NBAA: Business Jet Market Poised for Sustained Recovery

Forecast International is issuing a new analysis of the Market for Business Jet Aircraft that projects that a total of 7,875 business jets, worth $258.7 billion in constant 2023 U.S. dollars, will be produced in the 10-year timeframe from 2023 through 2032.

According to Forecast International, annual business jet production is projected to rise steadily from 693 business jets in 2023 to 863 in 2029.  Subsequently, a cyclical downturn is expected to result in output declining to 772 aircraft in 2030, with production remaining roughly flat at 775 aircraft in 2031.  Build rates are predicted to resume rising at a substantial pace in 2032, when production of 826 business jets is forecast.

The new study includes line-by-line forecasts for each aircraft currently in production, or anticipated to be in production during the forecast period.  To aid in market analysis and evaluation, Forecast International divides the business jet market into eight classes, ranging from entry-level models up through ultra-long-range jets and corporate-configured airliners.

In the pandemic-impacted years of 2020 and 2021, a surge of first-time purchasers entered the business jet market, possibly accounting for as much as 20 percent of new aircraft sales during that timeframe.  Many of these buyers were fleeing from commercial airline travel, spurred by reduced airline flight schedules as well as health concerns.  At the same time, the typical avenues for newcomers to private aviation to enter the market were overloaded.  Charter outfits and fractional ownership providers were inundated with customers.  The availability of used business jets for sale dwindled, especially newer, low-time models.  The result was that many of the newcomers ended up placing orders for new jets.

The influx of first-time buyers into the market for new jets appeared to subside somewhat in 2022.  Such factors as economic worries, rising operating costs, a dearth of near-term delivery slots for new aircraft, and an easing of the tight used jet inventory took their toll.  This was not unexpected, nor was it wholly unwelcome.  The market was at some risk of overheating, especially in an environment where supply chain difficulties severely limited the scope and pace of production ramp-ups.  The cooling off should result in a more sustainable market recovery.

Overall, the large number of first-time buyers that have entered the market since 2020 serves to expand the future potential customer base for new jets.  Not all of the new buyers will be repeat customers for new aircraft; indeed, well less than half may turn out to be so.  But a not-insignificant number will certainly return to the market, likely for larger and longer-range aircraft as their travel requirements change and grow.

Meanwhile, a number of trends underscore a positive outlook for growth in the business jet market.  Various surveys reveal that considerable optimism exists within the business jet operator community, with many customers indicating aircraft purchase plans in line with pre-COVID-19 levels.  Business jet flight activity set a record pace in the first six months of 2022, and has since settled down to a less torrid, but still robust, pace.  The inventory of used jets available for sale has increased since the spring of 2022, and is higher than historical averages.

Provided that a deep economic recession, particularly in the U.S., can be avoided, the outlook can be said to be cautiously optimistic regarding the business jet market.  In the meantime, the market continues to evolve as demand trends shift, new aircraft enter service, and older models are withdrawn from production.

The market share projections contained in the Forecast International analysis indicate that Cessna is expected to be the leading manufacturer in terms of unit production during the 2023-2032 forecast period.  The Textron Aviation unit is forecast to produce 1,949 business jets, representing a 24.8 percent share of the market.  Gulfstream is projected to be second, based on forecast production of 1,593 business jets, for a market share of 20.2 percent.  Bombardier is third, with production of 1,347 aircraft and a share of 17.1 percent.  Embraer is projected to be fourth, producing 1,296 business jets, representing a share of 16.5 percent.  Fifth is Dassault, with production of 739 business jets for a market share of 9.4 percent.

Those manufacturers that tend to specialize in larger, more expensive aircraft rise to the top of the rankings when the market is measured in monetary value of production.  Gulfstream is projected to take the lead on production of $90.2 billion worth of business jets, for a market share of 34.9 percent.  Bombardier is projected to generate $65.8 billion in production value, for a 25.4 percent share.  Dassault’s market share is estimated at 16.4 percent, with $42.3 billion worth of business jet production.  Cessna is forecast to generate $29.4 billion in production value, for a share of 11.4 percent.  Embraer is forecast to build $18 billion worth of business jets, for a market share of approximately 7 percent.

About Raymond Jaworowski

Raymond Jaworowski currently co-authors three of Forecast International's best-selling products: Civil Aircraft Forecast, Military Aircraft Forecast, and Rotorcraft Forecast. As a contributor to Aviation Week & Space Technology's Aerospace Source Book, he has authored Aircraft Outlooks, and provided input for the publication's Aircraft Specifications tables. Raymond has represented Forecast International at numerous conferences and trade shows, often as a featured speaker. He is a member of the American Helicopter Society.

View all posts by Raymond Jaworowski →