“Tepid” may not be an adjective that is designed to set the pulse racing, but this is the term that has just been applied to the future of the business aircraft market over the next ten years. The 2017 Business Aviation Fleet & MRO Forecast produced by Aviation Week Intelligence Network suggests that the corporate aviation market is soft with “bright spots and not-so-bright areas” expected over the coming decade. The main headline figure predicts 36,702 business aircraft in service at the end of 2026, compared to the current 31,864, to give a “tepid” annual growth figure of 1.6% (4,838 aircraft).
The survey covers turboprop and turbine aircraft, including commercial airliners that have been converted for VIP use. Analysts pointed to a saturated sector with dampened resale values leading to a continuing depressed market, but also noted positivity in respect of continued manufacturer investment in new models and updated designs. In geographic terms, the Chinese market is expected to increase by 5.24% with Western Europe following on 3.5%. The US share of the market (currently 64%) is not expected to change, but Latin America looks set to be overtaken by Western Europe.