Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : December 09 Contents 47
DECEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
Still, Bell notes that the strong levels of
acquisition and interest in business aircraft
experienced in recent years, has lessened.
"Certainly there has been a slowdown
in the new order intake, but dealers and
agents in Australia did well from 2002
to 2008, and I think they view the last 18
months or so as a period of consolidation."
Execujet Aviation Group's managing
director Asia Pacific, Alastair Creighton-
Jones, notes that his company has expe-
rienced some interesting dynamics over
the last year. "I think the market literally
switched off in November 2008 until about
May 2009. Since May we've seen strong
buying activity and a true reflection of the
bottom of the market," he said.
Critically, there have been no reports of
cancellations, with customers who have
placed orders in previous years still taking
delivery of their aircraft. "If I look at it with-
in our region in Australia and New Zealand,
we've been through quite a boom over the
last five years leading up to the downturn, so
that's really generated a lot of aircraft sales
to 2014," said Creighton-Jones.
Similarly, Padgett reported that business
over the past year has not been as challeng-
ing as had been expected, and in some cases
it has opened up new opportunities. "It's re-
ally been holding up quite well. Markets that
weren't there before the recession such as the
used market are doing better than before."
Somewhat surprisingly, a number of
dealers have reported that they are once
again taking orders, albeit not at the rates
experienced during the economic boom. A
number of manufacturers have been turn-
ing their attention to the Asia Pacific, with
sales tours through the region appearing
to be on the rise, with tours planned for a
number of aircraft.
Interestingly, the international pain
appears to have been a gain for the local
industry, particularly in relation to aircraft
values. With many business jet owners
in the US and Europe disposing of their
aircraft or consolidating their fleets, used
aircraft values have dropped dramatically,
allowing some local buyers to access high
quality aircraft at relatively cheap prices.
During the boom years, in many cases used
aircraft attracted a premium on new ones
due to the lack of availability.
" at secondary market which was quite
difficult pre-recession because the prices were
very high, has now come back and there's a
lot of interest in this area," said Padgett.
Adding to that have been programs from
some manufacturers to support the large
number of used aircraft now available,
including offering factory refurbishments
and other promotional offers. " ese are
programs that would not have been intro-
duced in the previous market. ey're now
being offered to help sell aircraft, and we're
now seeing a developing market out there,"
Similarly, a number of companies and in-
dividuals have used the low pricing points
to move into aircraft ownership, particu-
larly of smaller aircraft such as the Citation
Mustang and some turboprops.
Others have also used the opportunity to
move up in aircraft size. "What we're also
seeing is that people are buying entry-level
aircraft and after six months or a year are
finding that it's too small for them. We've
sold two Mustang owners bigger aeroplanes
since they've owned them," said Padgett.
e collapse in values has also seen
speculators, who bought up delivery slots for
onward sale, largely come out of the market.
"I think speculative buying has been a prob-
lem in the industry during the boom time,
and it's been a problem for manufacturers
because those orders in a downturn don't
materialise," explained Creighton-Jones.
"We're unlikely to see speculative buying on
the same scale going forward."
"I think the market literally switched off in November 2008 until about May
2009. Since May we've seen strong buying activity and a true reflection of the
bottom of the market."
LOCAL LEAR Lear 45 VH-PFS, operated by Sydney based Pacific Flight Services, is pictured on final for Perth. (Les Bushell)
STABLE The local business aircraft fleet (pictured is Perth based Remorex's Global XRS N888GX) has
remained stable during the economic downturn. (Les Bushell)
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