Aerlex Law Group

Piaggio Avanti P180 Aircraft–Hitting the Market Soon!

Piaggio Avanti P180 Aircraft–Hitting the Market Soon!— Originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, April 2014, Volume 24, No. 4.


In July 2013, creditors filed an involuntary petition for bankruptcy against Avantair, the fractional aircraft ownership company that was then already teetering on the brink of insolvency. It was the last straw for a company that already had halted service twice in the preceding 10 months. At that time, there were 44 Piaggio Avanti P180 aircraft in the Avantair fractional fleet. Some of these aircraft will be for sale at the time of this publication.

The Piaggio Avanti aircraft that were part of the Avantair fractional fleet ranged in age from 2002 Avanti I models to 2008 Avanti II models. As is the case with all fractional programs, the co-owners of the individual Piaggio Avanti aircraft did not know each other at the time they purchased their fractional ownership interests from Avantair. Over the past year, the fractional owner groups have gotten to know each other and, in most cases, now have a collaborative plan in place for their Piaggio Avanti aircraft. Each owner group has faced the challenge of determining the best way to handle their aircraft without the help of an aircraft manager.

With the collapse and shutdown of the Avantair program, fractional owners who purchased fractional shares for on-demand private aviation service were faced with the reality that they also owned an aircraft, and with ownership came all of the responsibilities of insuring, repairing and storing the aircraft. They no longer had a management company to manage these aircraft for them. With their new-found responsibilities, the owner groups also faced the challenge of an FAA emergency suspension of the airworthiness certificate for each of these aircraft; in addition, they had to respond to an FAA parts order which required that certain entries be made in the maintenance records of the aircraft and certain disclosures be made to those who purchase the aircraft or any of its parts.

Regardless of the challenges these Piaggio Avanti aircraft present, there is a great deal of interest in these airplanes in the business aviation community, and it is exciting that some of them will start to hit the market in the second quarter of 2014. Assuming the United States Bankruptcy Court approves the process, several of the Piaggio Avanti aircraft will be sold by auction with Starman Bros. Auctions, Inc. in an “as is” condition. Other aircraft will be recertified prior to sale and sold by private sale or by auction by Heritage Global Partners, Inc.

Throughout the course of this past year, I have had the opportunity to speak to countless former fractional owners, brokers, investors and auctioneers. I have been asked at least 100 times what these Avanti aircraft are worth and what they will sell for. Every aviation expert seems to have a different opinion, and I have listened to all of them. The truth is that the market will tell us what these aircraft are worth very soon.

Based on all of my conversations I do know there is significant interest in this niche aircraft. Many of the former fractional owners (approximately 630 of them) purchased fractional ownership interest in the Avanti because the aircraft was great for their mission, but they did not want to purchase a whole aircraft for nearly seven million dollars. Now that these aircraft will sell for something less than that, many of these former fractional owners are potential first-time whole aircraft buyers which should help these aircraft retain their values. Let the bidding begin!

Please contact Amanda Applegate at 877-237-5398 or