Private aviation is set to emerge from the Covid-era, whenever it ends, as much as 10 percent larger than it was before the virus, according to new research.
The industry has been a bright spot in the broader travel industry since May 2020 when U.S. private jet flights started their recovery. In fact, last month was the busiest for private flights since October 2007. July 1 had the most private flights – 12,345 – since March 20, 2008, according to Argus TraqPak.
Private aviation is reaching record levels. One report suggests the industry could be 10% larger … [+]
“Business aviation continues to show that we are well past recovery mode and into growth mode…We are looking at an industry that is five percent to 10 percent larger post-pandemic than it was pre-pandemic,” says Travis Kuhn, vice president of market intelligence at Argus International.
WingX, another aviation research firm, reports U.S. private jet flights were up 30% versus the first 26 days of July 2019.
There are no signs of demand ebbing. TraqPak analysts estimate flight activity from July through December will increase 32.7% over the same period in 2020 and 9.9% over 2019.
August and October are projected to top 300,000 private aviation flights during each month. That hasn’t happened since January 2007, according to Argus.
What’s more, much of the demand is coming on short notice. The percentage of charter trips being requested within four days of departure jumped 26% to 43% this month, according to Avinode, an online directory brokers use to source flights for clients.
It’s not just flying that’s surging. Buying jets is on the rise as well. Members of the International Aircraft Dealers Association reported a 52% increase in second quarter sales.
In total, its brokers sold 320 preowned private jets in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 211 in the first three months of 2021.
IADA Executive Director Wayne Starling says supply of desirable aircraft for sale is the biggest concern. “We have buyers with funds to purchase, but demand for late model aircraft with attractive configurations exceeds supply, which could increase pressure on prices and lengthen transactions.”
Despite the pandemic, members racked up $11.3 billion in transactions in the 12 months through June. Average sale price was $8.3 million.
A recent report by Global Jet Capital forecasts $162.1 billion in new and used private jet sales through 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 percent.
In announcing its second quarter results, Textron Aviation said it delivered 44 jets, up from 23 last year, and 33 turboprops, up from 15 last year. Backlog at the end of the second quarter was $2.7 billion.
According to a Reuters report, the manufacturer’s CEO Scott Donnelly told analysts, higher demand for private flying “seems to be quite sustainable.”
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