Bizjet Backlogs Shaky as Used Inventory, Slots Climb

 - January 8, 2009, 11:38 AM

Two separate analyst reports issued this week by UBS Investment Research and Brian Foley and Associates note that business jet order backlogs are at increased risk due to rising pre-owned inventory and recession. According to UBS, pre-owned bizjet inventory now stands at 16 percent of the in-service fleet, climbing 2 percent last month alone and 65 percent above prior-year levels. “The increase continues to be led by young aircraft [less than 10 years in age] available for sale,” it said, adding that inventories are perilously close to the 17-percent peak of late 2002. UBS also reports that new aircraft delivery positions up for sale continued to increase and are five times higher year-over-year. “We believe the recent surge in delivery slot listings reflects a combination of reduced customer demand and difficult financing conditions,” UBS analyst David Strauss said. According to Brian Foley and Associates, “Current order books sport a cadre of unproven, start-up fleet purchasers launching unproven businesses into a deep worldwide recession. These types of entities have literally placed hundreds of business jet orders. In our view a sizeable number of these entities will disappear or indefinitely defer orders, greatly complicating the lives of OEMs with exposure to this segment in the form of unsold product.”