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Honeywell predicts bizjet recovery by Q2 2021Honeywell predicts bizjet recovery by Q2 2021

80 percent of operators say pandemic hasn’t affected buying plans

Honeywell released its twenty-ninth annual Global Business Aviation Outlook, a report that’s watched by many for signs of general aviation’s health in the coming years. As is the tradition, the focus was on business jet sales activity. For 2021 to 2030, Honeywell predicted the sales of 7,300 new business jets over the next decade, worth $235 billion. That’s a 4-percent drop from the levels predicted in the company’s 2019 10-year forecast.

Honeywell released its twenty-ninth annual Global Business Aviation Outlook, predicting that business jet usage will recover to levels seen in 2019 by the second half of 2021. Photo by Mike Fizer.

Honeywell stated that 80 percent of the flight departments and other operators polled said that their buying plans have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Five-year purchase plans for new business jets are largely unchanged from a year ago, Honeywell said.

“Business jet usage is expected to rebound to 80% to 85% of 2019 levels in the 4th quarter of 2020 and fully rebound by the middle of 2021, indicating demand for business travel is returning after the global pandemic caused a slowdown in the industry earlier this year,” said Heath Patrick, president, Americas Aftermarket, Honeywell Aerospace. “The information we gleaned from operators shows a less than 1% decline in five-year purchase plans, so despite the short-term effects of the pandemic, we don’t expect long-term changes to purchase plans or to the overall health of the business jet market.”

Other findings and predictions from the 2020 Outlook include:

  • Among those planning to buy in the next five years, 30 percent say they’ll buy in the next two years. That’s 5 percent less than last year’s forecast.
  • Large-cabin through ultra-long-range bizjets are expected to account for 70 percent of sales in the next five years.
  • Respondents plan to purchase used jets to replace or expand 25 percent of their existing fleets over the coming five years, down 6 percent from 2019.
  • Bizjet deliveries in 2021 are expected to increase 13 percent from 2020.
  • 10 percent of all respondents plan to sell one or more aircraft without replacement in the next five years—compared to 8 percent in last year’s survey.

A regional breakdown noted that North American purchases will be flat compared to last year, with used aircraft purchases down 8 percent. However, 64 percent of worldwide demand for new jets will come from North America, an increase of four points from last year’s survey.

Europe’s share of total global demand in the next five years will be 18 percent, down 1 percentage point from last year’s outlook, with only 24 percent of operators planning to buy new aircraft in the next two years. That’s down 6 percent from last year and 6 percent below the 30-percent worldwide average.

In Latin America, economic pessimism should create a 4-percentage-point drop in demand over the next five years. The Asia-Pacific region should experience stable purchase plans, with respondents reporting plans to buy new jets for 14 percent of their fleet over the next five years. That’s essentially the same as last year’s report, with the region accounting for 10 percent of global new-jet demand.

In the Middle East and Africa regions, purchase plans should be up, after hitting a five-year low in 2019. This should account for 4 percent of five-year global demand, in keeping with the region’s historical range of 4 to 6 percent.

In the used-jet market, the outlook estimates that 25 percent of used jets will change hands in the next five years, compared to a 31-percent projection in 2019’s report.

Honeywell’s polling is derived from interviews with more than 1,050 non-fractional business jet operators worldwide. Macroeconomic analyses, manufacturers’ production and development plans, and interviews with aerospace industry leaders are also used to generate the final outlook.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
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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