Used aircraft prices have gone parabolic since last year, first launching to lofty heights only to arc back down to earth. While the drop began just before last year’s NBAA Convention, at the show aircraft purveyors had that deer-in-the-headlights look as they shook their heads in disbelief as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,000 points during the three-day event, punctuating the beginning of a year-long correction in pricing.
Despite some modest improvement last month, demand in the North American executive charter market is still relatively soft, according to the latest data from Web-based portal Avinode.
The good news is that the bad news seems to have subsided for the time being and business aviation’s recent negative publicity served to make aircraft that much more affordable.
Recent data from Web-based executive charter portal Avinode shows mixed fortunes for charter operators worldwide, but there is no avoiding the overall picture that market conditions are still difficult even during what are generally the busiest months of the year. Avinode’s demand index on September 1 stood at 61.29–16.5 percent down on the 73.46 figure for August 1 and 29.5 percent down on the 86.96 logged on July 1.
Using the stage at Oshkosh to make several product announcements, Avidyne introduced a lower-priced version of its next-gen flight management system called the FMS400 and rolled out three pricing levels for the Release 9 version of its Entegra integrated avionics system.
As used aircraft values got pummeled over the last few quarters, it seemed that the buyers had all but disappeared. They hadn’t. Now that the inventory of most model types is at unprecedented highs and prices are at unprecedented lows, buyers are reemerging in more noticeable numbers and scoring big time on CJs to G550s, often executing a trade some 30- to 50-percent below the prices accepted at this time last year.
XOJet launched a national network of “fare on-demand” rates for aircraft charter service starting at $12,000 on more than 15,000 dedicated routes. According to XOJet, its new fixed-price program eliminates the need for buyers to compare complicated quotes or negotiate with multiple providers. XOJet operates a fleet of Citation Xs and earlier this year launched fixed-price coast-to-coast charter service.
After a grueling quarter of massive price destruction, a wave of opportunistic buyers has begun to surface and infiltrate the pre-owned jet market. The current economic environment coupled with the public flogging of private jets and their owners has created a sea of discounted jets in all shapes and sizes. There is a growing perception by many that now is the time to buy.
Bombardier Flexjet on February 3 launched a round-trip pricing program that reduces the cost of one- or two-day round trips for owners committed to at least 100 flight hours per year. The program gives owners a 15-percent discount for each hour of a qualifying round trip. Round-trip pricing can be used on any day of the year, even on peak days, and there is no minimum time requirement on use of the aircraft.
little over a year ago, business aviation caterers were feeling the pressure as the wholesale price of consumables rose and the price of gas began to soar. Today, that pressure has become a clear squeeze as the global economy struggles.
According to Paula Kraft, founder and co-owner of Tastefully Yours in Atlanta, caterers currently fall into two groups: “Some will tell you things are slow. The others will lie.”