October 19, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
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At this year’s National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention, Honeywell Aerospace’s eighteenth annual business aviation outlook sought to tread a middle ground between gloom and the promise of recovery. Honeywell derives its forecast in large part by polling 1,200 corporate flight departments around the world, aircraft manufacturers, and other sources.
The much-anticipated outlook forecast the delivery of about 11,000 new business jets from 2009 through 2019. That may sound good, but for 2009 Honeywell figures that 750 to 800 new bizjets will be delivered, that’s way down from last year’s 1,139 deliveries. In 2010, Honeywell thinks deliveries will drop even more—below 700 jets. But by 2011 or 2012, “significant pent-up demand” will improve the outlook for order intake and new jet deliveries, Honeywell said.
The 2009 business jet down cycle has been much more severe than originally projected in last year’s forecast, Honeywell officials said. Therefore, a re-survey of 500 corporate operations was taken in the first quarter of 2009. The findings prompted Honeywell to predict a 40-percent decline (in dollar terms) in 2009 deliveries. Deliveries will bottom out in 2010, then experience a “flat to moderate improvement” in 2011.
“There is every reason to believe that demand for business jets will begin to recover 12 to 18 months after a global economic recovery begins,” Honeywell said.
In breaking down their projections, the forecast split jets into several categories, and made a 2009-2019 prediction for each.
Long-range and ultra-long range. 1,500 deliveries in the 10-year forecast period, with deliveries of some 120 to 140 aircraft per year. Such airplanes include Bombardier’s Global Express and Global 5000; Gulfstream’s G450, G500, and G550; Falcons 900EX, 900DX, and the new Falcon F7X.
Large. 1,000 total deliveries, averaging 60 to 75 aircraft per year until 2012, then trending higher from 2013. The aircraft include Bombardier’s 605, Gulfstream’s G350, Falcon’s 2000 and 2000DX, and Embraer’s Legacy 600.
Medium and medium-large. 2,400 airplanes from 2009 to 2019, with about 150 airplanes per year for the next two to three years. These airplanes include Embraer’s emerging Legacy 450 and 500, Bombardier’s Learjet 85 and Challenger 300, plus Cessna’s Citation Sovereign and Citation X.
Light and light-medium. 2,400 airplanes from 2009 to 2019. This group includes Cessna Citations Encore+, CJ3, and CJ4; Embraer’s Phenom 300; and Bombardier Learjet’s Lear 40 and 45/45XR.
Very light. The forecast was murky here. From a base of 200-plus airplanes in 2008, Honeywell says that 2009 deliveries will increase, then a period of stabilization will occur for two to three years. Then growth will resume, averaging just under 300 airplanes per year late in the forecast period. Airplanes include the Embraer Phenom 100; Cessna’s Citation Mustang, CJ1+, and CJ2+; and Sino-Swearingen’s SJ30-2.
Personal jets. 1,000 to 1,500 deliveries in the forecast period. Honeywell created this category for airplanes like Diamond’s D-Jet; Cirrus’ Vision jet; Piper’s PiperJet; and the Eclipse 500.
In foreign markets, Honeywell sees a continued growth in deliveries to Asian and European operators. For example, 58 percent of Asian operators say they’re planning to replace aircraft in their fleets over the next five years. In Europe, that number is 59 percent. Still, North America represents a total of 48 percent of the coming five-year demand, with Europe coming in second at 27-percent of worldwide demand.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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