Increasing the resale value of your aircraft

Adding inflight internet capabilities makes it much more desirable when the time comes to sell

If you own an aircraft, the reality is that some day you will sell it. Whether you fly for business or pleasure, whether you purchased your plane because you fell in love with it or as a corporate asset, the day will come to say goodbye – and when it does, you want to get the maximum value for your aircraft. Getting a complete financial return on your investment, of course, is tough.  

There is an investment, however, that is proven to increase your resale value: inflight Wi-Fi.

Adding internet capabilities to your aircraft not only immediately boosts the experience of your crew and passengers, it makes it much more desirable when the time comes to sell. In fact, for many buyers of preowned business jets, onboard Wi-Fi is a non-negotiable feature. Ask anyone in business aviation, from brokers to execs, and you’ll hear the same thing: these days, customers and buyers expect and demand to be connected. Here is a sample of what we’ve been hearing:

“If you have an airplane that doesn’t have [connectivity], it’s going to be a disability when you want to sell it.” – Randy Groom, President, Groom Aviation
“Internet is becoming a must-have.” – James Hagerty, aircraft broker, Hagerty Jet Group
“Connectivity is an absolute requirement. If you step on Southwest for $99 and have connectivity, you certainly expect a private or charter aircraft to have connectivity, too.” – Robert Rabbitt, Jr., managing partner, Avpro

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“Wi-Fi is one of the few aircraft upgrades that will give you a positive return on investment.” – Charlie Bravo Aviation, leading aircraft broker and dealer

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“If an aircraft does not have internet connectivity, it will affect its resale value.” – James Hardie, managing director, Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect

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Analysts who track business aviation agree with these experts. A recent report on the charter market by Aviation International News (AIN) identified Wi-Fi as a leading trend in the industry. “People are buying airplanes again and owners are also buying supplemental charter,” said Paul Class, senior vice president of charter sales at Solairus Aviation. “As airplanes come into the market, they tend to be newer airplanes. People are attracted to newer aircraft, and every airplane has to have Wi-Fi.”

When the time comes to sell your aircraft, whether that’s in 10 months or 10 years, you need to present it to the market in the most attractive way possible – which means it needs to have Wi-Fi onboard. While other trends come and go, consumer demand for connectivity isn’t going away – it will only grow. If you don’t have the systems and services onboard your aircraft to support it, your aircraft may be left sitting on the tarmac.

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