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Pre-owned private jet supply fell 38% since 2020

written by Isabella Richards | July 27, 2021
Bombardier’s Challenger 350 has been awarded Transport Canada certification. (Bombardier)

Inventory for pre-owned private jets has fallen to a record-low in June as sellers withhold assets in a competitive market, and buyers snap up jets quickly, according to new data.

Aircraft marketing and brokerage firm Colibri Aircraft has released new data that suggests supply for pre-owned private aircraft has hit a historical low, decreasing by 38 per cent since June 2020.

At the time the data was released, only 4.65 per cent of pre-owned aircraft globally were for sale – the lowest level since recording began in the 1980s.

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In total, 1,134 private jets were on sale worldwide, compared with June 2020 when 1,839 were listed for sale.

“Buying private jets is extremely difficult right now, particularly for European compliment aircraft,” said Oliver Stone, managing director at Colibri Aircraft.

“Multiple buyers and a shrinking inventory of available aircraft have made a very competitive market.”

Stone said he attempted to purchase a late model Challenger 650 for a client but six other offers were already listed, boosting the price.

“This decline has been led by the USA, which re-opened far quicker than other parts of the world,” Stone said.

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In the US, further sales were driven by consumers trying to lock in favourable tax benefits as a new government administration would potentially discontinue it, according to AV Buyer.

The US has driven global rebound with business jet up 15 per cent in 2021, compared with 2020.

The lack of inventory is also likely due to increase demand during the COVID pandemic, particularly in light of the ‘safer’ perception of private flights over commercial in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

A report by Globair shows that 680 fewer person-to-person interactions are likely to occur when travelling via private jet than by commercial.

The result also saw many owners withhold selling their aircraft, at the same time as an influx of first-buyers joined the market, waiting for prices to increase.

“In addition to this, surging asset prices in stock markets and real estate, historically cheap debt due to government stimulus, and depreciation benefits that applied to private jet purchases”, removed further pressures to sell, according to Stone.

Interest rates have been close to zero and with declining aircraft prices, ownership became accessible, especially with first-buyers, AV Buyers noted.

While there is a lack of supply, demand for business planemakers such as Gulfstream, Textron Inc, General Dynamic’s Corp and Bombardier Inc increased to pre-pandemic levels quickly.

Senior vice president of worldwide sales at Gulfstream, Scott Neal, told Reuters in June the inventory clean out has been a “benefit to new aircraft sales”.

“We are seeing strong interest across the board from first-time buyers and high-net-worth individuals as well as corporate customers with a desire to grow their fleets,” he said.

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