Private Jet Industry Continues to Soar

The COVID boom is over, but Jetcraft sees growing private jet sales for years to come.

Elton John’s songwriting muse and lyricist, Bernie Taupin, said that back in the day, EJ’s massive private jet had a fireplace in it. Taupin did not explain how that might work, but if you are familiar with recent personal/business jet travel, you know that those sky yachts tricked out to reflect the wildest imaginings of the rich and famous now seem a bit, shall we say, quaint.

You may also know that today’s ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI), famous or not, are enjoying all the comforts and convenience of private aircraft ownership in record numbers, especially when it comes to preowned aircraft.

A comprehensive Market Forecast for preowned private jet sales by Jetcraft, a company that has specialized personal/business aircraft sales for 60 years, bears this out The Jetcraft study indicates that while the ballooning sales of preowned aircraft during the pandemic might be leveling off, new dynamics insure a vibrant and stable future market for these aircraft.

As Chad Anderson, CEO of Jetcraft puts it, “Despite global and economic hurdles, business aviation access, activity, and the overall global fleet continues to grow year on year.”

 

Titled “Ever Forward,” this latest in Jetcraft’s ongoing series of market studies of preowned jet sales, reveals some very interesting trends in this very global market. Following are some highlights of the study plus some “Do’s and Don’ts” for those thinking seriously of purchasing a private jet for business or pleasure.

One of the more interesting findings of the Jetcraft study concerns age. In short, owners are getting younger. Jetcraft’s study found that “the share of pre-owned jet buyers under 45, especially in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has risen by 20 percent in the last five years.” In addition, the under-45s are “driving the trend in larger aircraft purchases, with an average transaction price of $25M (31 percent more than their 45+ counterparts).”

 

And while North America continues to lead the demand for pre-owned business/private jets—its market share based on aircraft value grew from 53 percent in 2010 to 73 percent in 2021—globally it is dead last in growth among under-45 owners. Might this portend some shifting of market share by country?

Jetcraft’s Anderson says, “looking at UHNWI populations forecasted growth, Asia’s growth is higher than North America. Hence, this supports the idea that the market share will rebalance towards Asia.”

The study found that “Asia-Pacific’s UHNWI population is set to increase by 33 percent over the next five years,” which supports the idea that the region has a high potential for pre-owned large jet transactions.

Jetcraft’s Market Forecast also makes predictions well into the future. For example, it predicts that “pre-owned transactions are expected to maintain their new higher base and growth rates, reaching 2,351 transactions valued at $13.5B annually by 2026.”

Jetcraft founder and chairman of the board, Jahid Fazal-Karim, says, “we are seeing a blend of returning to normality combined with increased demand and access to business aviation.”

In terms of pricing, the Market Forecast predicts a “return to normality” with “average purchase prices returning to pre-pandemic levels over the forecast period.”

While this data is undoubtedly intriguing and confirms just how dynamic and global this market is, we asked the folks at Jetcraft an important question: What does all of this mean to people in the market for a jet aircraft?

Jetcraft’s suggests a few basic “Do’s & Don’ts” for those contemplating a purchase.

  • DO consider your needs. Where do you want to fly to? How many people will be traveling at any one time? What’s your budget?
  • DON’T disqualify an aircraft due to cosmetics. Think of it this way: Compared to what a jet costs, changing and upgrading cosmetics—color scheme, etc.—is relatively simple and inexpensive.
  • DO consult the experts. While the Jetcraft folks admit this might seem a bit self-serving— Working with a representative can help you plan, budget, and negotiate the best deals.
  • DON’T buy blind. Try—and fly aboard the model of your choice—before you buy.

To sum up, preowned private/business jets are a market like any other. Sales and prices get pushed and pulled by economic and world events, and in this case, changing demographics on a global scale. But if you think you’ll be in the market for a preowned private aircraft now or shortly, you might want to review those “Do’s and Don’ts” before you get started.

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