New, Preowned Bizjet Markets Showing Different Dynamics

 - September 15, 2022, 12:19 PM
New aircraft deliveries will increase as manufacturers work through growing backlogs, but the OEMs are continuing to show discipline as they do so, Global Jet Capital executives said. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

Global Jet Capital (GJC) executives highlighted the different dynamics they see playing out in the business jet market as new aircraft deliveries are staged for slow growth that stabilizes in three or four years and preowned transactions likely taking a step back this year but growing every year after that through 2026.

Speaking during a recent NBAA News Hour webinar about the new and preowned market ahead, GJC market intelligence analyst Bill Ostrove noted its updated forecast for 4,066 combined new and preowned transactions in 2026. This pushes transactions past the level of 2021 when 3,964 transactions occurred.

However, the forecast predicts a drop-off this year with transactions falling to 3,569 combined with a growth of about half of a percent on an annualized rate from there.

That dip comes on the heels of the preowned market, where transactions are anticipated to drop by 400 from last year. Ostrove noted that this year follows a “blistering 2021,” adding “our forecast expects the preowned markets to normalize this year and actually drop down a little bit.” Even so, he called the forecast strong.

On the new aircraft side, GJC predicts a steady uptick through 2024 and ebbing after that. Deliveries are anticipated to grow from 721 last year to 747 this year. And unlike the preowned market segment, which will climb each year from this year’s decline, new deliveries will peak in 2024 at 849 and level out in the latter half of the forecast, possibly even sliding a bit to 813 in 2026. 

As it continues to monitor numerous metrics, the GJC numbers were revised downward slightly from the 2022 to 2206 forecast it released in May, but the trendlines remained.

Ostrove noted a few factors playing into shorter-term steady new delivery growth, including “exceptional demand” over the last 18 to 24 months that filled backlogs. However, tempering that growth is inventory and supply shortages that need to be ironed out.

“Even despite that, we do expect new deliveries to gradually increase,” stabilizing toward 2025 and 2026 as manufacturers work through the backlog. While the economic situation is uncertain, he said that manufacturers are continuing with a “level of discipline.”

GJC chief marketing officer Andrew Farrant agreed, calling that discipline one of the most critical components in the bounce back from the difficulties of 2020 and growth moving forward.

“In 2008 and 2009, I think everybody got caught by surprise. It was very hard for the OEMs to turn the spigot off. And I think that lesson's been learned,” Farrant said. “We’re dealing with a far more mature market than we have previously. I think the OEMs have real command over their order books.”

This is even as Covid slowed things down, he added. “It made it a little bit difficult. It put some kinks in the supply chain and, it's taken a while to get all that back. And I think that that slow gradual increase in production is going to be really, really healthy for the industry.”

The overall new and preowned market, which took a significant jump up after the initial 2020 plunge, continues to be propelled by the ramifications of Covid. “There's always been this theory out there that only about 10 percent of the people on the planet who can afford to use business aviation actually do use it,” Ostrove said.

But with the benefits of business aviation, with far fewer touch points, the market has tapped a little more into its potential. “We saw a lot of new entrants,” he said.

Covid “highlighted the value proposition behind our entire industry, this idea of flexibility, safety, and privacy,” Farrant added.

And while there has been concern surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ostrove said the subsequent sanctions “really haven’t played a big role. The fleet was not that big.” Some assets were frozen, “but we've not really seen that have a major impact.”