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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
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Flight figures are shaky but demand holds up
As demand rises in the US for pre-owned jets, aircraft are moving over from Europe. Colibri analysis shows a decline in business aviation flights in Europe, but its figures also show aircraft purchases to be more stable.

New analysis of WingX data from May 2019 by London based Colibri Aircraft, which specialises in the marketing, resale and purchase of pre-owned private aircraft, reveals the number of business aircraft departures in the UK last month was down 4.1 per cent on the same period in 2018, compared to a fall of 3.1 per cent for Europe as a whole.

Year-to-date growth in UK business aviation flights is down 1.8 per cent. Part of the decline in the number of flights could be due to the fact that the total number of these aircraft registered in Europe has been falling. There was a drop of 4.6 per cent between January 2018 and January 2019, according to Colibri Aircraft's research.

Colibri Aircraft managing director Oliver Stone says: “Increased demand for pre-owned jets from the large USA market has led to a rise in the number of aircraft going from Europe to the USA, reducing the fleet of European aircraft. This smaller fleet leads to a reduction in the number of flights occurring.”

The most popular destination for business aircraft taking off in the UK is elsewhere in the country, and Colibri Aircraft's analysis reveals that the number of these flights last month was down 2.7 per cent. The second most popular destination is France and departures for here were down 4.7 per cent. This is followed by Germany, where the number of business aircraft leaving the UK last month for this county was down 9.3 per cent.

The company also finds that at the start of this year, the average asking price for 13 of the most popular pre-owned jet models that were available to buy globally was two per cent, or $139,709.4, higher than in January 2018. There were 335 pre-owned jets for sale in January 2018 for an average asking price of $6,259,434 and the corresponding figures for the same month this year were 302 and $6,399,143. In total, these 13 models account for over 20 per cent of the pre-owned private jet transaction market.

This rise in asking price is in stark contrast to earlier years where Colibri Aircraft's research found that the average price of these pre-owned jets in January 2017 was $7,967,097, and for the same month in 2016 it was $9,371,304. The biggest rise was for the Challenger 605, which saw its asking price rise by a staggering 30 per cent between January 2018 and January 2019. This was followed by the Gulfstream 200 which rose by 22 per cent, and the Falcon 7X and Challenger 604 which both saw increases of 11 per cent.

The biggest falls were shown by the Hawker 800 23 per cent and the Citation Mustang at 12 per cent. Stone adds: “Demand for business is aircraft is holding up, and this combined with a significant fall in the number of these jets available for sale, there were 10 per cent fewer in January this year than the same time in 2018, means prices have been rising.”

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