Honeywell Forecast Sees Modest Market Growth

The latest Honeywell business aviation forecast estimates modest growth in aircraft deliveries in the next decade as buyers slowly ramp up their purchasing expectations.

The annual survey of worldwide operators foresees deliveries of as many as 9,450 new business jets valued at $280 billion between now and 2024, an increase of around 7 percent by value compared with last year's outlook.

Operators plan to replace about 23 percent of their fleets with new jets in the next five years, down slightly from the results from recent Honeywell forecasts. Brian Sill, president of Honeywell's business aviation division, said the slower growth is a reflection of tempered demand in Russia, the Middle East and China, each of which is dealing with political and economic turmoil.

A surprising bright spot in this year's survey was the increase in purchasing expectations in Europe, with a noticeable bump expected in the 2017 and beyond time frame. Still, while overall numbers will be up, the Honeywell survey does not foresee a return to pre-2008 boom-time numbers in the coming decade in terms of number of units delivered.

Once again this year large-cabin jets led all segments in buyers' purchasing expectations, but a changing trend noted in this year's forecast was renewed interest in small and midsize jets, sales of which had softened after the economic crisis of 2008.

The operator survey did not poll fractional-ownership operators, but they are included in the final numbers. Sill said fleet replacement plans by the major factional providers will boost the market, as evidenced by large orders by Flexjet for new Gulfstream G500s and NetJets for the Challenger 650.

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