Our industry is experiencing a worldwide shortage of pre-owned inventory. According to the latest data from AMSTAT, 5.2% of the world’s business aircraft are for sale, the lowest rate for decades. The US is seeing a particular increase in demand for pre-owned aircraft, fueled by pent up demand for leisure travel, and a surge in new users entering the business aviation industry through charter, jet-card and fractional platforms. At Jetcraft, we’re also witnessing first-time buyers heading straight to aircraft ownership, fueled by the disruption of airline schedules and a desire to have more control over the flying experience as a result of Covid-19.
Although the current climate is challenging, there are still opportunities for buyers. Here are our top recommendations.
[See also: How Jetcraft Predicted the Pre-owned Private Jet Boom]
Allow extra time for your search
Inventory levels may be lower than recent years, but there is still good quality inventory available. You’re more likely to find success if you give yourself extra time to secure your desired aircraft. It’s also important in this environment that buyers are prepared to act quickly, taking opportunities as soon as they are presented because some models may only be on the market for a matter of days.
Look to foreign markets
Chris Hollingsworth, Jetcraft sales director, US / ©Jetcraft
Some of the best new inventory we’re seeing comes from international markets, and we’re currently sourcing sought after pre-owned aircraft for our clients in countries such as South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia. Recently, we supported two US buyers in finding Bombardier Global XRS models, both located in the Asia Pacific region. We went from reviewing the aircraft one week to contracting the week after – a speedy process made possible by our ability to retrieve required information quickly via our overseas network.
The level of maintenance in emerging markets is often on par with that seen in the US, and buyers can feel confident that any issues will be flagged and corrected during the pre-purchase inspection (PPI). At Jetcraft, our in-house technical team will often find discrepancies ahead of the PPI. Further, any worries about differing regulations, time zones and language barriers can be eased by working with a global advisor with local representatives on the ground in every region.
Consider older aircraft
Today, older business aircraft are still safe and functional well into their later years. However, when purchasing an earlier model, make sure it is inspected in detail to avoid any surprises down the road. During this period when there is less choice of younger, more desirable models, it’s important to stay open minded about older aircraft because they can always be customized or upgraded to meet your original needs. We’re seeing the value proposition of older pre-owned models increase, due in part to a growing number of maintenance facilities and the availability of cost effective, high-quality refurbishment options worldwide.
It’s important to note that values are not spiking drastically, even during this period of tightened supply. Some aircraft are selling above their retail value, but generally, prices are firming up back to pre-Covid 2019 or early 2020 levels.
Book a Pre-Purchase Inspection now
Once you have found an aircraft that meets your requirements, work with your advisors to get your PPI booked as soon as your Aircraft Purchase Agreement is in place. Slots are filling up quickly and any delays here can hold up the purchase process for your next business jet.
Work with a trusted advisor
In this challenging market, it‘s important to work with a team that has their finger on the pulse, and can act quickly to find you the right opportunity and complete a swift transaction. At Jetcraft, our global presence allows buyers to widen the reach of their search, equipping them with early access to inventory, even before it is officially listed. With our unmatched market data and intelligence, we help buyers plan, budget and negotiate the very best deals quickly and efficiently.
Furthermore, we offer a unique service of trade-in solutions for our clients, so buyers can upgrade their aircraft while trading in their old one, enabling them to act faster than ever.
To find out more, please visit jetcraft.com
Words by Chris Hollingsworth, Jetcraft sales director, US