The aircraft industry is experiencing a worldwide shortage of pre-owned inventory. According to the latest data from AMSTAT, 5.2 percent of the world’s business aircraft are for sale, the lowest rate for decades. The United States is seeing a particular increase in demand for pre-owned aircraft, fueled by pent-up demand for leisure travel, and a surge in new users entering the business aviation industry through charter, jet-card and fractional platforms. Jetcraft, a company specializing in aircraft sales, marketing and ownership strategies, is also witnessing first-time buyers heading straight to aircraft ownership, fueled by the disruption of airline schedules and a desire to protect the health of their ‘bubble’ during Covid-19.
Although the current climate is challenging, there are still opportunities for buyers. Jetcraft shared its top recommendations.
Allow extra time for your search
Inventory levels may be lower than recent years, but there is still good quality inventory available. Buyers are more likely to find success if they give themselves extra time to secure their desired aircraft. In this environment, it’s also important for buyers to be prepared to act quickly, taking opportunities as soon as they are presented, because some models may only be on the market for a matter of days.
Look to foreign markets
Some of the best new inventory Jetcraft is seeing is coming from international markets, and the company is currently sourcing sought after pre-owned aircraft for clients in countries such as South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia. Jetcraft recently supported two US buyers in finding Bombardier Global XRS models, both located in the Asia Pacific region. The company went from reviewing the aircraft one week to contracting the week after—a speedy process made possible by its ability to retrieve required information quickly via its overseas network.
The level of maintenance in emerging markets is often on par with that seen in the US, and buyers can feel confident that any issues will be flagged and corrected during the pre-purchase inspection (PPI). Jetcraft’s in-house technical team will often find discrepancies ahead of the PPI. Further, any worries about differing regulations, time zones and language barriers can be eased by working with a global advisor with local representatives on the ground in every region.
Consider older aircraft
Today, older business aircraft are still safe and functional well into their later years. However, when purchasing an earlier model, it is essential to make sure it is inspected in detail to avoid any surprises down the road. During this period when there are fewer choices for younger, more desirable models, it’s important to stay open-minded about older aircraft because they can always be customized or upgraded to meet the buyer’s original needs. Jetcraft is seeing the value proposition of older pre-owned models increase, due in part to a growing number of maintenance facilities and the availability of cost effective, high-quality refurbishment options worldwide.
It’s important to note that values are not spiking drastically, even during this period of tightened supply. Some aircraft are selling above their retail value, but generally, prices are firming up back to pre-Covid 2019 or early 2020 levels.
Book the pre-purchase inspection right away
Once a buyer has found an aircraft that meets their requirements, they should work with their advisors to get the PPI booked as soon as the Aircraft Purchase Agreement is in place. Slots are filling up quickly and any delays here can hold up the purchase process for a business jet.
Work with a trusted advisor
In this challenging market, it‘s important to work with a team that has its finger on the pulse, and can act quickly to find the right opportunity and complete a swift transaction. Jetcraft’s global presence allows buyers to widen the reach of their search, equipping them with early access to inventory, even before it is officially listed. The company relies on its unmatched market data and intelligence to help buyers plan, budget and negotiate the very best deals quickly and efficiently.
Jetcraft also offers a unique service of trade-in solutions for its clients, so buyers can upgrade their aircraft while trading in their old one, enabling them to act faster than ever.
To find out more, please visit Jetcraft.com.