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.