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Business jet market conditions steady

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 20, 2010, at 12:05 a.m.

Overall market conditions for business jets held stable in the past month, according to the latest UBS business jet market survey.

At the same time, the rising U.S. dollar is expected to shift the general aviation market to a higher numbers of U.S. buyers, according to a second report.

The latest business jet market survey this month by UBS showed improving customer interest and a strong 12-month outlook.

But the market remains weighed down by the high number of used jets on the market, UBS aviation analyst David Strauss wrote in a report.

And pricing remained down. For most business jet models, pricing was 30 to 40 percent off their peak levels, Strauss wrote.

"Overall our respondents cited a declining willingness to add to their inventories this time, reflecting skepticism around near-term pricing/ liquidity," Strauss wrote.

UBS regularly surveys a group of U.S. domestic and international brokers and dealers, manufacturers, fractional providers, financiers and others for its business jet market index.

Despite improving interest in business jets, "we think significant oversupply on the used market, particularly in small/midsize aircraft, will continue to overhang new aircraft orders," Strauss wrote.

In the meantime, the industry is beginning to see a shift back from a larger number of orders from international buyers to a mix more evenly distributed between North American and international customers, said Brian Foley Associates aviation market adviser Brian Foley.

In a 10-year forecast, Foley predicts North America will account for about 52 percent of future deliveries.

Ten years ago, about 70 percent of all deliveries were to North American customers. Some forecasters expect that to fall to about 40 percent this year.

International sales were spurred by a weak U.S. dollar. Airplanes are sold in dollars. During the past six months, however, the dollar has been getting stronger.

While it's still favorable, it's not the bargain it was, he said.

A debt crisis in Europe is also affecting future business jet sales overseas, he said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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