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Business Jet Deliveries Warrant Modest Optimism for Prices

March 5, 2018

The last ten years has seen business jet pricing face severe drops, the level of which would have virtually made the financing of commercial aircraft virtually impossible had it been repeated for airliners but while there has been only a slight increase in the number of shipments for 2017, this is benefitting the used business jet market.

The number of business jets delivered in 2017 rose by only 1.4 percent to 676 units. This compares with 2008, the peak of the market, when 1,306 were delivered. The most significant fall in deliveries between 2016 and 2017 and indeed with regard to 2008 lay with Bombardier. The year 2017 saw only 140 deliveries compared to the 163 of the previous year. In 2008 247 aircraft were delivered by the company. Gulfstream, the principal competitor to Bombardier, actually saw a rise in deliveries from 115 in 2016 to 120 last year, representing only a modest fall to the 156 delivered in 2008. Hondajet recorded a near doubling of deliveries to 43 units. The limited increase in production for the manufacturers of large business jets is demonstrating greater pricing discipline on new aircraft. In 2015-2016, there was a temptation – which was not opposed – to sell aircraft at a discounted price to maintain production levels. Unfortunately, such a policy resulted in much lower used prices. As production levels have been curtailed, the prices of used aircraft have actually stopped falling in some cases and actually increased not least because such a 40-60 percent fall in some cases makes a five-year-old aircraft attractive once more. The demand for business jets, while still suffering from the limited appetite in some countries that were previously rapidly expanding, is gaining some traction due to better global economic growth. The level of availability of used large business jets has fallen to less than nine percent compared to the 2016 level of 10.5 percent demonstrating that buyers are acquiring used aircraft.

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