Interviewer: Jack Olcott
Providing a unique glimpse of the Business Aviation market from the perspective of those who buy, sell and operate business aircraft or offer expert advice, this month AvBuyer features the insights of Par Avion’s Janine K. Iannarelli…
Entering the Business Aviation community while still in college, Janine Iannarelli has soared to impressive heights in a world that was at the time dominated by male brokers. Today Par Avion, the company she founded, is known internationally as a respected resource for corporations and high-net-worth-individuals seeking to purchase turbine-powered business aircraft. In 20 years, Janine has taken her company far beyond the uniqueness of a female-led Business Aviation firm.
As one of the first employees of a New Jersey company performing research on business aircraft transactions, Janine displayed her innate talent for customer service as she developed an understanding of Business Aviation. From research she moved to marketing aircraft for a dealership that owned its inventory and conducted business globally.
While quite successful as an employee, she imagined the personal fulfilment that would come with launching her own company, and Par Avion Ltd. was formed in January 1997.
From its inception, Par Avion specialized in the brokerage of pre-owned business jets and avoided the appearance of bias by offering inventoried aircraft. “I wanted my company transactions to be totally transparent,” said Janine in a recent interview with AvBuyer. “If we held inventory, where would our loyalty be…or appear to be? Perception is important. I wanted Par Avion to be focused on representing the best interests of our clients.
“We brought to our business a broader skill set that included strategic planning for a firm’s or individual’s aviation program,” she continued.
“Using my marketing interests and background, we developed an analytic understanding of client needs and expectations. Brokerage of pre-owned business aircraft is unregulated. There is no accreditation, per se. Consequently, we have developed our own approach, and our record speaks for itself.
“Our clients appreciate the high level of personalized service and attention to detail Par Avion delivers, and we respect their desire for privacy. Therefore we do not make public our often high-profile clients. Furthermore, typically our clients are satisfied with their acquisition and are not in the market for a replacement aircraft for at least five years. Thus, we are constantly prospecting for new buyers and aircraft to represent. Ours is a challenging business, and we survive by delivering value consistently.
“The ability to understand and satisfy a client’s needs is paramount. I carefully research my prospective clients and provide them with the assurance that they come first,” said Janine with a modicum of justifiable pride.
Noting that her techniques might be considered traditional or ‘old school’, Janine searches business news for general economic data and mentions of interesting situations. With a sharp eye for opportunity, honed by experience, she researches impressive companies and HNW individuals. Next, she sends a personalized letter to prospective clients and introduces Par Avion via snail mail.
“We have a reasonable response to our letters, which doesn’t surprise me,” commented Janine. “I believe that communicating directly with prospects conveys a level of interest on our part. Too often people feel ‘passed over’ in favor of soundbites conveyed by email and text messaging.
“My sweet spot is working with entrepreneurs, globally and here in the US” said Janine. “I like the ethos of a person who started with nothing and created something of merit. I respect their work ethic and identify with them. They sense that empathy and like working with me.”
“I see next year as being very flat,” said Janine when asked for her insights about the state of brokerage in Business Aviation. “The US presidential election has had a damping effect, and uncertainty made it difficult for buyers to enter the market for a business aircraft.
“No single region of the world seems positioned for a rapid recovery. Nor is there some new technology that will create instant change in the GDP. In my career,” she continued, “each rise in economic activity was related to some innovation.”
Janine was quick to add there are positives that, over time, she feels will bode well for Business Aviation.
“Airline consolidation has reduced the ability of business leaders to use scheduled air service to meet their demanding routines.
“Entrepreneurs and people on the move appreciate the value of a business aircraft. Unfortunately, for the general public and by extension for some Board Directors, the perception of corporate jets is still cautionary if not negative. The marketplace is missing the small, mid-cap companies lead by aggressive business men and women who know the value of reaching out to their customers.
“I see some stability emerging and have confidence in the future,” concluded Janine. “We have room for growth, and the enlightened buyer is searching for and finding the ‘best-of-the best’. We at Par Avion are focused at meeting that need for our clients, and we are doing so with proficiency, attention to detail, and customized service.
“Our goal is providing a turnkey transaction where the wishes of our clients are understood and their expectations are realized.”