The market for preowned aircraft has changed dramatically over the past 12 months, according to Duncan Aviation's aircraft sales and acquisitions team.
Duncan's aircraft sales and acquisitions consultant Tim Barber says that in the summer of 2020 the market was steady, if not slow. “The fourth quarter was like a switch has been flicked and every buyer wanted their aircraft yesterday. This heightened level of activity has continued throughout 2021. Every other email I receive is from a motivated buyer rather than a motivated seller.”
Aircraft sales and acquisitions director Steve Gade says Duncan has experienced a second wave of buyers that are upgrading or becoming first time buyers due to the newest wave of the COVID-19 virus. “The apparent reality is that the safety and convenience of business aviation will continue to be a challenge for the airlines.”
According to Ryan Huss, VP of sales, the increased activity in the business jet market is further proven by the increase in demand and the competitive schedule for pre-purchase evaluations and Duncan is projected to complete 38% more evaluations in 2021 than in 2020. He adds that pre-buy slots are backlogged on average three to six weeks with larger aircraft taking even longer to schedule.
The demand for pre-owned aircraft has led to a price increase for the most sought after aircraft, such as the Challenger 605 and Phenom 300. “Older aircraft are less likely to see the same value inflation,” explains Barber. “Having said that, there are a huge number of Hawker 800XP buyers.”
Duncan Aviation says that its sales and acquisitions team is well equipped to help buyers make the most of the market. “Partnering with experts will help you ask the right questions in order to dial in and target aircraft make or model, age, hours, maintenance status, history and other key attributes,” says Gade. “In this market, preparation and patience are rewarded.”
Barber purchased three Legacy 600s this year and each of the aircraft was sourced was off market. “Like the current real estate market, many transactions are consummated without the aircraft ever being listed, so being represented by an organisation that has numerous boots on the ground with relationships and eyes and ears seeing and listening on your behalf is for the buyer a competitive advantage.”