Business jet financing firm Global Jet Capital (GJC) has issued an upbeat assessment of world market activity in its first-quarter market briefing, saying activity continued to "demonstrate strength" in the first quarter after last year’s "remarkable resilience."
“Led by industrial orders and production, the global economy has begun to recover,” GJC said. “Driven by the U.S. market and charter and fractional usage, business aviation flight activity in [the first quarter] was the sector’s best performance since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Major OEMs saw business jet orders rise, buoyed by low inventory and continued demand. While deliveries of new aircraft were down in the quarter, preowned transactions were up. As a sign of current demand, GJC noted that aircraft listed for sale year-to-date fell 19 percent, to 528 units—putting inventory levels at historically low levels.
Slight declines in aircraft residual values in the quarter were not as significant as those of the global financial crisis in 2008/09, or even 2016, when it said declining commodity prices affected business jet demand. However, it remains to be seen how continued low inventory will affect business jet values.
“The global economic future is uncertain in the near term, despite pockets of strength, due to continued Covid-19 related lockdowns and uneven vaccine rollouts,” it concluded. “The business jet market, however, remains strong and is set to grow in 2021.”