x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sales of business jets poised to top $250bn over next decade

Business jet sales are to top $250bn over the next decade as buyers look to trade up to bigger planes.

Business jet sales are set to top US$250 billion over the next decade as buyers look to trade up to bigger planes.

Honeywell Aerospace says 9,250 of the aircraft will be delivered between this year and 2022.

Larger planes will constitute more than 80 per cent of the orders, with buyers focusing on the super mid-size and ultra-long range jets.

The United States-based aircraft components maker based its conclusions on more than 1,500 interviews with business-jet operators, macroeconomic analyses and studies of manufacturers’ development plans.

“The trend toward larger-cabin aircraft with ever-increasing range expectations and advanced avionics is seen more strongly than ever in this year’s survey,” said Rob Wilson, Honeywell Aerospace’s president of business and general aviation.

Buyers in the Middle East and other emerging markets tend to favour bigger jets, say analysts.

About 26 per cent of Honeywell’s survey respondents in the Middle East and Africa said they planned to replace or add a jet to their fleet, down from 32 per cent last year.

“The level of purchase plans is near the world average even though 2013 has been a year of significant political upheaval and ongoing conflict in the region,” Honeywell said.

“Despite the regional distress, operators in the region indicate their purchases may happen sooner in the next five-year window than expected last year, with about 47 per cent of purchases planned before 2016.”

Business-jet operators in Asia-Pacific said they planned to buy planes that would make up 24 per cent of their fleet. That is below last year’s reported figure of 34 per cent and is below the world average. In Latin America, operators said they expected 39 per cent of their fleet would be replaced or be augmented with new jet purchases, unchanged from last year’s result.

Over in North America, the world’s largest business-jets market, purchase plans have improved to the world average of about 28 per cent, after averaging about 25 per cent for the past six years.

In contrast, the market in Europe has declined 25 per cent, from the 30 to 33 per cent levels achieved in the previous three surveys.

However, Mr Wilson said there was reason to be optimistic about the global industry’s prospects.

“We continue to see underlying macro[economic] trends that support potential demand for business jets, making the industry’s long-term prospects attractive.”

gduncan@thenational.ae