Preowned business aircraft inventory climbed 2 percent across all market segments—jets, turboprops, pistons, helicopters, and bizliners—at the end of last year, to 6,324 aircraft, up from 6,201 at year-end 2018, according to data released yesterday by JetNet. Business jets and fixed-wing pistons accounted for the majority of this increase.
In addition, the number of preowned sale transactions slid by nearly 1,200, or 11.8 percent fewer, year-over-year, JetNet said. Most segments were down by double-digit percentages in 2019, with business jets and bizliners each declining about 14 percent. These two segments accounted for nearly half of all transactions last year, the aviation data firm noted.
For-sale inventory of business jets and pistons each rose by a 0.7 percentage point each last year, with the former inventory rate now at 9.7 percent of the installed base—technically still a buyer’s market. For business jets, “a period of transition is now in play, wherein the pendulum continues to swing in favor from the buyer to the seller,” added JetNet. While the available aircraft generally continued to shrink over the past two years, "still many models exhibit the soft pricing brought on by the diminishment of residual values that completely dominated the post-recession years.”
Average time to sell across the board inched up two more days in 2019, though this was mixed as some segments took longer to sell while others took fewer days. Here, business jets excelled, taking 273 days to sell last year, 13 fewer than in 2018.
Notably, JetNet said transactions of business jets under 20 years of age fell 20 percent last year, while those for jets older than 41 years jumped by 19 percent. Overall, business jet transactions were down 422 units, or 14.5 percent, last year, to 2,497.
“The recovery in business aviation during the post-recession period has been with mixed results, with poor overall aircraft residual values that continue to be problematic,” JetNet concluded. “Now that 2020 is here, we hope the U.S. preowned market, along with improvements in the world economy, will continue to push more new aircraft purchases.”