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Making a fleet change


It was the classic aircraft trade story: a company’s jet was nearing engine overhauls, and the airplane also needed a new paint job and an avionics upgrade. It was time for DiMarco Group, a New York-based, family-owned construction and real estate company, to find a new aircraft to get employees to and from projects, customers and vendors.

The change offered the option to stay with the manufacturer they’d chosen for their past three aircraft, or move on to another jet maker, said John DiMarco II, the company’s president and chief operating officer.

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DiMarco initially considered a manufacturer switch because of the company’s Beechcraft® King Air® turboprop. As a King Air pilot and longtime operator, he was impressed with the aircraft’s capabilities and Textron Aviation’s support network, he said.

“We noticed Textron Aviation’s attention to detail” DiMarco said. “That contributed to us looking at a Citation jet more directly.”

So, the construction company considered the midsize Citation Latitude® business jet, and the team found the performance they needed and the cabin changes they initially wanted—a flat floor and more space to spread out during longer trips.

“Between its design, cabin space and performance, the Latitude offered what we were looking for,” DiMarco said.

Expert advice

The next step was to ask for advice from someone who had a relationship with both manufacturers. DiMarco turned to his longtime aircraft manager, Ed Kilkeary, Sr., for answers to his questions. For more than 30 years, Kilkeary has flown and managed just about every make and model of business aircraft, from helicopters to commercial jets.

Before making a move to the Citation Latitude and bringing their corporate fleet under one OEM, DiMarco group leaders turned to longtime aircraft manager Ed Kilkeary, who helped them organize a successful aircraft trade-in. He suggests operators consider the following:

  • 1

    Mission profile

    Ensure your new aircraft is ready to meet or exceed your current travel needs, from performance to cabin space and operating costs.

  • 2


    Research all of the factors that could affect the value of your future aircraft, and how to successfully resell your current aircraft. Is the manufacturer willing to step in and assist?

  • 3

    Post-delivery support

    Is there an established support network with a footprint matching your service and parts needs?

Kilkeary and DiMarco wanted to be sure they would receive the responsive service they’d been promised.

“I know a lot of the folks at Textron Aviation. They’re out there, and they realize everybody builds a good airplane and they’ve got to be better, quicker, faster. The Latitude gave us everything we wanted, and the value was there. We just felt that it fit the company’s mission.”Ed Kilkeary, Sr., Aircraft manager, the DiMarco Group

The DiMarco Group executive team then began weighing whether to stay with the jet maker they had chosen three times before, or to bring the company’s fleet under a single manufacturer.

Forging a partnership

Prior to making a final decision to step into the Latitude, DiMarco and his team considered support, along with performance and overall value.

“The Latitude is a skillful aircraft, and the price point is helpful,” DiMarco said.

Judging whether the decision to change manufacturers is a good one essentially rests in the company’s feelings about the aircraft – and the manufacturer, he said.

“At the end of the day, we view Textron Aviation as business partners who enables us to get from A to B. We were expecting that level of support, and they’ve met those expectations,” DiMarco said. “It is a great airplane. We like it a lot. We love it, actually.”

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