As 2017 draws to a close, it is time for EBAN to offer some insights and predictions for the years ahead, and to analyse how the market has been performing this year compared to last. Industry commentators including Forecast International, Honeywell Aerospace, Jetcraft, Asset Insight, Global Jet Capital and WingX Advance have contributed data with this in mind.
Forecast International's Raymond Jaworowski suggests that 12,282 business jets will be produced during the 15-year period from 2017 to 2031, and that annual production will rise from 647 aircraft in 2017 to 799 by 2020. He predicts that larger capacity long range jets will decline and that Cessna will lead the way by producing 3,178 aircraft for a market share of 25.9 per cent. Gulfstream will produce 2,277 jets (market share 18.5 per cent) and Embraer will rank third (2,255 aircraft). Gulfstream is well ahead in monetary terms, however, as the combined value of its production is forecast to total $121 billion and occupy a 34 per cent market share. Bombardier is projected to take second spot for production value ($87 billion) and Dassault is third with $54.4 billion.
Honeywell's 2017 annual survey broadly agrees, and deduces that 8,300 new business jets will be delivered from 2017 to 2027, although this is down two to three percentage points from its 2016 forecast. “Declining used aircraft prices, continued low commodities prices, and economic and political uncertainties in many business jet markets remain as near-term concerns for new jet purchases, leading to a modest growth in 2018,” says aftermarket president Ben Driggs. “That said, there are several new and exciting aircraft models coming to market, which will drive solid growth in purchases in the mid and long-term.”
In the Middle East and Africa, lower purchase plans were reported, impacted by political tensions and ongoing conflict in the region in tandem with a stalled recovery in oil prices. In this region, 18 per cent of respondents said they will replace or add to their fleet with a new jet purchase, down from 21 per cent last year but in line with the overall world average. In Europe, with operators still contending with sluggish growth, the uncertain effects of Brexit, a refugee and migrant surge, and continual threats of terrorism, new jet purchase plans declined this year.
Jetcraft's recent 10-year business aviation market forecast suggests 8,349 units representing $252 billion will be delivered by 2026. “Pin-pointing the transition into a new business cycle is challenging,” says chairman Jahid Fazal-Karim. “Our forecast indicates we are finally exiting the post-2008 recession period, entering several years of steadier, healthier growth and expanding revenues. This new business cycle should shape our industry for years to come.”
Global Jet Capital released analysis on the continent of Africa at the first AfBAC Expo in Johannesburg, which concluded on 1 December. It predicts that the African private jet fleet will grow by more than 25 per cent by 2025, with 160 new aircraft being delivered and taking the total based in the region to 520. These aircraft are forecast to have a total value of around $3.9 billion, or slightly less than $500m per year. A key driver behind this growth will be the southern Africa region which is expected to account for around a third of all the jets based in the continent.
The total value of the jets to be delivered to southern Africa by 2025 is predicted to be around $1.4 billion. The fleet in southern Africa is set to increase from 145 aircraft to 184, while north Africa is also due to increase 20 per cent to 101 jets.
These surveys may have been buoyed up by recent findings by WingX Advance, which assessed data from the EMEA region in 2016 and 2017. Its results show that more very light and light jets, and fewer midsize, super mid, and heavy jets were in operation in 2017 compared with 2016. However, heavy jet and super midsize hours have still risen slightly versus 2016. Although Cessna had 1,338 aircraft flying this year compared to 1,387 in 2016, it completed more than a quarter of a million hours, up from 240,000 in 2016. Bombardier, Gulfstream, Dassault and Embraer also enjoyed an upswing in hours, and in Embraer's case this was an impressive 27.3 per cent (70,212 hours).
With a number of new types entering the market over the next few years, the business aviation climate continues to be a vibrant one. Turn to our feature on page 9 to find out more about which assets could be a wise investment in 2018.
Enjoy the festive season.