There’s an Upturn for BizAv at the End of the Rainbow

St. Patrick’s Day is this week and, with the luck of the Irish, the business jet market is finally showing some growth. Industry experts have indicated that in 2013 the industry hit bottom and that we should all expect a modest upturn in 2014.

In reality, the difference between 2011 and 2012 was only a negative 2.9 percent. But the lean years continued for the business jet market in 2013 with the lowest private jet delivery numbers in nearly a decade.

Last year suffered a very rocky start with Beechcraft’s production halt at the end of 2012, and Cessna’s production halt of the Mustang, CJ2+, CJ3, and CJ4 lines in April, 2013. Ultimately, 2013 business jet sales topped 2012 by a mere six total jets, just barely beating the previous year’s numbers in what could only technically be called growth.

While no one is expecting great strides, the early analysis of 2014 shows a far brighter outlook:

  • Back orders of the Gulfstream G650 are getting caught up and Gulfstream is on course to ship the highest number of aircraft in the last five years.
  • Airbus deliveries already stand at four — half of 2012’s total.
  • Boeing has delivered five BBJs and one BBJ2 already.
  • In the year to date, Bombardier has delivered 127 aircraft.
  • Dassault’s numbers were bolstered by the first six deliveries of the Falcon 2000S.

New products, including the Citation M2, the Sovereign and Citation X from Cessna, are expected to drive the market; current planes are aging and the long economic dry spell meant many owners put off replacement and repairs.

Although experts predict that the small and midsized segments of the market won’t return to their 2008 peak until around 2020, the big market is already doing well. “We think there is a good five-year run-up coming,” says Teal Group aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia.

The bizav industry has been sheltering from the economic thunderstorm, but now the skies have cleared, and these predictions are the rainbow leading us to the pot of gold at the end — a recovered economy and a full-strength bizav market again!

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