Honeywell's Business Aviation Outlook, Recap

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Honeywell's Honeywell's Business Aviation Outlook forecast released last month anticipated a record 1,000-plus new business jet deliveries for 2007 and better than 1,300 business jet deliveries next year. The company expects the total number of new jet deliveries through 2017 to be near 14,000. New orders for jets in the first half of this year have risen 100 percent over the same period in 2006 with a relative explosion of demand in Europe. NetJets alone has added 589 European customers since 2005. International orders are expected to account for roughly half of new aircraft deliveries through 2012. The demand abroad is driven by charters, the strength of the Euro, and wealth expansion in Eastern Europe and Russia. According to Honeywell, those factors have coupled well with one primary force in the markets -- replacement of aging aircraft.

Looking ahead, the future of very light jets is positive if a bit hazy. For Honeywell, the "very light personal" moniker encompasses the likes of the Eclipse 500, Adam 700, Diamond Jet, Cirrus' The-Jet, and more. Examples of a "very light jet," in Honeywell's view, include the Cessna Mustang, HondaJet and Embraer Phenom 100 and other jets costing more than $2.5 million. Honeywell has conducted survey research and sees a total demand potential of 6,000-7,000 very light personal jets over a ten year period, plus 3,300 of the pricier very light jets. The company's view of the air taxi business remains guarded, seeing that segment as one yet to be proven.

Honeywell's research leads the company to believe that an additional two thousand very light personal jets may be added to that segment's total as components of fractional ownership companies, or as the core fleet aircraft of air taxi operations -- stretching the overall demand over ten years to 8,000-9,000 through 2017. But as for actual use of the personal jets, "We see them as entrepreneurally flown," said Honeywell spokesperson Bill Reavis. "We survey 14,000 flight departments worldwide and they don't even list VLJs," said Reavis. "They are looking for a three-to-five person capacity, longer range and a potty."