The Teal Group’s 18th annual business jet overview cites high corporate profits, business globalization, high commodity prices, emerging market growth and a weak dollar for another all-time market high this year, and a sanguine forecast that projects a 10-year demand for 14,289 business jets worth $218 billion. By comparison, the last 10 years saw the production of 6,958 jets worth $124 billion.
Although Teal sees some “very preliminary” signs of a softening market and resulting dip after 2010, the industry appears sure to remain considerably larger than before its 1996-2001 transformation, when it experienced a growth rate of 350 percent.
The market today has grown to become four times larger than its size in 1996, said Teal, which also noted that it has grown to one-third the size of the jetliner/regional jet market.
Separately, the aerospace consulting group estimates that by 2017 manufacturers will build 779 corporate versions of jetliners and regional jets, worth a combined total of $38.1 billion, and 3,373 business turboprops, worth some $14.5 billion. While the forecast’s author, Richard Aboulafia, Teal v-p of analysis, holds to his status as an “air-taxi agnostic,” the study forecasts deliveries of 3,365 very light jets, including 1,385 Cessna Citation Mustangs and 925 Embraer Phenom 100s, over the 10-year period.
Two other forecasts issued recently by prominent engine manufacturers show similar growth patterns, but with some interesting twists. For instance, while Rolls-Royce predicts a 20-year market for 39,000 business jets, it predicts a dip in growth starting around 2014–some three years later than Teal’s prediction. It also predicts a far quicker recovery. In fact, while Teal sees a return to annual delivery rates of roughly 1,500 airplanes by around 2015, Rolls-Royce predicts a return to 2014 delivery rates by 2016.
Honeywell, meanwhile, sees a market for some 13,000 business jets over the 10 years ending in 2017, suggesting a slightly less bullish outlook than the Teal study. The Honeywell study also predicted a “fairly balanced demand growth” across most sectors. The Honeywell and Teal Group forecasts seemed to agree that the very light jet segment will account for a relatively small portion of the market in terms of dollar value.
“The arguments against mass adaptation of VLJs are daunting,” said the Teal report. “In addition to the usual safety and insurance concerns, this is a very conservative market. And how many business operators will really want such small planes? Even the SJ30 people had to scale their design up, allowing space for a few more passengers. Looking at it from the other end, how many private pilots can afford to upgrade from a Beech Bonanza to a jet?”