April 30, 2018  ·  David Dixon

Is Asia set to be business aviation’s biggest player?

By 2026, Asia is predicted to be tied with North America in terms of ultra-high-net-worth-individual (UHNWI) population, as shown in The Wealth Report by Knight Frank, cited in our 10 Year Market Forecast. As more individuals are buying private aircraft in Asia, an increase in the UHNWI population could cause a boost in demand for the region.

Asia’s promising position in the global business aviation industry has never been more evident than at the 2018 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE). OEMs, operators and industry leaders were abuzz with the opportunities that Asia presents, speaking of new infrastructure, a better attitude towards business aviation and a steadily maturing market.

Overtaking Europe

Jetcraft is no exception when it comes to optimism about the region. Backed by our consistently healthy sales, we have determined that Asia-Pacific is one of the world’s fastest growing markets, accounting for approximately 15% of Jetcraft’s transactions in 2017. This trend has continued into Q1 of 2018, setting a positive projection for the rest of the year.

While the US remains the single biggest market, Asia has secured its position as the third largest in the sector. And excitingly, Asia regularly ties with – and even overtakes – Europe in terms of sales, hinting that it could unseat the long-established European market in the future.

Asia as a source

Another sign that the Asian market is maturing is the shift of Jetcraft’s clients from first-time buyers to first-time sellers. As a result, we have begun introducing Asia as a source of aircraft to American and European buyers.

Previously, a buyer in New York would not have expected to look to Singapore or Hong Kong for a new aircraft. However, our teams on the ground across the world help coordinate these transcontinental deals.

Long-range winners

As buyer behaviour changes, we are also seeing long-range and ultra-long range models increasing in popularity, for several reasons.

First, owners often trade up for their second aircraft. As they become more comfortable with flying privately, travel behaviours can change, meaning more flights at longer distances – journeys that require the range and capacity of a larger aircraft.

Second, the pre-owned aircraft market is now taking hold in Asia. As buyers increasingly recognise the value of pre-owned aircraft, more are able to consider the option of a long-range aircraft.

Politics persist

Despite the current US-China trade dispute, China’s long-term economic planning is grounds for confidence in the country’s future. Strategies such as the One Belt One Road initiative reveal a country dedicated to overseas investment – a fact of business and trade, and positive news for business aviation.

 

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