“Time is our most precious commodity, and there are conveniences that wealth brings to essentially get you more time. —retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, explaining why he commutes via private jet from his Seattle home to watch games of the Los Angeles Clippers, the basketball team he bought last year for $2 billion. ”
Good Times Forecast for Business Aviation
About 14,000 new business aircraft valued at $233 billion will be delivered from 2007 through 2017, predicted Honeywell, the engine and avionics specialist, in its latest annual forecast. That's decidedly more optimistic than the firm's 2006 forecast, which predicted deliveries valued at $195 billion from 2006 through 2016. The report noted that the weakness of the dollar against the euro "certainly contributes an incentive to buy new aircraft, as does the increased wealth and business expansion anticipated in Eastern Europe and Russia."
Forecast International's expectations for the business aviation market are as enthusiastic as Honeywell's. The Newtown, Conn. research firm foresees the building of 14,978 business jets, worth some $192 billion, between 2007 and 2016. The company estimates that 39 percent of those aircraft will be very light jets (VLJs).
Bombardier, meanwhile, has released its first-ever business aviation market forecast. Excluding VLJs, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer foresees delivery of 9,950 business jets worth $228 billion between 2007 and 2016. This would represent a large increase from the 5,722 jets worth $104 billion delivered in the past decade. Bombardier noted that, with a yearly retirement rate of 0.5 to 1 percent and deliveries as anticipated, the worldwide business jet fleet should grow from about 12,000 aircraft to 20,600 over the next 10 years.