Bizjet Market Improving, but Recovery Still Elusive

 - June 17, 2014, 3:40 PM

“Business jet market conditions have improved somewhat, and [OEM] management sentiment seems incrementally more optimistic–though only modestly so–but the data still does not point to a recovery in earnest,” J.P. Morgan analysts noted in their latest Business Jet Monthly report, released on Friday.

The firm said that while indicators of business jet demand showed clear signs of improvement late last year, some of this momentum has dissipated as the volume of young (five years or less) pre-owned business jets “has inched back up.” In addition, prices of pre-owned business jets fell again last month, after recording two sequential increases in March and April.

Inventory of in-production, pre-owned business jets declined modestly–0.1 percent–last month, settling in at 8.7 percent. This is also “little changed” from a year ago, J.P. Morgan noted. Midsize jets drove the decline, “particularly the Citation X and Sovereign,” while light and large-cabin jet inventories were flat to slightly down. Inventory of young pre-owned jets rose 0.1 percent month-over-month, to an estimated 6.1 percent in May. This inventory has climbed by 0.6 percent over the past three months, with Embraer Phenom 100s and 300s “among the drivers of the increase.” Even so, the young jet inventory is still down 1.3 percent from a year ago, the firm’s analysts said.

Average asking prices for business jets last month declined 1.9 percent month-over-month and 7 percent year-over-year. Prices declined across all categories, with midsize jets down the most, at -5.9 percent from a year ago.