Sarah-Jayne Russell MRO NETWORK
Bigger Still Better in Business
October 21, 2014
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  • While the bulk of business jet orders continue to be for large cabin aircraft, demand for smaller and mid-sized aircraft is on the rise, according to the latest forecast from Honeywell Aerospace.

    The component manufacturer and supplier has released its annual analysis of the corporate aircraft market in time for the National Business Aviation Association annual conference, which kicks off in Orlando today (October 21).

    According to Honeywell, the outlook for the business jet market is continuing to improve, with 9,450 new aircraft expected to be delivered globally over the next 10 years, a 7–8 per cent increase on last year’s projections.

    The recovery for the corporate aviation sector following the global financial crash has been a slow one and it continues to be uneven.

    After interviewing 1,500 business jet operators about their plans to purchase new aircraft, Honeywell reveals that demand in Europe has rebounded this year, after falling in 2013, while the number of planned purchases in North America has fallen for the first time since 2010 to just below the global average.

    Overall, business jet operators are planning to replace 23 per cent of their fleet with new aircraft in the next five years, according to Honeywell, down from 25 per cent last year.

    Of these orders 46 per cent will be for large-cabin aircraft – a significant decrease on last year’s figures which stated that 55 per cent of planned new purchases were for larger jets.

    The change has seen midsized and smaller corporate jets recover market share for the first time in several years, says Honeywell, and reflects “stronger interest in newer models”, as well as renewed interest in popular production models.

    The report concludes, however, that the strongest demand will continue to be for larger aircraft. In the long-term, Honeywell says that large-cabin business jets in service will account for 60 per cent of deliveries by 2024 and will account for close to 85 per cent of new revenues.

    This will be good news for Gulfstream whose two new large-cabin business jets – the G500 and G600 – are set to enter service in 2018 and 2019.

    Gulfstream should note that, according to Honeywell’s survey, business jet operators’ biggest concerns are cutting fuel burn, ensuring adequate cabin amenities and “aircraft support, reliability and maintainability”.