Fuelled in large part by first time buyers, the pre-owned business aircraft market set new records for demand during Q1 2022, resulting in just 3.1% of the active aircraft fleet being available for sale, as of March 31, according to the AI2 Market Report, which has just been published by Asset Insight, the Illinois aircraft appraisal and valuation firm.
The quality rating of the for-sale fleet reached a 12-month high/best figure, signifying fewer near-term maintenance events and proving maintenance status is not directly related to aircraft age. However, maintenance exposure (the cost of embedded/accrued aircraft maintenance) approached a 12-month worst figure, signifying upcoming events for the listed fleet, while fewer in number, will be more expensive to complete. The Q1 2022 AI2 Market Report covers 134 fixed-wing models and 698 aircraft listed for sale.
As expected during a high-demand market, posted ask prices rose in Q1, up more than 14% year over year. Young, low-time aircraft continued to sell quickly, many without a formal listing, with sellers often generating final transaction values that met or exceeded their ask price.
“Two years ago, as we headed into the COVID-19 pandemic, nobody foresaw the frenetic buying environment we continue to experience. Twenty-four months later, the pre-owned business aircraft market has achieved record high transaction rates and a record-low inventory level,” says Tony Kioussis, president of Asset Insight. “Buyers are obtaining their ask prices, if not more, and owners of high-quality, low-time, recent model aircraft may not even have to list their asset to secure a sale.”
Only 3.1% of Asset Insight's tracked fleet was on the market at the end of March, compared to 8.1% in 2021. Large jets and turboprops have only 2.4% and 2.9% of the active fleet listed for sale, respectively, while just 3.8% of mid-size jets and 3.2% of light jets are available for sale, down impressively from the March 2021 figures of 9.8% and 8.2%, respectively.