There were a total of 1,232 business jets in operation in the Asia-Pacific region as of year-end 2020. The fleet saw a net increase of 22 units from the 1,210 aircraft at year-end 2019, attributed to 38 new deliveries, 58 pre-owned There were a total of 1,232 business jets in operation in the Asia-Pacific region as of year-end 2020. The fleet saw a net increase of 22 units from the 1,210 aircraft at year-end 2019, attributed to 38 new deliveries, 58 pre-owned additions and 74 deductions. Overall, 2020 witnessed fewer deductions and new deliveries, but more pre-owned aircraft additions when compared to the previous year. Additionally, there were also 17 intra-regional movements in 2020 – an increase of 21.4% since 2019.
The business jet fleet in the Asia-Pacific region posted net growth of 1.8% in 2020, an increase from the 1.0% growth in 2019. The region added 96 business jets in 2020 (inclusive of both new deliveries and pre-owned additions), which were partially offset by 74 deductions attributed to retirements, transactions, and relocations out of the region – resulting in a net addition of 22 business jets.
Gulfstream delivered 15 new aircraft into the region, the most of any business jet OEM and accounted for 39% of the total new deliveries in 2020. The G650/ER family remained the most popular newly delivered aircraft for the third consecutive year, accounting for ten new aircraft deliveries.
Bombardier had the highest number of pre-owned additions in the region – a total of 24 business jets, which accounted for 41% of the total pre-owned deliveries in 2020. The Learjet 35/36 was the most popular pre-owned Bombardier model, with eight pre-owned aircraft added.
Bombardier also had the highest number of deductions from the region – a total of 22 aircraft (30% of the total deductions). Gulfstream and Textron also witnessed significant deductions – 18 (24%) and 14 (19%) aircraft, respectively. The G550 saw the most fleet deductions in 2020 – eight.
Pessimism levels were high regarding the Asia-Pacific business jet performance at the start of 2020. Global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic led many to fear that the Asia-Pacific business jet fleet demand, which had already started showing signs of slowing down in the previous years, would decrease. However, as commercial flights were cancelled all over the world, the need for safe air travel among Asia-Pacific’s HNWIs proved to be a much stronger driver for business jet demand.
Commercial aviation is unlikely to pick-up anytime soon as the virus continues unabated in different parts of the world in the form of second and third waves. Business jets are thus expected to continue being in high demand and fill in the void left by grounded commercial flights. Business jet fleet numbers are expected to increase in 2021 – though at a slower rate of 1.0% as compared to 2020.
Business Jet Transactions
In terms of market value, new deliveries declined from US$2.46 billion in 2019 to US$2.10 billion in 2020. Pre-owned transactions saw a small increase from 120 aircraft in 2019 to 121 aircraft in 2020. However, despite this increase, the market value of pre-owned transactions actually saw a significant reduction – from US$1.66 billion in 2019 to US$ 1.52 billion in 2020.
With regards to the transaction activity, light size category saw the biggest growth – from 28 (ten new deliveries and 18 pre-owned) to 37 (eight new deliveries and 29 pre-owned), giving the net addition of nine aircraft. Long-range aircraft transactions increased by five – from 57 (20 new deliveries and 37 pre-owned) in 2019 to 62 (25 brand-new and 37 pre-owned) in 2020. On the other hand, large aircraft transactions saw the largest decrease by 13 – from 42 (eight new deliveries and 34 pre-owned) in 2019 to 29 (all pre-owned) in 2020. Also notable amongst the pre-owned transactions was a decrease in corporate airliner transactions – from nine in 2019 to five in 2020, which would explain the reduction in the pre-owned transaction market value, despite the increase in transaction activity.
Despite the fact that light jets increased the most in transaction activity, long-range jets remained the most frequently transacted aircraft category in 2020, equating to a transaction value of US$0.9 billion.
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