The Teal Group is predicting that the corporate jets market will be worth around $53 billion over the next 10 years, according to its recently released forecast of production.

More than 4,000 aircraft will be ordered in the period, says the forecast. The Fairfax, Virginia-based market analysts estimate that "-this year and next represent the peak of the market". Business jet deliveries will total 485 aircraft worth $6.7 billion this year, followed by 487 aircraft deliveries, valued at $6.8 billion in 1999.

"After spending the late 1980s and early 1990s in the doldrums, the business jet market is now in the middle of a terrific growth spurt," says Teal's lead analyst Richard Aboulafia.

Sales are predicted to drop after 1999, but are not expected to reach the recessionary levels of 1987-1996. "Still, the worst years of our forecast period [1998-2007] will be better than any of the past 10 years, except 1997," adds Aboulafia.

Bombardier will lead its rivals in terms of market share, closely followed by Gulfstream, Cessna and Dassault. Raytheon will be a distant fifth. Teal says that Gulfstream is likely to be acquired by either Raytheon or Textron in the next decade if the asking price is lowered, although both companies have strongly renounced their interest in any takeover.

Notably, Teal predicts that Raytheon's market share, which now stands at 6.4% (excluding Beech King Air deliveries), "-will be restricted to 9.2% over the next decade, despite the launch of the Hawker Horizon and Premier business jets", compared with the 15.2% share between 1988-1997.

"The lack of a high-end model makes the company the most likely buyer of Gulfstream, which would transform the market, giving Raytheon over 30%," the study concedes. Teal adds, however, that US-based manufacturers, Galaxy Aerospace and Sino Swearingen, could be acquired by Bombardier, which is keen to add a super mid-sized and light-jet business aircraft to its line-up.

Source: Flight International