The Challenges of Accurate Aircraft Valuations: How jetAVIVA Delivers Precision in the Pre-Owned Aircraft Market

The Challenges of Accurate Aircraft Valuations: How jetAVIVA Delivers Precision in the Pre-Owned Aircraft Market


June 21, 2024


Joe Crockett, Sales Operations Specialist

As an aircraft owner or operator, you know that understanding the true value of your aircraft is crucial. Whether for tax purposes, listing a plane for sale, or you have some free time on a Tuesday afternoon, having an accurate valuation is essential. However, in the “Wild West” of pre-owned aircraft sales, obtaining a precise valuation is far from straightforward. This is where jetAVIVA steps in with a solution that ensures buyers and sellers maximize their investment.

The Complexity of Aircraft Valuation

The world of pre-owned aircraft sales lacks the structured data reporting found in other industries like real estate. When you sell your home, for example, county records and the regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) capture and share sale prices and other transaction details. This system provides transparency and helps set accurate market values.

In contrast, the aircraft market does not have mandatory reporting requirements for sold price data or market trends. This absence of standardized data means that valuing an aircraft accurately requires more than just a quick glance at online tools like VREF or Aircraft BlueBook. While these resources are extremely useful and helpful for a quick estimate, they rely on data from previous quarters. In a fast-moving market, this lag can result in valuations that are off by hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially leaving significant money on the table.

The Need for Real-Time, Relevant Data

To navigate these challenges, accurate aircraft valuations require live, relevant data that take in consideration current market trends and dynamics. At jetAVIVA, our dedicated Sales Operations team plays a crucial role in this process. By partnering with our Sales Directors, our team tracks each serial number in our core markets, enabling us to offer unparalleled precision in aircraft valuation.

Here’s how we do it:

Step 1: Gather Accurate Data on the Subject Aircraft

The first step in our valuation process is to collect comprehensive data on the aircraft in question. This includes:

  • Airframe Total Time (AFTT): The total hours the aircraft has flown.
  • Maintenance Programs and Status: Details about any maintenance programs the aircraft is enrolled in like TAP Blue, ESP, or JSSI. Also, where the aircraft is in its maintenance schedule. Large inspections and scheduled maintenance can be timed to provide additional value in the open market.
  • Damage History: Any incidents or accidents that have affected the aircraft.
  • Pedigree: The history of ownership and operation.
  • Upgrades/STCs: Any supplemental type certificates or upgrades that add value to the plane. It’s important to note that not all upgrades translate directly to increased retail value. For instance, while ProLine Fusion avionics may be highly valued by some operators, others who exclusively use ProLine 21 may see it as a complication due to the need to train pilots on multiple systems.

Step 2: Acquire On-Market and Recently Sold Data

Next, we comb through online listing platforms such as JetNet, Controller, GlobalAir, and the IADA Aircraft Exchange to gather data on current and recently sold aircraft. This involves:

  • Recording Ask Prices: The listed prices of aircraft currently on the market.
  • Tracking Pending Prices: Prices of aircraft that are under contract but not yet sold.
  • Noting Pertinent Details: AFTT, Program Status, Maintenance, Damage, and Upgrades.
  • Analyzing Sold Data: Reviewing transaction details from the FAA and other agencies, while filtering out irrelevant data points like internal sales.
  • Consulting with Trusted Resources: We work closely with trusted colleagues and industry folks to verify our transaction data to ensure high validity. The longevity of these relationships and the breadth of trust is what enables not only the accuracy, but also the speed at which we can obtain this important information.

Step 3: Adjust Comparables to the Subject Aircraft

With a comprehensive dataset in hand, we then make adjustments to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison between the subject aircraft and comparable models. Adjustments might include:

  • Model Year Differences: Accounting for variations in manufacturing year.
  • AFTT Differences: Using a cost-per-hour adjustment to account for differences in flight time.
  • Engine Program Differences: Considering the costs associated with engine maintenance programs: enrollment costs, deferrals, and upgrade adjustments.
  • Upgrades and Features: Valuing additional features like in-flight wifi or upgraded avionics.

After these adjustments, we supplement our findings with values from VREF and Aircraft BlueBook to cross-reference and validate our valuation.

The jetAVIVA Advantage

This meticulous process ensures that jetAVIVA’s valuations are incredibly accurate. In fact, our valuations are typically within 5% of the actual sold price, a testament to our commitment to precision. This level of accuracy helps our clients confidently buy or sell aircraft, knowing they are getting a fair and current market value.

Since our founding in 2006, jetAVIVA has become a worldwide leader in pre-owned aircraft sales and acquisitions, conducting transactions world-wide. With offices in multiple states across the U.S., we have the reach and expertise to serve our clients wherever they are.

Thousands of satisfied customers have trusted jetAVIVA to guide them through the complex world of aircraft ownership. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, our dedicated Sales Operations team and our data-driven approach ensure that you won’t leave money on the table.


Accurate aircraft valuation is a complex, yet critical aspect of the pre-owned aircraft market. While traditional online tools offer a starting point, they fall short in fast-moving markets. jetAVIVA’s unique approach, combining live market data with rigorous analysis, provides the precision needed to navigate this challenging landscape.

By partnering with jetAVIVA, you gain access to a team that understands the nuances of the aircraft market and is dedicated to ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome in your transactions. Experience the jetAVIVA difference and join the thousands of satisfied customers who have successfully navigated the world of jet ownership with us.