The pre-owned market this year has been buoyed somewhat by a continuing flurry of international buying activity coupled with new aircraft backlogs, which by all accounts are full for years to come. That doesn’t mean this segment is immune to cyclical price corrections, such as the one it is experiencing now. Any aircraft will sell.
Nearly 20 years ago, The New York Times ran a headline that read “Business May Cut Back, but Not on Its Private Jets.” The header on the next page read, “Corporate Jets Gain in Popularity.” I clipped the articles and when I rediscovered them recently, it struck me how history tends to repeat itself, and it seems this same headline applies today.
The momentum that began to build in the used jet market late last summer is rolling into this year. Overall inventory is about where it was a year ago, but after a significant month-over-month build-up through July, sales activity heightened and just as quickly reversed direction. Between August and the middle of last month, roughly 100 more aircraft departed the market than arrived.
Last month continued the trend toward supply rebalancing as the rate of used aircraft placed on the market outpaced those that were sold. The steady increase this year should come as no surprise as last year’s burst of buying drove choices of many types to extremely low levels, leaving no other direction to go but up. As we near summer, perceived by many to be the slowest time of year for aircraft sales, it is likely the trend will continue.
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