk about a lot is assessing a customer’s mission profile. This is an essential first step in the customer relationship journey. It gives direction to every conversation that follows. Assessing your mission profile can sometimes be as simple as filling in the blanks: What are the pilot’s ratings? How many people are traveling? How far is the trip? How often will you go there? But what if it’s not that simple? What if the mission for your aircraft blends both personal and business travel? What if you make both short, regional hops and long cross-country odysseys? What if operational and acquisition costs must be equally considered? When the mission profile for your next plane defies categorization, we suggest following the 80/20 Rule.
The 80/20 rule is simply this: Invest in a plane that best serves 80% of your flying missions. This may mean that you need to think outside the box for the other 20%. For example, if 80% of your missions are weekly day trips within a 300-mile radius and include you and one other company executive, an agile single engine like a Cirrus SR22 could fit the bill, even if 20% of your trips are coast to coast. Commercial or charter jet travel may make the most sense for the 20% of your flights that span from one coast to the other. On the other hand, if you regularly load up an entire team to travel from New York to Miami for multi-day sessions, a cabin-class Piper Mirage could best serve your mission, even if the other 20% of your trips are hops from New York to DC. Small charter or aircraft leasing could fill your short leg needs very well.
Here are a few questions to get you thinking in the right direction: Are you the PIC, or will you be hiring a pilot? Where do you fly most often? How often is that? How many people usually travel with you? What are their needs? What is your acquisition budget? Your operating budget? Are there tax incentives to take advantage of? How long do you plan to keep this plane before trading? Remember that buying an airplane doesn’t have to be 100% by the numbers. Most purchases are a blend of emotional gratification and practical consideration. If you’ve dreamed of arriving in a King Air B200 and you are comfortable with its acquisition and operating costs, it might be the right aircraft for you, even if it is more than you “need” to get from point a to point b.
An experienced advisor like AirMart can be a valuable resource. We’ve been helping our customers buy and sell airplanes for nearly 50 years. We would love to help you employ the 80/20 rule to find the right plane for your mission. We do this every day.