A new Irish business aims to earn €2 million over the next two years from auctioning aircraft online.
Dublin-based Global AVX plans to be the first ever online auctioneer for aircraft offered by lessors, liquidators, receivers and other sellers. It intends to host four such sales in coming months.
The company's founder, lawyer Robert Bourke, says Global AVX hopes to make €2 million over the first two years from charging commissions from 0.7 per cent to 3 per cent on any planes sold through its auctions.
Mr Bourke has spent over two years developing the business. He concedes that launching during the Covid-19 crisis, which has grounded virtually all passenger flights, is not ideal, but may also present some opportunities.
He says the crisis may leave some airlines insolvent, which could result in their aircraft being offered for sale. “There is always some kind of a market for any asset,” Mr Bourke says.
Among other buyers, he suggests that some wealthy corporations and individuals could choose to buy their own aircraft rather than using commercial flights in the wake of the pandemic.
He also argues that the Republic’s position as a leading world centre for aircraft leasing could help provide the new venture with a market. Lessors regularly sell planes to renew their fleets.
According to its founder, Global AVX’s committment to fully transparent auctions could lure many sellers.
Mr Bourke says that this will allow liquidators and receivers to show they are getting the best prices possible for any craft they sell through the company’s auctions.
“Everyone can see exactly what’s happening during the auctions. This transparency is matched by a global auction process, rather than relying solely on local brokers,” he points out.
Mr Bourke agrees the transparency requirements could put off some potential cients, but believes it should prove attractive to most in the market.
All aircraft come with extensive documents detailing their ownership and maintenance histories. Global AVX will make this available to clients through data rooms.
State agency Enterprise Ireland is supporting the company by using its network around the world to help Global AVX attract customers. The State organisation has not invested in the business at this point.
The new aircraft auctioneer is drawing global interest, according to Mr Bourke. It has already lined up some aircraft from the Middle East and is hoping to begin its first auction shortly.
Mr Bourke says he had the idea for the business more than two years ago when he saw 18 aircraft from insolvent airlines parked at Shannon Airport, and realised that there was no transparent forum in which these planes could be auctioned.