Used Bizjet Inventory Starting To Move

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There's been a significant improvement in the used business jet and turboprop inventory but it might be too early to signal a real recovery for new sales. AMSTAT reports that more used business aircraft and turboprops were sold in the last quarter of 2010 than in any quarter in recent memory. Inventory remains higher (14.7 percent of the world's business aircraft are for sale) than the 12.5 percent that is considered normal but it dropped from 15.5 percent at the end of Q3. AMSTAT says the relative flurry of sales "represents the most transaction activity since 2008" and may signal "the start of a true recovery."

Among the factors that concern OEMs besides the raw numbers is that a lot of the used aircraft on the market are relatively new and selling at below-market prices. The AMSTAT review doesn't break out the heritage of the aircraft that are selling but it's probably safe to assume that high-value, relatively low-price airplanes will be among the first to go. Because of all the wild cards in the market, AMSTAT isn't predicting a return to a normal market just yet. It could be "entirely coincidence, or it could be the most promising sign that the market have given us in a while."

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