Ford von Weise, global head of aircraft financing for Citi Private Bank, termed the overall atmosphere last week at EBACE as “benign” during a conference call earlier this week hosted by Citi Research addressing the current state of the business jet market. Participants on the call were also cautious about macro factors and trade war risks that could negatively affect the certainty the market thrives on.
“That said, there’s still some optimism behind that caution based on stabilized pricing/values and new products driving demand,” Citi Research aerospace analyst Jonathon Raviv said. “It’s also worth remembering that the market is in a better spot than it has been for several years, which could provide some cushion if macro weakens significantly.
“In our view, business jets are showing signs of life, with legacy orders supporting stabilized or modestly higher legacy production rates. But we do sense some jitters…which in our view means [aircraft manufacturers] are still reticent to raise rates meaningfully.”
Citi Research noted the business jet market relies on “aircraft need, liquidity, and confidence.” While it said the first two are currently in good shape, “confidence could falter, which could be coincident with aircraft need. Confidence is very important for the high-net-worth crowd, which our expert suggests comprises 50 percent of buyers. A sentiment swoon can freeze their purchase decision.”