““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
Josh Mesinger is vice president of J. Mesinger Jet Sales, a Boulder, Colo. corporate jet brokerage and consulting firm founded by his father, Jay. The younger Mesinger joined the company eight years ago, after graduating from George Washington University. In addition to his sales duties, he oversees the Aviation Asset Manager Portfolio, a tool that provides aircraft owners and managers with valuation and transaction reports, market and trend analysis and other tools that aid in buying and selling decisions.
Josh and Jay Mesinger, the firm's only brokers, complete approximately 30 to 40 deals annually. They are assisted by a pair of technical directors, who evaluate aircraft and perform pre-buy and pre-sell inspections, and a support staff that includes Sandra Mesinger, Josh's mother, a CPA who serves as the firm's CFO and does analysis and budgeting for clients.
According to Josh, the demand for private jets is now much stronger and more geographically widespread than it was even a few years ago. "Traditionally, 75 percent of the business has been in the U.S., but in the last 48 months that has really changed," he said. "Now, approximately 50 percent of new-aircraft sales and much of the late-model, pre-owned business is outside the U.S."
Mesinger's buyers are often companies and individuals who are awaiting new airplanes that won't be delivered for three to five years. "There's a manufacturing backlog and people want interim lift," he said, adding, "this market is out of control."
For many late, low-time aircraft, Mesinger noted, "asking prices are firm and there is little negotiation" until the amount reaches a tipping point which, for the moment, appears to be continually ascending. Illustrating his point, he mentioned his firm just listed a Bombardier Global Express for a very high price that doesn't seem to be discouraging demand.