Throughout 2020, the business aviation market demonstrated remarkable resilience. As the world begins to emerge from COVID-19, the business jet market continued to demonstrate strength in Q1 2021.
- Led by industrial orders and production, the global economy has begun to recover.
- Driven by the US market and charter and fractional usage, business aviation flight activity in Q1 was the sector’s best performance since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Orders for business jets were up at major OEMs as low inventory and continued demand benefitted manufacturers.
- New unit deliveries were down in Q1 while pre-owned transactions were up. However, an increase in transactions involving heavy aircraft resulted in increases in dollar volume for both new and pre-owned transactions.
- Inventory levels continued to decline in Q1 2021 and remained at historically low levels.
- Generally, aircraft residual values declined slightly in Q1 2021; however, declines were not as significant as those seen during the Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2009 or even declines seen in 2016 when declining commodity prices affected business jet demand. It remains to be seen what effect continued low inventory will have on business jet values.
The global economic future, despite pockets of strength, remains uncertain due to continued COVID-19 related lockdowns and uneven vaccine rollouts. The business jet market; however, remains strong and is set to grow in 2021 following the disruptions of 2020.