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How to Become an Airplane Broker
A broker serves as a mediator between a buyer and a seller. When people think of a broker, they picture a person finding the right seller of stock, or the best buyer for real restate. However, you also can find brokers in the airline business, negotiating deals involving aircraft ranging in price from thousands to millions. Becoming an airplane broker can give you a lucrative career with commissions reaching 15 percent of airplane cost. Plus, landing a job as an airplane broker is easier than you might think.
Breaking Down Brokering
The market economy thrives daily on the purchase of products and services. In almost all cases, no seller or buyer needs a third party, or broker, to mediate the sale. However, hiring a broker carries advantages. Consumers often consider brokers experts in their field who have extensive knowledge of the product and services offered. Brokers understand the economic conditions of the industry, legal aspects of the sale and can negotiate a fair price based on demand and other economic factors. They often obtain photographs of property and list their sale and specifications on various websites. This can be advantageous for the airplane broker, because purchasing an aircraft brings with it more details than say, buying a car. To become a competitive airplane broker, you should learn as much as you can about the size, speed, cargo capacity and quality of aircraft.
Breaking Into the Business
Partnering with an airplane brokering firm might be a good way to enter the market. Firms offer you training, support and regions for you to conduct your business. Start-up costs will vary. However, some companies will help you finance your investment. USA Air Charter Brokers, for example, will finance half of your investment – interest free – and you will pay the other half up front, with the total cost set at $4,600. Education and experience are not required to become a broker, however, experience as an aviator, airline mechanic, flight instructor or other aviation experience requiring the knowledge of aircraft might better help you understand your clients' needs.
Completing the Certification
Becoming a certified airplane broker might make you more marketable. Many companies offer certification in airplane brokerage and cover topics such as aviation sales, basic acquisition, valuing aircraft, determining client needs and writing up offers. Some companies create their curriculum based on the notion that students have experience in the aviation industry, such as piloting experience. Before registering for a class, check to ensure you have the adequate experience to understand the curriculum.
Chartering Another Course
If you're not ready to take on the role of an airplane broker, consider becoming an air charter broker. In a charter situation, a client rents an entire aircraft instead of paying for individual airline seats. As a charter broker, you can serve as the client's representative, the owner's representative, an unbiased mediator or you can purchase the charter and sell the charter to another party, thereby making you an indirect carrier. The air charter industry is heavily regulated, and the seller-of-travel laws vary by state. However, you don't have to have a license to be an air charter broker. It might help your quest to become an air charter broker if you belong to a professional organization representing air charter. Note that some people use the words airplane broker and air charter broker interchangeably, but they are separate careers.
Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.