By Raphael Haddad, President, Jetcraft Commercial
Is there ever a ‘normal’ year in aviation? Since launching in 2015, Jetcraft Commercial has already seen this extraordinary industry enjoy highs and face turbulent, challenging lows. Supporting airlines and operators with their commercial aircraft transactions, we certainly experienced another remarkable year in 2021, and 2022 is shaping up strongly.
Industry confidence is building, with International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Willie Walsh, reporting this May “very strong bookings” and saying: “I think that recovery will gather momentum as we go through the rest of this year into 2023.”
In March, IATA announced expectations that overall traveler numbers would reach 4bn in 2024, exceeding pre-COVID levels (at 103% of the 2019 total). But passengers stranded at UK airports this year, faced with flight cancellations, lost baggage and even calls for the army to intervene from Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, might not agree with industry commentators that travel is smoothly returning to ‘business as usual’.
After a crisis, we usually see demand spikes for regional aircraft, attractive compared to large commercial airliners because they offer lower operating costs and are easier to fill with passengers. 2021 was no exception and our experienced team were primed and ready to access the inventory needed to meet this demand.
Africa is an increasingly vibrant market right now and many aircraft we buy are sold into the region, even when bought outside the continent.
The North American trading market is also booming, meeting the rising post-crisis demand mentioned earlier for smaller aircraft on high-frequency routes in the US.
In Europe, the market has been changing through the pandemic, and the most demand we see now is coming from airlines wishing to sell aircraft.
And passenger jets are not the only story. The air freight market has continued to be a major bright spot in the commercial aviation market. Fueled by the growth of e-commerce (boosted by the necessity for online shopping during lockdowns), supply chain disruptions, and the decline in passenger flights, the demand for air cargo has risen in line with the pandemic period.
Consequently, there is a huge resurgence internationally in demand for cargo aircraft, and a low inventory for freighters. As a result, this has delayed retirements of some aircraft models and encouraged lessors to convert passenger aircraft into freighters: a process which we can support, from sale and conversion to acquisition.
Seizing the day
At Jetcraft, we’re thrilled to see our own optimistic outlook for growth reflected in the findings of the IATA Annual Review 2022. Like IATA, we believe that commercial aviation activity will return to pre-COVID levels by 2024 and the losses to the industry caused by the pandemic will be recovered by 2030.
Overall, despite ongoing challenges, airlines are recovering quicker than anticipated and as reported by IATA, are expected to cut losses from -$42.1 billion in 2021 to -$9.7 billion in 2022. Buoyed by phenomenal demand from travelers and proven resilience, we’re seeing strong industry confidence reflected in demand for new aircraft. Our current business model reflects these forecasts, and we’re ready to trade.
We’re moving forward globally with confidence and creativity. Right now, for example, we’re looking into opportunities around airlines wishing to sell their older aircraft for parts. And in the past year, we’ve entered the seller leaseback market, where we’re now exploring the possibility of setting up our own leasing entity.
With exceptional access to buyers and sellers, our high conversion rates are hard to resist. We’ve been operating, particularly trading regional and narrowbody aircraft, since 2015 and our diverse inventory includes aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, De Havilland Canada, Embraer and other manufacturers. To find out more about how Jetcraft Commercial can help your business soar, please visit: https://www.jetcraft.com/inventory/commercial/
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