Want to know what bizjet operators are planning for their future? Honeywell knows. In its annual business aviation forecast, developed through surveys of more than 1,500 bizjet operators worldwide and extensive industry data mining, Honeywell found that bizjet buying plans have cooled, at least in the near term.
In a phone call with Plane & Pilot, Honeywell’s Charles Park said that operators were practicing caution in their purchase plans, and while they still plan to buy planes to meet their business travel needs, many are delaying their purchase until later in the next five-year period that Honeywell forecasted. The result is a slight slowing of business over the next two to three years with an uptick after that.
Still, over the next 10 years, the company forecast that operators would add around 8,600 new business jets to their fleets, with the bulk of the value of that new business being in what Honeywell calls the “big airplane” segment, meaning everything from long-range wide-body super-midsized bizjets like the recently certified Cessna Latitude up through ultra-long-range models like the Bombardier Global 6000.
There are new models coming out soon, including the new Falcon 8X, Gulfstream 500 and 600, the Cessna Longitude and the Pilatus PC-24, and models like these, which are slated for certification in the next year to three years, are offering, Park said, additional value because of their performance and capability. Operators wanting to take advantage of these performance and efficiency improvements are waiting to buy until they can buy the airplane they really want.
Another factor slowing things down in the near term is the increased availability of very good late-model low-time jets on the used market.
Even though the five-year forecast is for lukewarm business, the 10-year outlook is more promising, with a “3 to 4 percent average annual growth rate” as new models come on line and the world economy recovers from the long slow recovery from the recession of 2008.