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“Working back through the problem, we think they first speared the Bell 212 with the forklift. It wasn’t a surgical incision — they used the forklift that typically moves a 40-foot container. The bayonet thrust into the fuel tanks complete, the crane operator thought to check how well it would bounce and sometime later the entire flat rack ‘fell’ far enough to imitate a catastrophic hard landing occurrence.
Our sales team groaned, engineers saw job security, and the insurers immediately got migraines.”
Experiences like this are why Stephen Boyce, aircraft sales and marketing manager of New-Zealand based Oceania Aviation, is possessive on the entire sales process from concept to delivery. With past contractors offering aftersales support that time and again was disappointing in the quality of mechanical appraisals and packing jobs.
Founding directors Josh Camp and Jonathan Bowen already had an enviable tally of sales when Boyce joined in 2011. After a lifetime of aviating visual flight rules (VFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft in all entertaining parts of the planet, Boyce´s experience added a fresh enthusiasm, together with Bowen and Camp (who are also pilots). The team dynamic combined perfectly to drive Oceania´s brokerage service aggressively into offshore markets.
“Suddenly we had so much more to offer,” said Camp. “Someone calls asking what IFR aircraft can handle Antarctic operations or what VFR ship will lift a certain load at 5,000 feet? Our team has been there and done that.
“Enter our logistics specialist and drawing from our combined experiences we developed a fly-away shipping kit for each of our popular aircraft. Once an aircraft is sold we parachute in our engineers or sales staff, their equipment, shipping cradle and all sundry supplies. As needed we fly, dismantle, pack, insure, ship and, if needed, reassemble anywhere in the world.”
The point is that for Oceania the sales process doesn´t end when the funds hit the account. The cork on a bottle of vintage New Zealand pinot noir may be popped but the mandate is to ensure both seller and buyer receive world class value in the complete execution of the sale.
When buyers and sellers engage Oceania, they engage a family of skilled Type A personalities who have “grown up” in the helicopter industry. There are zero PhDs in the company’s management team but well over 100 years of combined aviation experience.
“I noticed very early on that many of my brokerage competitors knew nothing about helicopters or fixed-wing, other than what Wikipedia or a Blue Book could tell them. We compete against some rather top heavy competitors in the helicopter sector with their offices looking like an episode of Suits. More than a few negotiate the deal, shake your hand and wish you good luck, many without attending the appraisal of the aircraft they are selling,” said Boyce.
Oceania takes a different tack, believing the difference comes down to personal service from concept to delivery.
“Only last week I caught a flight to Queenstown, flew an MD 520N the length of our country in six hours, loaded it onto a shipping rack and it sailed off to Australia, all in a day,” explained Boyce.
Factor in Oceania Aviation´s lengthy capabilities list (blades, propellers, turbines, components, parts, role equipment manufacturing), and buyers and sellers need only deal with one entity.
“It´s our hard-won experience that gives us credibility,” said Boyce. “We´ve done multi-million dollar deals on a handshake because our commodity is our reputation and that reputation is 100 percent credible.”
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