GA Aircraft Sales To Be More Geographically Mixed

 - May 18, 2010, 12:06 PM

As the U.S. dollar becomes stronger, the general aviation industry will shift slowly from predominantly non-North American buyers to a more even mix since GA aircraft are priced in dollars, according to aviation market advisor Brian Foley of Brian Foley Associates. “This year the non-North American sales component helped arrest a further slide and has been the starting fluid for the downtrodden general aviation industry,” he said. “The [weak] dollar…effectively rewarded buyers with double-digit discounts when purchasing with their strong local currencies.” These trends have been confirmed by manufacturers (most notably Gulfstream) that have seen more than half of their sales come from non-North American customers, who traditionally represented only about 30 percent of all aircraft sales. Foley also said that offshore buyers have been “quietly helping” to reduce the bloated inventory of pre-owned aircraft, particularly late models that compete directly with new sales from manufacturers. He believes the U.S. market will eventually help lead the new aircraft sales revival since the most desirable used aircraft will have already been picked over by overseas buyers. Foley’s recent 10-year forecast by model calls for North America to account for an average of 52 percent of all future deliveries, down from the traditional 70 percent.