How the pandemic caused dramatic changes in the private jet industry

10 mins

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed in the world of private jets...

Mane Aerospace Team

By Mane Aerospace Team

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed in the world of private jets and turboprops. Immediately, the market froze and a lot of buyers walked away, worrying that the economy was going to collapse completely. At the time, it was hard to determine what was going to happen to business aviation, but 2022 has brought a lot of this to light.

Once the pandemic was in full swing, aircraft transitions slowed and travel became difficult, which means that many non essential private jet flights were stopped. It was only once the COVID-19 vaccines were in place, that the private jet industry began to slowly pick up speed. The fact that many passengers were hesitant to travel alongside strangers played a big part in this. Individuals and corporations alike turned to private jet travel. Due to limited exposure, it was considered a safer option. This gave private jet travel a huge boost, and demand for private jets and turboprops soared.

Between February 2021 and March 2022, the number of private jets and turboprops for sale declined. This was because many existing owners were not replacing the aircrafts they had sold with more. Usually, around 10% of the world’s aircrafts are for sale, but in February 2021, this dropped to 7.51%. By March 2022, it dropped even lower to 3.06%. Since March 2022, there has been a slow and steady increase in the number of aircrafts for sale, reaching 4% in September.

How the pandemic has impacted aircraft pricing

With people rushing to buy aircrafts during the pandemic, the price rose a considerable amount. As the supply of aircrafts decreased, the price increased. It’s difficult to suddenly build more aircrafts, as they require a lot of work and time, and so manufacturers have struggled to keep up with the growing demand. With the forecast changing, they haven’t known whether to power ahead by making more private jets, or hold off in case the demand dips. Global supply chain issues only made this worse, and many workers were unavailable due to COVID. Simply, manufacturers were not able to increase their production to meet the demand. The upside of this, is that many of them now have a backlog of aircraft orders that will take them years to fulfill, creating a steady stream of work.

The prices for aircrafts rose dramatically in the summer of 2021. This is different to usual, as aircrafts tend to lose between 5% to 7% each year due to age and new models being available. But, in 2021, the price of aircrafts and turboprops rose a considerable amount. For example, the price of a standard 2018 midsize private jet was $8 million in the first quarter of 2021, and $31.1 million by the third quarter of 2022. This is an increase of 63%. A similar thing happened to long range jets, which had a price increase of around 50%.

Going forward, it’s hard to know if prices will change once again. In the third quarter of 2021, the world’s economy was struggling and inflation began to have an impact on the price of goods. This, teamed with the rising cost of fuel, means that the demand for private jets is likely to change in the coming months.

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