Business

October 23, 2013

Forecast International says business jet market gaining traction

Forecast International predicts that manufacturers will build 9,575 business jets during the 10-year period between 2013 and 2022.

The Connecticut-based market research firm estimates the value of this production at $235 billion in constant 2013 U.S. dollars.

Business jet production has declined each year since 2008, when manufacturers produced more than 1,300 business jets.  Production totaled some 670 business jets in 2012 and, according to Forecast International, output will be at slightly below this level in 2013.  However, the company expects production to increase in 2014 (with 708 aircraft forecast to be built that year) and continue to rise steadily each year through 2020.  In 2020, the peak production year of the forecast timeframe, a total of 1,166 business jets is expected to be produced.  A minor cyclical downturn is anticipated for the 2021-2022 timeframe.

The business jet market is finally gaining some traction after suffering through a significant downturn that had its beginnings in the global economic and financial collapse of the second half of 2008.  After 2008, demand for larger business jet models held up fairly well, but demand for small and medium jets was devastated.  More recently, demand for larger jets has further strengthened, while demand for small and midsize models has improved somewhat but remains fragile.

Forecast International does not expect annual business jet production to return to the 2008 level of more than 1,300 aircraft at any time during the 2013-2022 forecast period.  According to Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski, “All signs point to the upcoming recovery in business jet production rates being relatively gradual and measured.  Most market indicators, such as economic growth rates, flight activity, and used inventories, are somewhat mixed.  On the positive side, corporate profits are strong but, amid economic and regulatory uncertainty, corporations are holding onto their money rather than spending it on new assets such as aircraft.  Continuing economic improvement, however sluggish, will help unlock underlying demand in the market.”

At least initially, the recovery is expected to vary considerably in strength from region to region.  Demand is already growing strongly in emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and Russia.  The large North American market is showing signs of life.  The European market, though, continues to be moribund.

Forecast International’s market forecast indicates that, in terms of unit production, Cessna, Bombardier, and Embraer will be the top three business jet manufacturers during the 2013-2022 time period.  When the market is calculated in terms of the monetary value of production, the top three companies are expected to be Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault.




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