Founded in 2002 in Peachtree City, Georgia, Aventure Aviation buys and sells surplus airplane parts inventories from and to airlines. The company also dismantles retired aircraft, refurbishes the spare parts and resells them in markets around the world. All of the work is done in accordance with the ASA-100 certification program, meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards.
Before working with EXIM, Aventure shipped to an international customer that installed the parts in an airplane, then declared bankruptcy and ultimately did not pay. As Zaheer Faruqi, President Aventure Aviation says about that event, “Sleepless nights experienced!”
Just as airplanes circumnavigate the globe, so do the parts Aventure supplies. Approximately 83 percent of the company’s total sales are to international customers, and those customers expect open account credit terms. Exporting aviation parts comes with some unique challenges. If an airline requires a part, it must be shipped immediately to avoid delay, and there is no time to issue a Letter of Credit. Airline purchasing agents do not use credit cards for payment and the industry standard is to offer a minimum of 30 days open credit. With freight and logistics, payments may not happen more than 60 days after the parts have been received by the international buyer. The aviation parts business is open all year – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Since 2007, Aventure has covered their foreign receivables with export credit insurance from EXIM. With an export credit insurance policy, Aventure:
- Was protected from loss when an established customer bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of parts, then abruptly ceased operations, owing Aventure about $15,000.
- Grew business with an existing customer by offering a larger credit line
- Aggressively entered new international markets and captured new international customers
Mr. Faruqi offers the following questions that he recommends small business exporters think about, and also his replies:
- Are you willing to travel and experience new friendships, new relationships and see the world through your own eyes?
“When initial discussions appear to be leading to a possible sale and the value of the sale has a potential to grow and deliver decent profit margins, we recommend that you visit the prospective client. This demonstrates serious interest in doing business with the client and you gain firsthand knowledge about the client’s operations.”
- Is it worth it to chase new business overseas?
- What resources are available?
“Check with federal, state and local economic development and international trade organizations. We received free help from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and free consultation from EXIM Bank.”
Aventure also has a strong tradition of giving back. Whether it’s providing scholarships, volunteering at a food bank or picking fruit to support a non-profit that feeds those in need, the spirit of Aventure flies high.
Click here to register for a live webinar with Mr. Faruqi and learn more about why your small business should be exporting, and how to protect your foreign receivables from nonpayment. Can’t make it? Schedule a consultation with your local EXIM representative below: