As the 2021 National Aviation Business Association convention kicks off Oct. 12, Honeywell has released its 30th annual Global Business Aviation Outlook, which projects 7,400 new business jet deliveries over the next decade valued at $238 billion.
That’s up 1% in projected deliveries from the same 10-year forecast a year ago.
In 2021, surveyed business jet operators reported a sharp increase in used jet purchase plans, 12% above last year’s report, equivalent to 800 additional used business aircraft.
Business aircraft manufacturers also announced a strong increase in jet orders, indicating that the industry has almost completely shaken off the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the outlook.
“The increased demand for used jets is estimated at more than 6,500 units over the next five years, putting pressure on an already record low inventory and driving additional demand for new jets,” said Heath Patrick, president, Americas Aftermarket, Honeywell Aerospace. “Our latest operator survey results support continued private jet usage growth, as more than 65% of respondents anticipate increased business jet usage in 2022. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, flight hours have recovered and grown beyond pre-pandemic levels. The overall health of the business jet market is strong, and growth is expected to continue.”
- Purchase plans for used jets show an increase in this year’s survey. Operators worldwide indicated that 28% of their fleet is expected to be replaced or expanded by used jets over the next five years, up 3% compared with survey results from 2020. Business jet deliveries in 2022 are expected to be up 10% from 2021 in terms of units billed.
- The longer-range forecast through 2031 projects a 3% average annual growth rate of deliveries in line with expected worldwide long-term economic growth.
- Five-year purchase plans for new business jets are down 2% compared with last year’s survey. This can be attributed to uncertainty around the COVID-19 Delta variant at the time of the survey, Honeywell officials said.
- The sharp increase in demand for used jets, coupled with a lower-than-ever inventory of used aircraft available for sale, will inevitably drive additional demand for new-build business jets. Among those with purchase plans of new business jets over the next five years, 29% of purchases are expected to occur in the next two years. This is just 1% lower than last year’s survey.
- Operators plan to make new jet purchases equivalent to about 14% of their fleets over the next five years as replacements or additions to their current fleet.
- Larger-cabin, heavy aircraft classes are expected to account for more than 72% of all expenditures of new business jets in the next five years.
Impact of COVID-19
- 9 of 10 operators in the survey said their new or used jet buying plans have not been postponed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 100% of 2021 respondents said that they had not cancelled and do not plan to cancel a delivery on a new aircraft.
- Year to date, business aviation usage trends point to a nearly 50% increase in flight hours in 2021 versus 2020, roughly 5% above 2019 (pre-COVID).
- 65% of respondents expect to operate their business jets more frequently in 2022 versus 2021.
- 2021 survey respondents are not signaling sales of late-model aircraft due to COVID-19. Only 4% of all respondents in the survey are planning to sell one or more aircraft without replacement in the next five years compared with 10% in last year’s survey.
- Very few respondents (6%) reported that conditions for their flight departments had worsened in 2021.
- Compared with last year, five-year new aircraft acquisition plans in North America are down 3% as operators’ cool expectations for the fifth year in the survey period. This is likely driven by the uncertainty caused by the Delta variant among smaller jet operators. Used aircraft purchase plans are up 3%.
- New jet purchase plans in North America are down 3% in this year’s survey compared with last year. Over the next five years, at least 13% of the fleet is expected to be replaced or supplemented with a new jet purchase.
- About 35% of operators plan to schedule their new purchases within the first two years of the five-year horizon. This is 3% higher than in last year’s survey, and above the worldwide average of 29%.
- Purchase plans for used jets are up 4% when compared with last year’s survey and above historical averages.
- An estimated 63% of worldwide demand for new jets will come from North American operators over the next five years, down just 1% compared with last year’s survey.
Plans to acquire used jets in the next five years increased by about 4% from last year’s survey. 29% of used business jets will trade hands over the next five years, compared with a five-year projection of 25% in 2020.