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Meet Janine Iannarelli of Par Avion Ltd. in West side

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janine Iannarelli.

Janine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My career in aviation started as a researcher at a company formed by a woman entrepreneur that specialized in the gathering of data on available aircraft that was then sold to the trade. I was the first employee of the AMSTAT corporation who today is one of two providers of research within the business aviation industry. My job segued into the sale of the service and consequently, I found myself on the road meeting face to face with our customer base. It offered an insider’s view of the aircraft sales industry which greatly intrigued me. After receiving a number of job offers, I elected to join an aircraft dealer who specialized at the time in the sale of Learjets and that is what brought me to Houston.

Initially, the job was to help them establish an in-house research department and from there I moved over into aircraft sales. The job entailed quite a bit of travel and interface with a variety of vendors, manufacturers, aviation authorities and of course the existing and prospective client base. It was here that I learned the business of aircraft sales from the ground up. The emphasis was heavy on the technical side as one partner was a pilot and what is known as a licensed A & P (airframe and powerplant) mechanic. Development of this skill set has been of particularly great importance in the building of my career as deals are often made or broken at this stage of the purchase process.

The experience gained by having worked for an aircraft dealer was the ideal platform from which I was able to build my own company. Par Avion Ltd. was born out of a desire to control my own destiny whether that was time or fortunes. It has taken me from one end of the world to the other in search of opportunities. Cross-border transactions are a specialty of Par Avion and I am well known for bridging the cultural divide. Through my company not only have I been able to continue to build business and relationships around the world, but as well become a voice in the industry

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road less traveled is not one that is a paved highway. There are always challenges to be faced in selling a complex, highly technical asset whose purchase is to some degree driven by emotion. The level of knowledge that is required to be competitive in this industry is daunting and most of it is learned on the job. There is ever evolving technology with multiple solutions and it is in part the job of the salesperson to help the customer understand the best path to take. Couple this with a buying group that sometimes has different perspectives on what needs to be done and you find yourself not only trying to help complete a sale but manage people. I often joke that I wear many hats at work one of which is a counselor.

On a few rare occasions, I had to deal with less than agreeable male counterparts, but they would soon find out I was not going to be put aside and was a formidable adversary. Without sounding arrogant, I think my confidence and intuitive style of handling situations commanded attention and respect and consequently, it was rare that I encountered any personal difficulty, prejudice or resentment. You quickly learn to work-around human roadblocks to success and as I grew in reputation I found that my voice would be heard above all the other chatter.

The other struggle that seems to be a reoccurring theme in our industry is the economy itself. The sale of the business and private jets is closely tied to the ups and downs of the world economies and the overall mood and sentiment. Since the economic meltdown of 2008 it has been particularly challenging as we have had to deal with rapidly falling prices, depressed market conditions, residual value models that got tossed out the window and no one sector or part of the world in a boom cycle that could with any consistency help offset what was happening at home. The industry is showing signs of life today, but a large percentage of the historical client base has disappeared.

Par Avion Ltd. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Par Avion is an international aircraft brokerage firm that specializes in the sale of the business and private use jets valued upwards of $65,000,000. The emphasis is on a select group of product lines including Bombardier Globals and Learjets, Cessna Citations, Dassault Falcons, Gulfstreams, Hawkers, and Embraer Phenoms. Most of the aircraft we deal in are of the mid/super mid and large cabin variety. The business is global in scope and as I mentioned in a previous question, cross-border transactions are my specialty. The company was established in 1997 with the objective of providing personalized, hands-on service with regards to the acquisition and sale of business aircraft.

I am probably best known as a leading purveyor of the Dassault built Falcon and earned the nickname from one MRO as “The Falcon Lady”. I bring over thirty years of aircraft sales experience to the table and great depth in the industry having worked with many of the established vendors and suppliers, civil aviation authorities and completion centers around the world.

What sets us apart is also what I am most proud of and that is continuing to provide a level of commitment and service to a Client that is for the most part unheard of today simply because the economics are not there. In the face of declining demand and diminished earnings, one-way others have cut back is to not be so hands-on and present in a transaction. Certainly not traveling to the due diligence inspections as they once did because it just consumes too much time and money. Or deferring responsibility with regards to reviewing and commenting on sales documents to the other professionals (tax, law, technical) engaged by the client. We are a turn-key, full-service aircraft brokerage and I am very involved in all aspects of the transaction. It has earned Par Avion a reputation as being very thorough, pro-active and effective. The bar is set high for me so as to exceed my Client’s expectations. This requires an investment in continued learning and being readily accessible.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is often defined differently, but for me personally, it comes in two forms: the feeling of a job well done that may or may not be validated by outside input and the monetary reward that comes along with it. The confirmation that I am on point and succeeding comes in big and small achievements. In the course of a day, it might be that I solved the mystery of who is the true owner of an otherwise unidentified plane that is a candidate for purchase. That’s affirmation of my continued research expertise. Or successfully negotiating a difficulty encountered in the course of a sale in favor of the party I represent. Overcoming obstacles, whatever they may give you the mental boost you need to move on to the next step. The payday is the big reward of course, but I am usually already on to my next project and always looking for the one after that. I jokingly say the aircraft sales business is a lot like the movie business: you are only as good as your last sale and it had better have been recent.

Pricing:

  • Aircraft that we sell are valued between $1,500,000 upwards of $65,000,000
  • Consulting services are priced either hourly or by the project. Hourly rate is $500

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Laura Pennino

    December 7, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Great story!

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