Predictions: good times ahead for bizav

 - June 4, 2008, 11:07 AM

Three separate forecasts released last month indicate a steady increase in demand for and deliveries of business jets over the next two decades.

Bombardier Aerospace’s business jet market forecast, released May 7, predicts that 13,200 business jets, ranging from light twinjets to corporate airliners, worth $300 billion, will be delivered over the next 10 years. The Teal Group released on May 9 its 18th annual Business Jet Overview, which forecasts production of 14,289 business jets worth $218 billion during the same period, and on May 19 Rolls-Royce predicted demand for 39,000 new business jets, ranging from very light jets to bizliners, worth $715 billion over the next 20 years.

Bombardier predicted that in spite of the current economic woes, the number of future deliveries will represent a twofold increase from the industry average of about 620 business jets delivered annually between 1998 and 2007. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer credited the sustained buoyancy of the European jet market for the increase. “With growing demand for business jets within its international base of customers–representing 67 percent of orders for 2007–Bombardier should be well positioned to weather a possible recession in the U.S.,” the report stated.

The Teal Group report acknowledged “preliminary signs of a softening market,” but estimates that 779 corporate versions of jetliners and regional jets, worth a total of $38.1 billion, and 3,373 business turboprops, worth $14.5 billion, will be built in the period between 2008 and 2017. It also forecasts deliveries of 3,365 very light jets, including 1,385 Cessna Citation Mustangs and 925 Embraer Phenom 100s, over the 10-year period. “This industry looks set to remain considerably larger than before its pre-1996-2001 transformation, when it experienced 350-percent growth,” the report stated. It also predicts that Gulfstream and Bombardier will be the business jet market leaders, followed by Cessna, Dassault, Hawker Beechcraft and Embraer.

Rolls-Royce also predicts an increase in demand for business jets, with international customers taking the lead. The British engine manufacturer believes that nearly 16,000 midsize or large business jets will account for more than $536 billion in billings. In contrast, very light jets are expected to account for 7,500 deliveries worth $15 billion over the same period. The introduction of several new models and the business community’s increasing acceptance of the business jet as a productivity tool will also drive the market, the report predicts.