NBAA-BACE always serves as a good annual reminder to check the pulse of the business aviation market. According to the latest data provided by JetNet, of the 21,870 business aircraft worldwide, 2,285 are currently on the market. This is the equivalent of 10.5% – a level unheard of since November 2007. In other words, pre-owned inventories are back to pre-recession levels.
As the preowned business jet market is a good leading indicator of the new business jet market, this is great news for our industry. Residual values of aircraft are still lower than desired, however, buyers and sellers have seemed to acquiesce to common ground fueling the activity we see today.
From Pause to Fast-Forward
According to JetNet IQ’s third-quarter industry survey, confidence is back up. Nearly half of the respondents indicated that they believe the business aviation market is past the low point of the current economic cycle. The survey goes on to state that overall optimism has rebounded since NBAA-BACE 2016, which took place during the height of a contentious US presidential election.
During last year’s show, I remember industry leaders discussing a “pause” in the market, with many buyers opting to wait until after the election for purchase decisions. Regardless of whether or not this pause actually happened, the market has since gone fast-forward. In North America alone, pre-owned inventory levels are down and good aircraft are being quickly bought up. Whereas Jetcraft became accustomed to carrying 80 to 90 listings over the last 5 years, today we have a level of inventory that suggests a much more fluid market – with 17 sales pending.