A new report examining the Asia Pacific region’s business jet market said Bombardier and Cessna account for sizable percentages of the region’s fleet.
The region, which includes 18 countries or territories, saw its total fleet of new and used business jets increase 15 percent between 2013 and 2014, but the eight aircraft manufacturers – including Bombardier and Cessna – whose jets account for most of the aircraft saw only modest changes in terms of their percentage of the overall pie.
The Asia Pacific Business Jet Fleet Report for year-end 2014 also said that further belt-tightening in China will mean slower growth of the business jet fleet in 2015 in the region, which includes Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
The report, from Hong Kong-based Asian Sky Group, said there were 744 new and used business jets in the region at the end of 2014, up from 647 at the end of 2013.
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Gulfstream aircraft accounted for 30.2 percent of the fleet in 2014, according to the report, while Bombardier was the manufacturer with the second-highest number of aircraft in the region, the report said.
Bombardier accounted for 193 jets, or 25.9 percent of the region’s total fleet in 2014, slightly down from 26.4 percent, or 171 jets, at the end of 2013.
While Bombardier’s new and used fleet in the region includes Wichita-built Learjets, they account for only 16.5 percent of Bombardier’s total fleet there. Most of the Bombardier jets based in the region are its large-cabin, long-range Challenger and Global models.
That’s an important distinction because the preponderance of business aircraft in the Asia Pacific region – nearly 60 percent, the report said – are large-cabin, long-range aircraft. No Learjets nor Cessna Citation jets occupy that category of aircraft.
Cessna had the third-highest number of business jets in the region. At the end of 2014, new and used Cessna Citation jets in the region totaled 104 jets, or 13.9 percent of the total fleet.
The bulk of the Citation fleet in the region is made up of the out-of-production CJ1/CJ1-Plus, the report said, followed by the Sovereign/Sovereign-Plus and XLS/XLS-Plus. In 2012, Cessna established a joint venture in China, Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Zhuhai) Co. Ltd., which takes assembled XLS-Pluses, installs interiors, paints them and makes them flight ready for delivery to customers in China.
Growth in the region in 2015 will be tempered largely by events in China, the report said. And that’s noteworthy, the report said, because China represents nearly 50 percent of the Asian market.
China is experiencing slower economic growth, and its slowdown is expected to limit year-over-year growth of the Asia Pacific fleet in 2015.
“The relatively favourable exchange rate, combined with willing sellers, willing operators and willing financiers in 2015 should provide a small measure of positive outlook for the market,” the report said.
Brian Foley, an independent business jet industry analyst, said the feedback he heard from the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exposition in Shanghai, China, last week is “the market is really in turmoil over there.”
Prior to 2014, “there was sort of an explosive growth in the fleet,” he said. “That’s starting to wane now.
“(The market) probably throttled back too far,” Foley added. “It will take a year to settle and trough.”
Asia Pacific fleet
Nearly all of the 744 new and used business jets comprising the Asia Pacific fleet in 2014 were built by eight manufacturers, including Hawker, which ceased producing business jets as part of the former Beechcraft Corp.’s bankruptcy in early 2013. Following are the eight business jet makers and their percentage of the region’s fleet, according to an Asian Sky Group report.
Airbus corporate jets: 3.2 percent
Boeing business jets: 4 percent
Bombardier: 25.9 percent
Cessna: 13.9 percent
Dassault: 7.6 percent
Embraer: 5.9 percent
Gulfstream: 30.2 percent
Hawker: 8 percent
Source: Asia Pacific Business Jet Fleet Report Year-End 2014