Business Jet Prospects Brighten as U.S. Customers Return to the Market

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

Forecast International’s latest analysis of the worldwide business jet market indicates that a total of 9,237 business jets will be produced in the 10-year period from 2015 through 2024.  We estimate the value of this production at $248 billion in constant 2015 U.S. dollars.

Demand for long-range and large-cabin jets drove the business jet market in 2013 and 2014, while demand for light and mid-size jets was sluggish.  In 2015, though, the market has turned on its head.  Economic slowdowns in key regions such as China, Latin America, and Russia have resulted in weaker demand for larger jets.  At the same time, demand has strengthened for light and medium jets due to improved sales in the U.S. and the entry into service of several new aircraft models.

The market for light and medium business jets is heavily concentrated in the U.S. where, in recent years, economic uncertainty had resulted in considerable buyer hesitation.  However, continuing improvement in the U.S. economy, though slight, has begun to unlock latent demand for business jets among U.S. customers.  The long-dormant U.S. market is finally awakening.

Sluggishness in the light and mid-size segments had been holding back overall growth in the business jet market.  Continuing improvement in the U.S. economy, though still somewhat weak, is resulting in funds that had been locked away in corporate vaults increasingly being used to acquire new business aircraft and other large capital assets.

Meanwhile, robust demand is anticipated to soon return in the large-cabin and long-range jet segments.  U.S. buyers can be expected to return to these segments as well, and demand outside the U.S. will recover as economic conditions in key geographic markets improve.

Our projections indicate that annual business jet production will gradually increase from 761 aircraft in 2015 to 1,075 aircraft in 2020.  We anticipate a two-year cyclical downturn in production during the 2021-2022 timeframe, before production resumes growing in 2023 and 2024.  Textron Aviation unit Cessna is expected to lead the market in terms of unit production during the 2015-2024 time period, while Gulfstream is projected to lead in terms of the monetary value of production.

Let the Civil Aircraft Forecast be your guide to the shifting forces that will impact and alter this high-value market in the years ahead. The Civil Aircraft Forecast covers all facets of the fixed-wing commercial and private aviation industry. It includes more than 70 detailed reports, complete with production forecasts on individual civil aircraft families. Forecast FI Logo


About Richard Pettibone

A military history enthusiast, Richard began at Forecast International as editor of the World Weapons Weekly newsletter. As the Internet grew in importance as a research tool, he helped design the company's Forecast Intelligence Center and currently coordinates the EMarket Alert newsletters for clients. Richard also manages social media efforts, including two new blogs: Defense & Security Monitor, covering defense systems and international issues, and Flight Plan, which focuses on commercial aviation and space systems. For over 30 years, Richard has authored the Defense & Aerospace Companies, Volume I (North America) and Volume II (International) services. The two books provide detailed data on major aerospace and defense contractors. He also edits the International Contractors service, a database that tracks all the contractors involved in the programs covered in the FI library. More recently he was appointed Manager, Information Services Group (ISG), a new unit that encompasses developing outbound content for both Forecast International and Military Periscope.

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