Former Jet Edge CEO Papariella launches Aero Ventures

Bill Papariella, who built Jet Edge into a major force in jet cards and charter before selling to Vista Global, then leaving, is back.

By Doug Gollan, June 7, 2024

After announcing Aero Ventures during NBAA-BACE last year in Las Vegas, former Jet Edge CEO Bill Papariella said his new company has been fully launched.

“We’ve designed Aero Ventures as a peer-to-peer family office advisory business. We’re dealing with a select group of clients,” Papariella told Private Jet Card Comparisons during EBACE in Geneva last week.

He said, “What we’re seeing is a huge demand for expert analysis in operating the airplanes as well as the buying and selling and the overall picture, and very few people have been through enough of that to provide credible advice.”

However, he added, “We’re not brokers. We’re not consultants. We want to be in the buy and sell business.”

Private jet financing

Aero Ventures will focus on accelerated liquidity, short-term leases, and bridge financing solutions.

In Las Vegas, Aero Ventures announced a $100 million line of credit for aircraft dealer Jetcraft.

Papariella expects to create more similar partnerships.

“There is no fast capital these days,” Papariella said

He said Aero Ventures offers buyers, sellers, dealers, and operators alternative financing that keeps deals on track and enables clients to achieve objectives quickly.

For example, he recently bought an ultra-long-range jet from a Fortune 500 company that wanted to get it off its books quickly and then used Jetcraft to list the airplane.

In another deal, he bought a large cabin jet that was down for extended maintenance when the owner needed to sell, and the buyer walked away.

“We did it in three days,” he noted.

In other cases, Aero Ventures has made bridge loans while the bank worked out the financing package.

“I knew the seller. I knew the management company, and I knew the bank, and I knew all that was needed was a bit of time, and we provided the financing that gave the bank the time it needed,” he said.

Large corporations, UHNWs, dealers, management companies, and even fleet operators are key client targets.

Building relationships

In some cases, he said his involvement is relationship-building for the future.

A UHNW in Texas was about to buy a new large cabin jet to travel back and forth to Europe. He was dealing directly with the OEM, and the manufacturer had given him the specifications for that aircraft and essentially said, “Do your due diligence.”

Papariella told him the aircraft couldn’t do the westbound leg nonstop in real life.

The customer spent an extra $10 million from the same OEM to get an aircraft that would meet his needs.

Papariella says he expects to do 25 transactions this year.

Papariella sold Jet Edge to VistaJet and XO parent Vista Global in 2022 for $750 million and left last year.

READ: 40 Steps To Buy A Private Jet

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