October 29, 2012
By Thomas A. Horne
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Calling “flat” near-term sales expectations “the new up,” Rob Wilson, Honeywell’s president of Business and General Aviation, relayed the company’s 2012 business aviation outlook of modest business jet deliveries over the next five years. This was Honeywell’s twenty-sixth annual market update, which is something of a media tradition when it comes to kicking off the annual National Business Aviation Association’s convention.
Each year, Honeywell surveys 1,500 corporate flight departments around the world, asking them of their intentions to buy business jets over the coming 10 years. This year, the forecast called for modest growth in aircraft deliveries in the 2012-2013 time frame, compared to 2011. But even so, some 30 percent of flight departments signaled that a purchase might be in the offing within five years. Delving deeper into that five-year forecast, Wilson said that 20 percent of that 30 percent represents sales that should occur by the close of 2013. The rest of the sales are skewed to the latter part of the five-year period. It’s from 2014 to 2017 that 80 percent (of the 30 percent indicating a purchase within five years) plan to buy.
Large-cabin jets will represent “the lion’s share” of the billings over the next 10 years, accounting for 70 percent of all new jet expenditures and 40 percent of the 10,000 new deliveries that Honeywell forecast. The value of those 10,000 jets should amount to $250 billion. This, Wilson said, will make for a “moderate recovery” by 2022.
Meanwhile, 2012 deliveries should come to 680 to 720 business jets, up single digits from 2011 levels. That’s the “flat” part of Honeywell’s short-term sales prediction.
As usual, North America will lead the world in demand over the next 10 years, taking 53 percent of sales. Europe, Honeywell said, will claim 18 percent; Latin America, 18 percent; Asia and the Pacific region, seven percent; and the Middle East and Africa, with the remainder.
And why do flight departments buy new jets? “It’s always the same,” Wilson said. “They want, first, more range. Second, they want a bigger cabin. And third, they want newer technology—especially in the North American, European, and Latin American markets.”
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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