I understand that you want to buy cheaper planes, but the fight for second-hand planes pushes you to bid more than you should. Don’t forget that with this 19-year-old plane bought at the new price, you will also have higher maintenance costs than the new one.
You’re looking at leasing, not buying.
And if this is a fresh server this all sounds perfectly reasonable because in the initial growth phase you need aircraft, aircraft and aircraft. Their lease price in relation to list prices or even their age is secondary if at all.
I’m stuck on “pushes you to bid more than you should”.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why the price is that high. As @AK mentioned, the first few weeks on a new server are a scamble to acquire aircraft and build network presence. The value of wedging yourself in a market early is huge - if you can defend it, getting entrenched early means you’ll have a steady feed of income throughout the life cycle of the game. To wedge yourself in, you need planes.
In this early stage, the value of a plane is more than just the revenue it can generate - the value is in the slots it can hold down at a hub and the connection network it can foster. The most important part of a house is the foundation, and in the first few weeks, planes are that foundation.
Since the price of used planes is less than new, players will try to buy those first. This causes a bidding war, as there is an economical case for leasing old planes at almost any price below the per-unit price new. You’ll people competing for the plane up until its bid price is near its new list price, at which point the inscentive to push the price further disapates.
Never fear, though, since this type of bidding intensity is usually short-lived anyway. Press on and keep trying!