Planning for Aviation Supply Chain Disruptions

February 1, 2022

If you’ve spent any time in aviation, you have probably discovered that everything is connected. An aircraft has the ability to bring people together quickly and helps build relationships with others. It’s one of the great aspects of our industry.

Unfortunately, those connections are at times dependent on another network: the aviation supply chain. An aircraft part here is needed for a repair there. An upgrade there is on hold because a part that hasn’t been made is a continent away. Like almost every industry in the past year, there are major disruptions within aviation’s supply chain.

That impacts everything, including buying and selling an aircraft.

We were recently working with a client who is a professional athlete. Operating their own aircraft is one of the keys to being successful in a global sport where tournaments are held all over. Fly one week to Dubai, then to the United Kingdom, then across to the United States to challenge the best in the world. Naturally, after years of using their current jet, the client was looking to upgrade to a newer model that can accommodate their needs. But buying that next aircraft isn’t as simple as it once was – because of aviation supply chain challenges.

It’s not just the parts that are the issue, it’s also the pre-buy inspection. Major facilities such as Dassault Falcon service centers just don’t have inspection slots available for months, because their technicians are backed up with other work orders. Once the inspection occurs, then there could be another delay to fix items on the aircraft “squawk sheet.” Because of waiting on a part from the supply chain.

So that purchase becomes a slow process, which means the subsequent sale of a previous aircraft is also delayed. At Hatt & Associates, we’ve seen how fast aircraft inventory could sell, if it is available. But when those aircraft can’t get through inspections and repairs quickly, the whole chain of transactions slows down. For our client, the professional athlete, there’s never a good time to be without a plane. That’s true for other individuals or companies who rely on their aircraft for their businesses.

What’s the answer?

We don’t foresee a quick fix to the aircraft supply chain problems. With a global computer chip shortage adding to the problem, aviation is on the low end of the priority list when it comes to fulfilling certain requests, making it harder to replace electronics or avionics.

We advise our clients to plan for it and work with people who have the experience and connections to manage the disruptions as easily as possible.

We’ve developed relationships with all of the major manufacturers and the biggest suppliers in the industry. Hatt can work with others’ tight schedules and advise clients as to the best ways to secure or sell their aircraft to maximize their investment and minimize downtime.

If that means helping find a part to fix an aircraft on the ground in the Middle East, or preparing to buy a jet in California, we have the connections to do it. Let us guide you through the process of preparing your aircraft for sale, or acquiring your next plane. Properly planning for the transaction will minimize problems down the road.