There is a simple formula these days for making a Hawker Beechcraft executive spontaneously burst into applause.

"We make great cheers of applause when the price [of the used business aircraft fleet] goes up by one-tenth of 1% right now," said Bill Boisture, chairman and chief executive of Hawker Beechcraft.

Market recovery below the super-midsize class of business jets is sputtering because a glut of available used aircraft means prices are "significantly depressed", Boisture said.

As a result, it is not only harder to sell new jets, but impossible to relaunch new types, such as the Hawker 450XP that was cancelled nearly two years ago, Boisture said.

"When we finally see some scarcity coming back in the used aircraft market that results in those aircraft trading at higher prices, that's a precursor for serious consideration of what to do about new aircraft programmes," Boisture said. "I would point to that as the first leading indicator."

Another obstacle is a lack of available financing, which a key requirement for buyers in the market segments below large business jets, he added.

At the same time, Hawker Beechcraft has attempted to capitalise on the popularity of the used aircraft market, with several major product upgrades unveiled this week.

But Boisture rejected the notion making used aircraft more valuable is counter-productive to restoring the market for new aircraft sales.

"We see it as two different markets," he said.

Source: Flight Daily News