Cirrus and partners unite to grow general aviation

DULUTH, Minn. – Cirrus Aircraft’s JumpStart Program will place 12 brand new and fully equipped SR20s at Cirrus training centers in select markets across the country, to give more new pilots a comprehensive introduction to general aviation by learning to fly in a Cirrus.

The program is a collaboration between Cirrus Aircraft, Cirrus’ largest suppliers, and Cirrus’ flight training partners to allow first-time pilots to train in new, fully-equipped Cirrus airplanes. JumpStart Program components include both special incentives and growth opportunities for the flight schools and sponsor owners, according to company officials.

Reading between the lines, I wondered what “special incentives” meant.

“Cirrus and the seven partners have made substantial financial accommodations that allow for aircraft to be in these markets,” said Todd Simmons, Executive Vice President Sales, Marketing and Support at Cirrus Aircraft.

Without asking Simmons to give away the “secret sauce,” it would seem Cirrus and its partners are underwriting the cost of these new SR20s – extensively – to place them where they otherwise wouldn’t be.

So, where are the SR20s in the JumpStart program located?

We have not defined all 12 markets, but we have aircraft in the program in Raleigh, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Spokane, Wash.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colo.; Sarasota, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Farmingdale, N.Y.,” continued Simmons. “We continue to explore adding new markets and have the capacity and commitment to do so.”

After a training partner takes delivery of an SR20 as part of the JumpStart Program, Cirrus helps the partner establish the aircraft in the fleet as “a key business differentiator.” Another aspect of the program is the option for  pilots to purchase a Cirrus airplane and lease it back to a Cirrus training center, with incentives available to the owner.

If one JumpStart SR20 leads to new business for any of these training partners, I imagine Cirrus sales staff likes the chances of converting at least some of this business to new Cirrus sales. And that is where the payback exists for Cirrus and its partners.

“With JumpStart, Cirrus Aircraft and this special group of partners are making a very real investment in expanding aviation,” said Simmons. “When new pilots learn and train in a Cirrus — a modern aircraft design with state-of-the-art technology, performance and safety systems — they are more likely to stay committed to aviation, to aircraft ownership and to accessing the personal and small business benefits that only GA can provide. The Cirrus Aircraft JumpStart Program helps make that introduction to flight and all its benefits easier by enhancing the flight training experience and reducing those initial ownership barriers.”

The program was field tested in select markets in late 2012 with encouraging early results throughout 2013.

“We have experienced firsthand the impact of having a new SR20 on the line as it has proven to be a clear competitive advantage,” says Bob Stedman, a principal at Independence Aviation, the Platinum Cirrus Training Center in Denver. “Both Cirrus Aircraft as a company and the airplanes themselves…we couldn’t ask for a stronger partner to help us stand out and attract new customers. We are seeing real results.”

The list of Cirrus Aircraft JumpStart supplier partners involved in development program are:

  • Garmin – Avionics
  • Continental Motors –200-hp engine
  • Hartzell – Propeller and governor
  • BRS Aerospace – CAPS Parachute canopy
  • Enviro Systems – Environmental control systems
  • Fastenal – Aerospace hardware and supplies
  • TenCate – Advanced composite materials

To learn more about the 2014 JumpStart Program, Cirrus suppliers and Cirrus training centers, visit cirrusaircraft.com.

Comments

  1. says

    What a great concept, probably taken from the web site http://www.get-aviation.com in that the need to bring some marketing and business principles to the table to get the excitement and customer experience back together.

    That being said, I am not sure if Cirrus has the formula that would maximize the return on investment, because they could capture 200% more people if they had a business plan built around the LSA.

    I am also concerned about the infrastructure of the basis for gathering the clients. Aviation has a problem that not many have identified, and it is the key to aviation growth, and not many want to acknowledge it. I have never seen incompetence regarding marketing and sales as I have with the aviation industry. Unless we acknowledge we need to get that dialed in, I think aviation will contract at alarming rates for some time to come.

    • says

      Mike, Yes, Cirrus needs multiple models 1. low end trainer (LSA?)
      2. mid priced model (C-172/DA-40 type?) Add this to the present lineup and you have SEVERAL “upsell” winners!

  2. SR says

    I know that what you do not know you do not know (starting and getting used to something with no prior comparison experience) may say that training brand new people to fly in a Cirrus may make sense, but is this a realistic and safe approach? Are these new people the “money” types who can afford it (no matter the time it takes), above average people who can learn with all the potential “overload” of high technology and a high performance aircraft, or is this just a sales ploy to sell Cirrus aircraft? It does not appear to be the big plus to GA as it appears to want to be. Another thought is that if you learn in this type machine, where are going to find an aircraft to rent at a reasonable cost that has this performance level without the emotional let down of a lesser aircraft. The average GA flyer that I have observed is not looking for super performance so much as reasonable cost to fly around the area and share the experience with others. GA and aviation in general needs to get past those who try to sound like the majority by pushing everything new, and realize that we have many great aircraft out there that will more than satisfy the new persons needs without the high costs of operation and definitely high purchase price. I am not opposed to new and advanced equipment, but please stop holding up only the shiny gold carrot. We need to get more people involved in GA, so why not give some realistic support to some of the many small operations that just want and need to do some cosmetic and other upgrades to be able to offer great traing and experiences in some still great, cost effective aircraft. Is that too much to ask?

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