Analysis of Amstat data by Colibri Aircraft, a UK broker that specialises in the marketing, resale and purchase of pre-owned private aircraft, shows that the pre-owned private jet inventory has decreased 38 per cent since June 2020. This decline of supply on the market has had a residual and meaningful impact on the marketplace this year.
Only around 4.65 per cent of the pre-owned jet fleet is for sale, the lowest level since records began in the 1980s. In total, around 1,134 private jets are for sale globally, compared to approximately 1,839 in June 2020, representing a decline of over 38 per cent.
This low inventory, plus a drop in the number of new private jets being delivered, which is down 20 per cent last year from 2019, the lowest number since 2004, means that despite a difficult market for commercial aviation and travel in general, the private jet sector has been experiencing high levels of demand.
“Buying private jets is extremely difficult right now, particularly for European compliant aircraft,” says Colibri MD Oliver Stone. “Multiple buyers and a shrinking inventory of available aircraft have made a very competitive market. We recently tried to purchase a late model Challenger 650 for a client, and at least six offers were made for this aircraft, which ended up trading close to its headline asking price. To say that the market is competitive at the moment is an understatement.
“This decline has been led by the USA, which reopened far quicker than other parts of the world. Key factors driving the dramatic drop in the supply of private jets for sale was a strong desire to travel in an environment with far lower risk of COVID transmission; GlobeAir recently reported there are as many as 680 fewer person-to-person interactions when flying by private jet compared to commercial, and a significantly reduced airline service made airlines less convenient, which meant that more owners of private jets wanted to keep hold of their aircraft and a large number of first time buyers entered the market.
“In addition to this, surging asset prices in stock markets and real estate, historically cheap debt due to government stimulus and depreciation benefits that applied to private jet purchases removed many of the financial pressures some owners might have been under to sell their aircraft in more normal circumstances and also encouraged new buyers to act.
“Finally, as inventory declined so rapidly we found that current owners are often holding onto their current aircraft as they struggle to find a suitable replacement in such a supply-constrained environment, further decreasing the aircraft that are coming available for sale.”