There’s a lot going on in the private and business aviation industry: Many soon-to-be-released luxury jets are about to enter the market, pre-owned jet prices are stabilizing, and the ADS-B mandate deadline looms. Here’s an overview of what’s happening and what it means for those trying to decide whether to purchase new aircraft, go with pre-owned models, or upgrade their current jets.
Quite a lot of buzz surrounds new luxury jet models coming soon to market. Here’s a taste of what’s on the horizon for those looking to purchase a new high-end aircraft:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner — If you demand nothing less than the height of luxury, the VVIP Dreamliner might be the next jet for you. With the ability to fly nonstop for more than 17 hours, this model provides flyers plenty of time to enjoy its more than 2,400 square feet of cabin space with heated marble floors, a king-size bed, walk-in closet, and full-size shower. If you want to test it out before buying, you can charter this penthouse in the sky for you and 39 of your closest friends for a mere $70,000 per hour.
Embraer Legacy 500 and 450 — Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer’s Legacy 500 and its slightly shorter sister, the Legacy 450, are some of the fastest jets in the midsize and “mid light” aircraft categories, delivering a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.79 to 0.82, respectively. They are some of only under-$50 million jets that feature full fly-by-wire flight controls. The Legacy 450, with a range of 1,300 nautical miles (nm), has a cabin four feet shorter than the 500, which has a 3,000-nautical-mile range. Both feature superb passenger comfort, low turbulence, and low noise levels.
Gulfstream G500 — Gulfstream’s long-range, large-cabin business jet is scheduled to enter into service in 2019. Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW814GA engines reduce fuel consumption as well as cut emissions and noise. It sports 27-inch-wide seats with footrests for extra comfortable rides for as many as 19 passengers and includes a large, fully equipped galley. The G500 has a range of 5,200 nm and offers a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and entertainment system as well as full digital fly-by-wire flight controls.
- Pilatus PC-24 — The PC-24 super versatile jet is the first business jet from Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft. The 10-passenger aircraft, for which deliveries began in January 2018, has a list price of just under $9 million. Its large aft door can handle standard cargo pallets, it flies as fast as 440 knots, and the PC-24 can fly six passengers 1,800 nm. Buyers can even choose among seven cabin layouts for this area that offer more overall space than its more expensive competitors. In addition, the light jet can use grass, gravel, or dirt runways as well as runways less than 2,700 feet, according to the Barron’s article.
Changes in the pre-owned market
Buyers who are not ready to go all-in on a new jet might want to take a look at the pre-owned market while they still can. Although the pre-owned Gulfstream market has been struggling over the past several years, according to an AINOnline article, an increase in pre-owned sales, decreasing inventories, and stabilizing prices have contributed to its ongoing recovery. For example, less than 4% of Gulfstream G650 and G550 fleets are for sale, which is extremely low compared to recent years.Inventories for older Gulfstream models, however, such as the GIV-SP and G-V, are still high. In addition, values for the G550, which had been dropping nearly 20% per year for three years, have leveled off. Plus, new tax rules that allow for 100% depreciation during the first year for both new and pre-owned jets will likely boost sales in both categories in the coming year.
For those who plan to acquire a pre-owned aircraft, keep in mind the ADS-B mandate, which requires all aircraft be updated by January 2020. ADS-B Out equipment can be expensive, and slots for performing the upgrades are filling up fast. You don’t want your pre-owned new-to-you jet to lose its value or end up in the scrap heap because of your failure to comply.
Buying a jet, whether the latest model or a pre-owned model, can be a daunting, time-consuming process. To make the best of your next jet purchase, seek out an expert who understands the markets and can help you get the aircraft for your needs at the right price.