According to AMSTAT, the leading provider of corporate aviation fleet and operator information, the third quarter of 2012 was a mixed bag of results indicating that a broad based business aircraft resale market recovery still remains elusive. In general, inventories continue to contract and transaction activity continues to increase, but the rate of improvement slowed in the most recent quarter.
During Q3 2012, Business Jet resale retail transactions were down 0.4% from 2.8% to 2.4% compared to Q2 2012. From a long term perspective, Q3 performance was 0.5% lower than the 20-year average of 2.9%. The Light Jet segment faired the worse, seeing a drop in transaction activity from 3.2% in Q2 to 2.5% in Q3, although we should note that Q2 was up from 2.6% in Q1.
The Turbo-Props also saw a significant quarter on quarter drop from 2.5% in Q2 to 2.1% in Q3. All other segments of the market saw little or no change in the number of units turning over as resale retail transactions between Q2 and Q3. “The quarterly changes in transaction activity trends and resulting “saw tooth” appearance of the metrics charts reflect the current transitional phase of the market,” said Tom Benson, AMSTAT Executive Vice President.
The report goes on to highlight incremental quarter on quarter increases in inventory levels. At the end of Q3 2012, 13.4% of the Business Jet fleet was for sale versus, 13.3% at the end of Q2. However, this data should be compared to 14.0% in Q3 of 2011, 12 months before. One highlight of the recent quarter was the continued improvement in the Turbo-Prop inventory, which is now down to 9.1%, a drop from 9.3% in Q2 and a full 2.0% below the 20-year average. Inventories in the turbine helicopter market remained almost flat at 6.0% which is at the 20-year average for this part of the resale market.
Despite some short term head winds, the Average Asking Prices for Business Jets and Turbo-Props rose slightly between Q2 and Q3 2012. The Turbo-Prop average was up 1.4% quarter on quarter and up 5.5% from a year ago. In contrast, average asking prices for Turbine Helicopters continue to fall quarter on quarter, down 3% in the Multi Engine segment and 1.2% in the Singe Engine segment.
The full AMSTAT Market Update report will appear in the November issue of CAMP InSight magazine, but can be viewed today. AMSTAT also submits monthly Market Analysis articles covering a wide range of topics to the Articles section of the ASO website. Monthly updates of the data referenced within the Market Update report are accessible via AMSTAT’s StatPak market information service.
AMSTAT will be exhibiting at NBAA 2012, Booth #2946.
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