Amstat Reports Flat Used Jet Market

Disappointing Q3 numbers point to ill confidence.

After what it calls “six quarters of mostly positive news,” aviation market research firm Amstat reported on Wednesday that the third quarter of 2011 was a disappointing one for jet sales. The firm reported that the existing inventory of used business jets, considered a key marker for economic energy in the business aviation sector, had swelled over the quarter by a tenth of a percent, to 14 percent of the fleet being up for sale.

Amstat says this paints a picture of a continuing flat market after hints of recovery. Just 2.3 percent of that jet inventory changed hands during the quarter, down from 2.5 percent the previous three months.

Turboprops were a different story, reflecting perhaps the focus by some operators on finding more economical or more easily fiscally defensible forms of air transport. The inventory of turboprop powered business aircraft decreased to 10.7 percent of the fleet, which is nearly half a percentage point lower than the historical average of of 11.2 percent of the fleet, which bodes well for turboprop makers down the line if the trend continues.