Jetcraft Proclaims End to Preowned Market 'Doom and Gloom'

Global aircraft broker and dealer Jetcraft recently showcased at the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) 2018 three gleaming, available, late-model large-cabin business jets, but the trio currently on display was harder than usual to gather. “It’s actually more difficult to find good quality aircraft to exhibit this year,” said Pascal Bachmann, Jetcraft’s senior vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, who credited the turnaround in the preowned market. “We’re not the only ones who can feel the market is on the way to being better,” he said. “Owners see it as well, and they’re not stupid. They’re asking themselves, ‘Why should I exhibit it at EBACE if I can leave it in the hangar and people call me up to buy it?’”

That’s a dramatic shift from the doldrums of the past decade, Bachmann said. “There’s no doom and gloom anymore.”

Yet despite the industry’s lean years, U.S.-based Jetcraft itself has seen annual growth since 2008, when it brokered 23 aircraft, through last year’s total of 93 transactions, according to Bachmann. “We never dropped; it’s a continuous growing line, and this first quarter we sold 25 and we’re on track to reach 100 by the end of the year.”

Jetcraft’s 10-Year Business Aviation Market Forecast 2017-2026, released late last year, predicts similar growth industry-wide in the coming decade, with new aircraft deliveries steadily rising, totaling 8,349 units and $252 billion in revenues at current prices.

Over the past year, the company has become more bullish about the share of that growth that North America, Europe, and Asia will claim. North America is forecast to take 62 percent of all new business aircraft delivered over the next decade, up from Jetcraft’s 60 percent projection at the end of 2016. Europe’s forecast share of global business jet deliveries now stands at 17 percent, up from 15 percent, while Asia’s expected portion rose from 10 to 12 percent. Forecast deliveries to Africa, the Middle East, and Russia meanwhile dropped. “Not a big impact on the worldwide market, but obviously big in the affected regions,” Bachmann said, citing geopolitical issues and regional instability for the lowered expectations.

Delivery forecasts are nothing new for airframe and engine manufacturers, but why is Jetcraft, an aircraft brokerage, creating one?

“We’re a neutral party,” Bachmann said. “We don’t manufacture anything, we just sell, and we don’t have a special interest to sell a Falcon, a Gulfstream, or a Bombardier, so I think we’re in a very good position to know the markets.”

Meanwhile, the turnaround is already affecting Jetcraft. It recently opened a London office with a full-time lawyer on site, helping double its European team in the last six months.

The numerous charts in Jetcraft’s detailed market forecast, based in part on historical economic models, display steady year-over-year growth until its final year, 2026, when all graphs show a steep drop. “Let me put it this way,” said Bachmann, explaining the big dip. “The good times end at some point. We see a pretty steady growth over these 10 years, but it cannot go on forever.”