Nearly 10,000 new business jets worth about $250 billion will be delivered over the next ten years according to Honeywell's latest market forecast as the pipeline of new aircraft models triggers the industry's long-term growth.
In its 21st annual survey, released on 28 October, the US engine and avionics manufacturer points to a 9% increase in projected delivery value compared to last year's study. "The expected gains come from pricing increases and a change in expected business jet mix, which reflects a continued trend toward larger business jet models," it says.
This year alone Honeywell forecasts deliveries of approximately 680 to 720 new business jets - a single-digit increase over levels reported 2011.
"Next year's totals are anticipated to be of similar magnitude, reflecting the protracted nature of the global economic recovery," says Rob Wilson, president, Honeywell Business and General Aviation. "Over the medium-term, a return to historical growth conditions supported by globalisation, wealth creation in developing nations and new aircraft development should boost orders and support accelerated growth beginning mid-decade. Despite the economic challenges our industry has been dealing with for the past 40 months, we believe some progress is being made."
The survey found that about 30% of the 1,500 operators interviewed have plans to purchase a new business jet over the next five years either as a replacement or in addition to the respondent's fleet. "This level of interest has been largely stable for the past three survey cycles, and compares favourably with results of 25% or less that were the norm until 2006, but below the peak of 40% in 2009, says Honeywell. The bulk of the demand will be for top end business aircraft with large cabin jets expected to accounting for more than 40% of new aircraft purchases during the forecast period, "The trend toward larger cabin aircraft with ever-increasing range expectations and advanced avionics continues to be reflected in this year's survey," Wilson adds, with emerging markets showing "a more pronounced preference" for these types.
Purchase expectations remain strong in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, but are weaker in the USA and Western Europe, the survey says.
The industry's long-term outlook remains positive, Honeywell says, "Long overdue" structural and regulatory reform in lucrative markets such as a India and China "will unlock significant spending power that would propel aviation expansion," says Wilson. "Product development, in the form of aircraft with higher productive potential [such as the Global 7000/800] will also create new markets and should continue to support expanded use of business aircraft as a key tool in the global economy," he continues.