This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Industry data provider JetNet has revised its 10-year forecast downward, predicting a market for 6,362 business jets delivered by 2029 with a value of $204.4 billion.
A year ago at NBAA’s 2019 BACE, the company issued a 10-year forecast calling for deliveries of 7,050 business jets (excluding personal jets and bizliners) worth an approximate $241 billion. The rise of the Covid pandemic, and its far-reaching effects on aircraft travel as well as manufacturing, has changed those calculations.
As part of its annual “State of the Market” press conference, presented virtually this week during NBAA-VBACE, the Utica, New York-based company estimated 511 business jets will be handed over this year, in contrast with the 720 delivered in 2019, for a 29 percent reduction. Accordingly, it has adjusted its long-term outlook as well.
“I think the OEMs have taken very prudent decisions on production rates this year,” said Rolland Vincent, creator and managing director of JetNet’s iQ survey-based market intelligence product. “Getting smart and getting quick around decisions regarding production rates earlier this year is really helping sustain some of these numbers.”
But while airframers have adjusted their production rates in response to the Covid environment, that will have longer-term effects on the deliveries going forward, according to Vincent.
“When OEMs and supply chains slow down, to ramp back up it’s a challenge. You’ve got to get not just your immediate and large suppliers. You’ve got to get the whole supply chain back up,” he said, adding that the current decrease in commercial aircraft production will have an even more pronounced effect on the aviation industry supply chain.
In its latest forecast, JetNet has broken those amounts out by market share in terms of units and dollars. During the outlook window, JetNet sees Cessna as accounting for nearly a quarter of the market in terms of aircraft delivered. Results from the latest JetNet iQ survey show a decided bias towards lighter aircraft, which it cautions could be a knee-jerk reaction to the current limitations on large-cabin/long-range business jets due to Covid-induced airspace closures and international border restrictions. “The early indications are the small jets, light jets, that class of $10-$12 million and below on a new airplane, that’s a good place to be right now,” said Vincent. “That’s what the community is telling us.”
Right behind is Gulfstream at 21 percent of the delivered aircraft, followed by Bombardier (18 percent), Embraer (15 percent), Dassault Falcon (10 percent), Pilatus (7 percent), and Honda Aircraft (5 percent).
In dollar value, Gulfstream is expected to claim more than a third of the total billings over the span of the forecast, followed by Bombardier at 25 percent, Dassault Falcon (17 percent), Cessna (10 percent), Embraer (6 percent), Pilatus (2 percent), and Honda Aircraft at one percent.
According to Vincent, the current level of industry interest in a supersonic business jet is strong. “There is almost an insatiable demand and interest in this class like we’ve not seen before,” he said, and the forecast begins to include deliveries in this aircraft class towards the end of the decade. “We think there will be three models actually, developed by three different manufacturers that are going to be successful over time.”