BizAv Booms With COVID Newcomers


Honeywell’s tone-setting business aviation forecast will set a positive undercurrent for this week’s NBAA-BACE convention, which starts Tuesday in Orlando. The forecast, always released on the eve of the big convention, says forecast deliveries by business aircraft manufacturers have increased by a whopping 15 percent over the next decade compared to last year’s predictions. More than 8,500 aircraft worth $247 billion will be delivered between now and 2032. “This year, surveyed operators reported new jet purchase plans on par with 2019 levels, with fleet addition rates doubling from last year’s reported intentions,” the report says. “Respondents’ feedback in this year’s survey aligns with industry reports of sold-out business jet production lines for the next several years.”

The report says a lot of people got a taste of private aviation in navigating pandemic restrictions and now they want in. “The business aviation industry is greatly benefitting from a wave of first-time users and buyers due in part to changing habits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Honeywell Aerospace President, Americas Aftermarket, Heath Patrick. “The business aviation sector is expected to recover to 2019 delivery and expenditure levels by 2023, which is much sooner than previously anticipated. Demand for new business jets is as high as we’ve seen it since 2015, and we expect high levels of demand and expenditures for new aircraft for several more years.”

As expected, more than half of new buyers will be looking at turboprops and small-to-medium cabin jets but at least 18 percent are looking at large long-range aircraft. Current users plan to fly more and only 2 percent are selling aircraft without replacing them. Because backlogs for new planes are growing, the market for used aircraft is bullish. “High demand for used jets will keep pressuring the already low inventory of jets available for sale,” the forecast says.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I have dealt with plenty of “first time in private aviation” clients and every time I tell them at the start of the flight that they will never want to go back to airlining again! My company has grown substantially over the last 2 years with many more airplanes being managed and the charter end of the business exploding, for lack of a better description.

  2. How long until the company bean-counters figure out that there’s other ways to travel that are a lot cheaper?

  3. John, there may be a cheaper way to travel. You can squeeze into a 50? MPG Prius and go cross country. But do you really want to go that route? Or better yet. A motorcycle or possibly a bus. How about sitting upwards in a train going coach? Or hitch hiking?