Honeywell Projects 7,400 Business Jet Deliveries Over 10 Years

Textron Aviation Citation Longitude on display at the Henderson Executive Airport for NBAA-BACE. The Longitude is powered by Honeywell HTF-700 engines. Photo: Brett Schauf/ShowNews

LAS VEGAS - Honeywell’s just-released forecast predicts deliveries of up to 7,400 new business jets valued at $238 billion over the coming decade, reflecting an average 3% annual growth rate. It also forecasts continued strong demand for used jets. 

Honeywell released its 30th annual Global Business Aviation Outlook Oct. 10 in Las Vegas ahead of the National Business Aviation Association Convention & Exhibition, which runs Oct. 12-14. The value of deliveries over the coming decade is about 1% higher than in Honeywell’s 2020 forecast.

Despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the business jet market is sound and poised for continuous growth, forecasters say. 

One standout in this year’s forecast is the robustness in the used segment. “The increased demand for used jets is estimated at more than 6,500 units over the next five years putting pressure on an already record low inventory and driving additional demand for new jets,” says Heath Patrick, Honeywell Aerospace president of the Americas Aftermarket. “Our latest operator survey results support continued private jet usage growth, as more than 65% of respondents anticipate increased business jet usage in 2022.”

In Honeywell’s survey of business jet operators, respondents reported a sharp increase in used business jet purchases, with 90% saying their purchase plans for new or used jets have not been postponed by ongoing COVID-19 during 2021. 

“That was good and surprising,” says Javier Jimenez-Serrano, Honeywell senior strategy specialist and head of the survey. “Last year, the number was 80%. This year the number is 90%. Purchase intentions remain stable. That’s good.” 

Business jet deliveries are expected to total between 575 and 620 in 2021, not counting microjets, and rise to 640 in 2022, Jimenez-Serrano says. By comparison, manufacturers delivered 720 jets in 2019. 

By value, business jet deliveries are expected to reach 2019 levels between 2022 and 2023, led by entry-into-service of the ultra-long-range heavy jets, Jimenez-Serrano says. In terms of units, deliveries aren’t expected to return to 2019 levels before the middle of the decade. 

“We have to keep in mind that 2019 was a peak year,” he says. “If you look at the pre-COVID five-year average, recovery happens faster.”
Another encouraging indicator: Business jet flight hours in 2021 are expected to be almost 50% above those of 2020 and 5% above pre-COVID 2019 levels, Honeywell says. More than 65% of operators responding to the survey said they expected to fly more in 2022 than they did in 2021. The upswing is driven by charter operations, Jimenez-Serrano says. 

Other highlights from the survey include: 

*Operators plan to make new jet purchases equivalent to about 14% of their fleets over the next five years as replacements or additions. 

*Operators’ focus on larger-cabin business jets increased in 2021. Large-cabin through high-speed ultra-long-range aircraft are expected to account for more than 72% of all expenditures of new business jets over the next five years. 

*Only 4% of respondents say they plan to sell one or more aircraft without replacements over the next five years, compared to 10% in last year’s survey. 

*North America continues to drive new jet demand with an expected 63% of deliveries over the next five years, down 1 percentage point from a year ago. 

*New aircraft purchase plans by European operators are down five percentage points compared to a year ago, as the Delta variant led to travel restrictions across borders. Europe’s purchase plans decreased in 2021 to about 19%, down from 24% a year ago.
*Asia-Pacific operators say they plan to replace 15% of their jet fleets over the next five years with new jet purchases.

Asia-Pacific is expected to represent a 12% share of global new jet demand over the next five years, Honeywell says. 

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.