Business aviation will generate $248 billion in global sales of new business jets over the next ten years, ranging from VLJs to VIP airliners, according to Honeywell’s 16th annual Business Aviation Outlook report.

Honeywell predicts deliveries of more than 1,000 new business jets for the first time in history in 2007, up from the 861 delivered in 2006. This year is the fourth consecutive year of growth in the sector. Year-to-date aircraft sales have risen more than 12% and deliveries by almost 11% against the same period in 2006. Deliveries in 2008 are expected to approach 1,300, and the outlook remains strong, with annual deliveries expected to remain at a similar level in 2009 and 2010.

One in four of the 4,600 business jets ordered over the next five years to 2012 will be delivered to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The 4,600 does not include demand from fractional ownership programmes. Fuelled by rising oil prices, More than half of those operators surveyed in the Asia-Africa and Middle East regions expect to buy new aircraft in the next five years, the highest level in the history of the survey.

Rob Wilson, Honeywell’s president, business and general aviation, says: “Industry growth has moved into unparalleled territory. Order intake across most business jet categories remains very strong, with little discernable effect from recent stock market fluctuations. With backlogs exceeding two-and-a- half years of deliveries, 2008 will likely be another banner year for the industry.”

Steady gains in aircraft value have also stimulated growth. “Value to the operator takes the form of improved aircraft reliability, mission flexibility, cabin productivity, comfort and convenience,” says Wilson. “Historically, Honeywell Aerospace’s Business Aviation Outlook shows increases in purchase plans and subsequent aircraft deliveries tend to be highly associated with the introduction of new aircraft. Improved engines, safety systems, cockpit avionics and cabin information and comfort improvements along with advances in aerodynamic design continue to deliver compelling gains in value to fleet operators, pilots and passengers.”

The survey shows that owners of fleets serving fractional shareholders and ‘Jet Card’ purchasers continue to provide a substantial portion of total industry demand. Fractional fleet operators still account for about 15-18% of the backlog for business jets. New deliveries to fractional fleet operators should remain at between 110 and 150 aircraft annually over the next five years.

Sales of new ownership shares have flattened significantly since 2004 but are back in positive territory so far in 2007. But fractional operators tend to replace their aircraft more frequently due to a combination of high utilisation and the desire to maintain a consistent passenger experience. Sales of jet cards remain strong as well, while new branded charter operations continue to place sizable aircraft orders, especially of new Very Light Jet aircraft.

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Source: Flight Daily News