The first online marketplace connecting buyers of business and general aviation aircraft with specialist aviation financiers has been launched by the US asset management company AirFinance.
“FlyFunder is designed to make financing business and GA aircraft and helicopters as simple and accesssible as possible,” says the initiative’s co-founder and investor, Paul Sykes.
He describes the website as “an intuitive, closed-network marketplace for those seeking finance for aircraft to confidentially announce lending opportunities to the global financing community”. Once a funding request is submitted, financiers can make contact with the buyer, who will then “discover an array of aircraft funding options”, says Sykes, who is also senior manager with AirFinance.
Sykes expects FlyFunder to fill what he calls a “communication and connection void” between specialist aviation financiers, aircraft buyers, manufacturers – who are often reliant on financing to make their sale – and brokers seeking to sell used aircraft.
“FlyFunder is disruptive technology for the business and GA aircraft market,” Sykes claims. “Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline helped the airline industry treble passenger revenue miles in five years. Uber and AirBnB have had a similar impact in their core industries. We expect FlyFunder to revolutionise the business and GA finance market in the same way. The opportunity is significant.”
Sykes points to the scale of transactions within the sector during 2015 to justify his confidence.
“Over $28 billion worth of new business and general aviation aircraft were sold last year, and 5,900 used aircraft sales closed globally during the same period,” he says. “FlyFunder could provide an invaluable service to this market.”
The website had its soft launch on 8 September and will make its formal international debut in November at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Florida.