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Business aviation finally feels the wind of recovery

Dal Kikin
November 28, 2018

Photo: iStock/Bychykhin_Olexandr

The relaunching of business jet deliveries is expected next year with the arrival of new models. Inventory of used equipment has started to decline.

They will probably leave with better morale than when they arrive. On October 16-18 at the NBAA in Orlando, business aviation professionals found reason to be optimistic for 2019. Not only did all the studies published for the occasion agree in predicting a net return to growth next year, after years of stagnation, but the show will also have resulted in some spectacular announcements.

A pre-order of 325 jets

Photo: Cessna Hemisphere

Starting with the pre-order of 325 Cessna Longitude and Hemisphere business jets by the American Netjets, the world's leading business jet leasing company. An announcement that will have enabled Safran aircraft engines to garner the first commercial success of the Silvercrest engine, which will equip up to 150 of the 325 jets announced by Netjets, since its break with Dassault.

Resumed recovery

Photo: Netjets' aircraft

Even though the agreement between Netjets and Cessna is not yet a firm order, it is in line with the market recovery, which began in the first quarter with a 2.8% year-over-year increase in global shipments. private planes, according to figures from the association of business manufacturers Gama. A recovery that was amplified in the second quarter, with a total of 1,054 deliveries in the first half, compared to 1,001 in the first half of 2017, even though the deliveries of business jets are still stable, at 296 aircraft.

The stock of used aircraft decreases

Photo: used aircraft stock

Sign of this recovery: the stocks of used jets, which hindered sales of new aircraft, began to decline after a 9% increase in sales in 2017 (2,700 transactions). And if the US market continues to drive sales, with 61% of deliveries, thanks to the good health of the economy and the tax cuts granted to large companies, the European market presents opportunities, with 33% of the fleet business aircraft to renew over the next five years, compared to 20% globally.

The wave of new models

Photo: Embraer Praetor 600

However, according to the Honeywell study, which relies on 7,700 business jet deliveries by 2028, the real takeoff will take place next year, with the arrival of a wave of new models, which should increase deliveries from 8% to 10%. The new Cessna Longitude, as well as the Gulfstream 500 and 600 and the Bombardier 5500, 6500 and 7500, as well as the two new Embraer jets - Praetor 500 and 600 - unveiled at the NBAA, will begin shipping next year.

Futuristic projects

Photo: Dassault Aviation's Falcon 6X

And the wave of innovation is bound to last with the arrival of the new Dassault Aviation's Falcon 6X in 2022, a first supersonic business jet, developed by the American start-up Aerion in partnership with GE, for 2023, and several electric-powered aircraft projects, such as the Zunum project in which Safran is involved or the numerous flying taxi projects.