‘Excel’lent Performance

The trend in asking prices for the Cessna’s Citation Excel, XLS and XLS+ has “outperformed” the overall business jet market for the last 12 months,” observes Paul Cardarelli, vice president of sales at JETNET, a leading aviation market intelligence organization. “I am seeing that the XLS model alone was up 3% on average asking price in 2020, climbing from $3.75 million in January to a year-end aggregate of $3.846 million,” he notes.

JETNET data, valid as of April 6, reveals 19 Citation Excels, five XLSs and 18 XLS+s on the market, representing 5.3%, 1.5% and 6.2% of the in-service fleets of those aircraft, respectively. “Since all three models are well below 10% of their in-service fleets, the implication is a sellers’ market,” Cardarelli remarks.

Anthony Kioussis, president and CEO of Asset Insight, a machinery, equipment and aircraft valuations firm, reports that for this class of aircraft, the average differential between the asking price and the actual transaction value, on the used market, has been about 7% to 10% lower than the asking price.

“With limited availability these days, that spread is likely to decrease,” Kioussis stresses. “The Excel family offers an excellent combination of range, cabin size and operating economics, so as long as those factors remain in place relative to comparable aircraft, the values will reflect that fact,” he remarks.

Bombardier’s decision to end production of the Learjet 75--a main competitor to the XLS+--could boost market values for the Excel series models, although buyers will have choices, as JETNET’s Cardarelli points out.

The Learjet 75 held about an 8.5% share of the super-light pre-owned market and 40% of the new deliveries of the super-light market for the last three years, but now it appears that segment is left to the XLS+ as the only remaining in-production product,” says Cardarelli. “But the differences between light and super-light jets can be negligible in the eyes of some buyers. In that context, certain later model light-jet products, such as the Embraer Phenom 300 and the Pilatus PC-24, could be seen as enticing alternatives to an XLS+.”