HELI-EXPO: Pre-owned helicopters a growing market

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The sale of pre-owned helicopters is a growing market, two leading aircraft trading firms say.

Francois Gautier, founder and chief executive officer of Avinco, a Monaco-based aviation-trading firm, says that the sale of pre-owned helicopters is a growing part of his business.

"We are expanding in the helicopter field very, very quickly," he says.

But helicopters are only one part of Avinco's business. The company also trades in jets off all sizes, including widebody airliners.

Gautier says that Avinco can buy assets and then modify and repurpose the aircraft for a different mission in a different part of the world. In one example he cites, a small fleet of German police helicopters was converted into a collection of VIP transports, fire-fighting aircraft, and mining aircraft. Further, the aircraft all ended up in different parts of the world.

Paris-based Heli Asset is another firm which specialises only in helicopter trades, says Emmanuel Dupuy, the company's managing director. Dupuy says that Heli Asset is different from its competition because each of its sales directors specialise in particular pre-owned models, ensuring prospects and clients have access to a greater depth of knowledge.

"He knows the aircraft and the market," Dupuy says.

The company will also accept trade-in models when selling aircraft to clients. Additionally, the company will occasionally act as a consultant for clients hoping to purchase new aircraft from the manufacturer. Mostly, however, the firm provides exclusive marketing for a client to sell his or her machine.