August 31, 2022  ·  Chad Anderson

Making a value judgement on pre-owned aircraft

The only way to accurately assess the value of pre-owned aircraft is by having access to comprehensive data. Price fluctuations – whether the depths of the market when Covid hit, or the height of the 2008-2009 peak – make it difficult to judge value when compared to a single data point, so it’s necessary to have a long-term view.

The good news for prospective buyers is that when we take a more sophisticated approach and assess lasting trends, there is plenty of value to be found. For example, a five-year-old Gulfstream G550, which, while trading at a higher price than it was during the market lows of the pandemic, is still available at around 50-60% of its new price on the pre-owned market, which represents a healthy depreciation curve for buyers.

We’re now entering a period of market stability, so both buyers and sellers should be getting fair deals, with key barometers, such as fleet operator acquisitions, suggesting it’s unlikely there will be any significant drop in prices imminently.

However, while a stable market helps with values, market conditions aren’t a guarantee and there are several other key considerations when buying or selling your aircraft.

Value relies on the right advice

Professional, impartial advice can be worth millions of dollars to pre-owned aircraft buyers. An objective advisor not only takes the emotion out of a purchase to provide an objective assessment of value, but also offers market intelligence that helps minimize surprises, whether these relate to technical, legal or operational issues.

Because there is currently an undersupply of pre-owned jets, having an expert on hand can help buyers to avoid overpaying or making snap decisions in response to the more limited choice on offer. That means buyers are more likely to be recommended a technically sound aircraft, which fully meets their requirements, at a fair price.

Sellers benefit from expertise

Sellers are also in a good position, with low inventory meaning they are likely to have plenty of potential buyers. Despite this, expert advice also remains important for sellers. This is because solid market intelligence can help sellers to maximize value, while the qualified network that external experts have access to significantly boosts sellers’ market exposure and minimizes time to sell.

Whether it’s qualifying buyers, bringing them to the table, or guiding them through the legal processes, sellers will nearly always benefit from having impartial experts in their corner, with extra sale value, an expedited selling process and greater market exposure worth significantly more than the typical fees that are involved in engaging experts.

Ultimately, even without a backdrop of Covid-19 and the current commercial aviation chaos, a proper understanding of long-term trends reveals that pre-owned aircraft offer good value to buyers, while representing a fair deal for sellers. Sourcing the expertise offered by Jetcraft, with its market intelligence and global network is the best way to realize this opportunity. To find your next aircraft, visit

Minneapolis, MN, US


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