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New online aviation marketplace launches

A new web-based marketplace for anything related to flying and the aviation lifestyle has arrived on the scene, vowing to shake up what it describes as a stagnant and frustrating online aviation shopping experience.

Photo by Chris Rose.

Aviators Market was created “to meet the changing needs of everyone in business and general aviation that relies on the internet to buy, sell or just window shop for an aircraft or aviation-related products and services,” said Ana Cunha-Fontes, CEO of Aviators Market Publishing of Sarasota, Florida, announcing the rollout April 2 at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland.

“While you can find anything related to aviation on the internet, that search is often a long and frustrating experience,” she said, adding that high levels of functionality and user friendliness of other electronic marketplaces “has been missing in the aviation segment—until now.”

Two critical elements usually determine how fast an airplane sells: pricing and exposure. Aviators Market doesn’t control price, but it offers sellers a way to “get that aircraft in front of the largest number of potential buyers on a real-time basis.”

Aviators Market says buyers and sellers will both benefit from “large and diverse” listings, and the site’s intuitive search functions. If a seller adds a new aircraft listing or updates an existing offering, shoppers who saved the aircraft listing on their “dream list” will receive automatic notification of the change. Live customer service with a U.S.-based representative is to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by phone, chat, or email, the announcement said.

Cunha-Fontes, a consultant and international business development executive, said GA first captured her attention when she attended Sun 'n Fun in 2004 and was struck by aviation-community members’ emotional attachment to their pastime.

“They speak from their heart. There’s so much passion involved,” she said, adding that she “fell in love right there” with aviation.

Cunha-Fontes expects the platform to be a good fit for such devotees because the creative team behind the initiative shaped the project working closely with leading aircraft and component manufacturers, brokers, dealers, and individual buyers and sellers. The Aviators Market team includes Kevin Maloy, chief technology officer; Jeff LoParo, executive vice president of sales; Mike Kline, marketing director; and Dale Smith, media relations.

Although they know they are not the earliest player in online aviation marketing, the team invokes comparisons with big-name players in other sectors who became known as the leading presences in their fields—think Henry Ford, e-commerce inventor Michael Aldrich, and the Wright brothers.

“We all bring intimate knowledge and firsthand experience in aviation,” said LoParo, a pilot since age 17. “With this space, we are building a community here. People want ability to see everything. We will provide that ability.”

In contrast with competitors who have “been there forever” without innovating, will release one or two new features or element updates a month following the rollout, he said.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Aircraft, Aviation Industry, Gear

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