Pre-Owned Business Jet Inventory Reaches New Lows, Data Shows

Challenger 650
Credit: Bombardier

The number of pre-owned business jets on the market has reached the lowest level since records began in the 1980s, with 4.65% of the world’s fleet up for sale, according to private jet broker Colibri Aircraft. 

In all, about 1,134 used jets are available, compared to 1,839 in June 2020, a decline of 38%. Multiple buyers and a shrinking inventory of available aircraft have made for a competitive market, says Oliver Stone, Colibri Aircraft managing director. 

“We recently tried to purchase a late-model Challenger 650 for a client, and at least six offers were made for this aircraft, which ended up trading close to its headline asking price,” Stone says. “To say that the market is competitive at the moment is an understatement.”

The decline in inventory has been led by the U.S., which reopened faster than other parts of the world, he says, spurred by a desire to travel in an environment with a lower risk for COVID-19 transmission and a drop in airline service, bringing a large number of first-time buyers into the market. In addition, as inventory declined rapidly, aircraft owners are often holding onto their current aircraft as they struggle to find a replacement, further decreasing aircraft coming available for sale, Colibri says. 

At the same time, a surging stock market and real estate market, historically “cheap debt due to government stimulus” and depreciation benefits on private jet purchases have removed many of the financial pressures some owners may have been under to sell their aircraft under more normal circumstances, Stone says. It is also encouraging new buyers to act. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.