The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in used business jet sales in 2020 and there’s been a boomerang effect in 2021 as first-time owners take stock of those purchases. A virtual town hall of aircraft brokerages hosted by Corporate Jet Investor revealed that a significant number of those who thought a private aircraft was an easy solution to the travel challenges created by the pandemic are now experiencing buyer’s remorse. “As far as new buyers being misadvised, I would go as far as to say misled based on some people I’ve spoken to … knowing what it’s going to cost to continue to operate the aircraft. That is the biggest challenge in the educational process,” said Janine Iannerelli, of Par Avion.
The brokers said many of those who jumped into the market weren’t prepared for the complexity of the typical transaction. Others were surprised that private jets are the gifts that keep on taking, even when they’re not flown much. “When I start down that path of trying to educate them, they are absolutely shocked,” Iannerelli said. The brokers also cautioned those thinking of buying a used jet that many of the best buys are already gone. Much of what’s left is outdated and in need of major upgrades to be truly useful. Demand has moderated over the winter but the town hall was told that another spike in sales is expected this summer as the lingering effects of the pandemic continue to restrict travel options.