Colibri Aircraft: Sales of pre-owned aircraft in Europe fell 21% in 2019


Bombardier Learjet 75 photographed on May 1, 2019 at KTRM

Colibri Aircraft, the aircraft broker, says that 152 pre-owned private jets were bought in Europe in 2019 – a drop of 21% when compared to 2018 when there were 192 sales.

The brokerage estimates that the value of the 152 pre-owned jets sold in Europe last year was over $900 million.

Colibri Aircraft expects fewer sales in 2020. “Everyone will adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach while they figure out if the panic is a one-off hysteria removed from economic fundamentals, or if it will turn into a severe economic recession. As a result, I don’t expect to see many aircraft hit the market, nor do I expect to see enquiries coming in or sales happening,” says Oliver Stone, managing director, Colibri Aircraft (pictured).

“After a few weeks, I believe we will start to see whether or not the market panics will affect people’s businesses. This, more than any other factor, will determine the effects to the aircraft markets. At this stage, if there is an effect on businesses, I believe that we will see a large increase in aircraft coming to the market. However, I don’t think it will yet affect prices while everyone tries to capitalize on past pricing trends. Unfortunately, if this scenario comes to fruition there will be few buyers out there and so increases in supply will, after a short delay of some weeks while owners adjust to new market paradigms, lead to significant price declines to attract buyers. If the virus-related mass-sell off turns out to be removed from economic fundamentals, then I believe we will see a sharp return to people buying aircraft and the freeze will be removed quickly as people fill their previous demand.”

Colibri says that the UK saw the biggest drop in buyers with just five aircraft bought compared to 17 in 2018. However, if you combine sales in the Isle of Man (9) and Guernsey (4), it became the second largest market.
The biggest market for sales of pre-owned private jets is Germany where 33 of the 152 used private jets sold in Europe last year were bought. This was followed by Austria (16 were bought in 2019), France (15 purchases) and Malta (10 purchases).