Airbus Research Shows Strong Growth In U.S. Bizjet Market

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Most people don’t associate Airbus with private aviation, but its Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) division not only fields a widespread fleet of Airbus airliners in corporate configuration, but also conducts well-respected market research in the field. The most recent study revealed some details on the current state of business aviation, particularly in the U.S.

Airbus data shows a total fleet of 14,632 private jets in the U.S., representing roughly 62.5 percent of the worldwide fleet. Sean McGeough, Airbus VP Commercial ACJ for North America, said, “The U.S. business aviation sector is the biggest in the world, and it is growing. In the first six months of 2022, the number of business aviation departures in the U.S. was 15.2 percent higher than during the same period in [pre-pandemic] 2019.”

McGeough continued, “Because of the huge size of the U.S. and its importance on the global stage, over one-third of private jets registered in the country are categorized as heavy or ultra-long range, which is where we focus.” Airbus is particularly keen on prospects for its ACJ TwoTwenty, the corporate version of the A220 regional airliner program that Airbus acquired from Bombardier. “We expect to see strong demand from owners of private jets looking to upgrade to newer models, and we are seeing more potential first-time buyers of larger private jets,” McGeough said, adding, “With our ACJ TwoTwenty and its compelling proposition of ultimate comfort with superior economics, we are well positioned to capitalize on this growth.”

Further, Airbus research into U.S. private jet fleet activity revealed that, along with the 37.5 percent categorized as “heavy or long-range,” 36.5 percent are “light,” 20 percent “midsize” and 5.5 percent are “very light” jets.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Not surprising to me. People who have the means and the money are more and more fed up with dealing with the airlines and TSA. Those persons just buy one of their own, or send that purchase to an airplane management company to manage that asset. My company’s growth has not stopped even during all the Covid nonsense.

  2. Playing catch-up with the BBJ? The decline in the pleasure of airline flying started long before TSA was created, which was a reaction to hijackings in the 70s, Lockerbie, 911 Islamist terrorists, etc. Cheap flights attracted a different crowd of passengers, making fistfights and drunkards onboard more common. Seats became tighter, good meals and attractive stewardesses disappeared and the long time needed from home to takeoff became longer. I recall needing only 30 minutes from our home in Eagen, MN to sitting in the seat of a Northwest B787 in the late 80s, giving me more quality time with my wife and our three little children. The one pleasurable alternative pilots had was private aviation. But $7 Avgas, $500/month hangar rental and breathtaking costs for parts and repairs have dashed this dream for many. Add to this 40+ year record inflation and its hard to be optimistic about any aspect of aviation for normal people in the private sector. I once ran one of the largest EAA chapters, today nearly defunct. We’re not “whining” about high prices, as some have suggested, but warning of the end of private / sport aviation if more focus is not addressed to affordable flying. I know of no pilot interested in eVTOL or SAF or hydrogen fuel, nor are any concerned about a tiny amount of lead in our fuel nor the various predictions by those who still believe in man-made climate change. We’d just like to be able to afford our own light aircraft as millions enjoy a boat or bike.

    • When I clean the lead-gunked oil out of my plane, and reflect on the increased maintenance requirements (and costs) that accompany the use of 100LL, I am concerned about it.

      I also think eVTOL sounds really cool, but it’s clearly not ready for “prime time” yet. I’m a bit surprised there aren’t any eVTOL E-AB kits out yet, but given your comment I may just be an outlier – maybe no-one else thinks eVTOL sounds cool.

      And I’d very much like to see light GA be more affordable.

      • I totally agree on that. I get tired of having to dig little lead balls out of my spark plugs on a regular basis and it makes me ill to see a new (50+ year old design) 172 sell of almost a half-million dollars. Unfortunately the established manufacturers (Piper, Textron/Cessna/Beech, etc) have no economic incentive develop a new aircraft at the low end of the scale when they can make much more profit from jets and big turboprops. Our local EAA chapter is doing well, but they are seeing the impact of escalating prices on engines and other off-the-shelf items that push their cost to build out of reach, assuming they can even get the parts within a reasonable time frame. People may poo-poo the eVTOL designs, but at least they offer some hope to the recreational flyer that there might be something out there they can afford.

    • > I know of no pilot interested in eVTOL or SAF or hydrogen fuel, nor are any concerned about a tiny amount of lead in our fuel nor the various predictions by those who still believe in man-made climate change.

      Well, now you do. I am one such pilot.

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