In April 2020, the world was fully starting to feel the effects of the exploding COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns around the globe causing both the airline industry and business aviation to abruptly come to a halt. For the preowned business aircraft market, that meant listings skyrocketed while closed transactions all but evaporated.
A new report recently released by the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) shows that one year later—with vaccinations increasing and countries re-opening—IADA member dealers and brokers doubled the number of closed deals in April 2021 with 106 closings, compared to 53 the previous year. Acquisition agreements for business aircraft grew from 27 to 57 month-over-month, while aircraft under contract increased from 60 to 115.
Another important metric to show the aviation industry as a whole is returning to pre-pandemic levels is the number of preowned aircraft deals that fell apart, as shown by IADA data. In April 2020, 31 deals went sideways and were not completed, but one year later, that number was cut by more than half, to just 12 deals that evaporated. Prices in 2021 also remain strong, with 36 deals showing lower prices in April 2020 compared to just three deals that had the aircraft’s price reduced in April 2021.
Transaction volume by IADA members reflects the overall health of the used aircraft market, because IADA-accredited dealers buy and sell more aircraft by dollar volume than the rest of the world’s dealers combined, according to the association. IADA began tracking preowned sales metrics for business aircraft in April 2020 monthly as a result of the volatile market conditions caused by the pandemic.
IADA was formed in 1991 as The National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA), when eight of the country’s leading aircraft dealers created the organization to assure that both buyers and sellers of preowned aircraft adhere to the highest standards of ethics, standards, and trust, the company said. Now, IADA reports member dealers in more than 100 countries worldwide are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s preowned sales, according to AMSTAT’s transaction database, averaging more than 700 transactions and $6 billion in volume per year.
The public search portal maintained by IADA is an online marketplace with an average of 500 listings providing business jet buyers with a way to identify, locate and purchase preowned aircraft from IADA member dealers and brokers that have been vetted by the association for membership. Along with nearly every make and model of business jet and turboprop aircraft, the aircraft exchange also lists a large number of piston aircraft and helicopters.