Remarkable optimism among business-jet operators has led Honeywell to hike its aircraft delivery expectations for the next 10 years.

The aerospace company’s latest Global Business Aviation Outlook, unveiled at a media event in Las Vegas on the eve of the National Business Aviation Association’s BACE event, predicts demand exists for delivery of 7,400 new business jets between 2022 and 2031 – 100 more aircraft than forecast in Honeywell’s survey last year.

Honeywell pegs the value of those 7,400 jets at $238 billion. The company’s outlook is based on a survey of operators and other factors such as economic analysis.

“What really was good to see – what was surprising – was that the survey is showing over 90% of operators’… purchase plans for new or used jets have not been [affected] by Covid-19,” says Honeywell senior strategy specialist Javier Jimenez Serrano.

Last year’s survey showed that 80% of respondents did not expect the pandemic to impact purchases.

The 2021 survey found that some 65% of respondents plan to use their business jets more in 2022 than this year.

“Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, the overall health of the business jet market is strong, and growth is expected to continue,” says Honeywell president of aftermarket in the Americas Heath Patrick.

The Outlook predicts that the number of business jets delivered in 2022 will be 10% more than in 2021, with deliveries expected to increase 3% annually through 2031. Long-range types will account for 39% of deliveries and a whopping 72% of value. Roughly one-third of deliveries are expected to be small jets and 26% medium jets.

The survey revealed a slight decrease in the number of new jets expected to be purchased over the next five years due to the pandemic.

But that dip comes amid remarkable strength in the used-jet sales market.

Operators expect, over the next five years, to acquire used jets in numbers equivalent to 28% of their current fleets, up three percentage points from the 2020 survey, Honeywell’s Outlook says.

It forecasts demand for more than 6,500 used jets over the coming five years, “putting pressure on an already record-low inventory, and driving additional demand for new jets,” says Patrick.

Operators in North America will account for an estimated 63% of demand for new jets over the next five years. Europe will account for 16%, Latin America for 5%, Asia-Pacific for 12%, and Africa and the Middle East for 4%, Honeywell says.

“The main takeaway is that the survey finds that new-jet purchase intentions remain stable between 2021 and 2026,” says Jimenez Serrano.