2013: A disappointing but fascinating year for new aircraft sales

Alasdair Whyte

Despite the fact that new business jet buyers failed to return, it was a very interesting year for the industry with a number of new aircraft and company launches.
2013 was a disappointing year for new business jet sales
Like building a pyramid, the business jet recovery will take time and a lot of hard work.

The year 2013 was a disappointing one in terms of new aircraft sales, but it was a fascinating one nonetheless. Several companies took decisions that will shape the way the market evolves in the year to come.

At the start of the year Beechcraft followed Winston Churchill’s maxim “never to not let a crisis go to waste” and emerged as a new and far stronger entity dedicated to turboprop production. And while it was sad to see the end of the Hawker business jet line, in May, Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus announced that it would be entering the business jet market with the PC-24 super versatile light jet.

There are signs that the US economy is getting stronger and we now have an interesting three-way battle waging between NetJets, Directional Capital (the owner of Flight Options, FlexJet and Sentient Jet) and Wheels Up (which has also teamed up with VistaJet and others).

We had a several new aircraft announced – including the Challenger 350, the Nextant G90XT and the Lineage 1000E – but the most exciting were the PC-24 and the Falcon 5X.

As the end approaches, it is customary for people to start predicting that thing will be better in the near year. In late 2550 BC, the Egyptians no doubt thought they would get the next pyramid cracked off by the end of the next year, because the stars were aligned. Instead, they came faced with the same issues and another 10 years of pushing stone.

It will be the same in 2014. We still need economies to pick up, confidence to return and people to start buying pre-owned aircraft. But the business jet market is heading in the right direction. Like building a pyramid, the recovery just takes time and a lot of hard work.

On behalf of all of the people who work at Corporate Jet Investor I would like to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. We really appreciate your support and it is a privilege being part of your industry.

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If you enjoyed this blog, you can also recap on the biggest biggest aviation news from 2013 in more detail.

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