VLJ Market Looking Brighter, According to Analyst

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A European company that has studied the emerging very light jet market says it's painting a rosier outlook for the sector than it has in the past but there are more caveats than a law library in his assessment. Phillip Butterworth-Hayes, of PMI Media, told AVweb Sunday in a podcast interview to be released on Friday that interest in VLJs seems to be sustained and new market possibilities are opening up but (and there are several of them) the next 12 months will likely be the harbinger of things to come, especially in the air taxi business." A lot will depend on just how robust the aircraft are," Butterworth-Hayes, author of the report, said. He said they're going to be called upon to fly far more hours in more rugged conditions than business jets are normally flown and many are far less expensive than the low-end business jets.

He said the other significant factor will be the world economy. Traditionally, companies buy jets when times are good. He said all indicators point to a downturn and that will likely mean the red-hot market for jets will soften. Butterworth-Hayes maintains that the models most likely to fly out of the uncertainty and market saturation that's looming will come from companies that already build, certify and support fleets of jets.