The market for preowned aircraft has changed dramatically over the past 12 months.
Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions Consultant Tim Barber said in summer of 2020 the market was steady, if not slow.
“The fourth quarter was like a switch has been flicked and every buyer wanted their aircraft yesterday,” said Barber. “This heightened level of activity has continued throughout 2021 and today. Every other email I receive is from a motivated buyer rather than a motivated seller.”
Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions Director Steve Gade said they have experienced a second wave of buyers that are upgrading and/or becoming first-time buyers due to the newest wave of the COVID-19 virus.
“The apparent reality is that safety and convenience of business aviation will continue to be a challenge for the airlines,” said Gade.
The increased activity in the business jet market is further proven by the increase in demand and competitive schedule for pre-purchase evaluations.
According to Ryan Huss, VP of Sales, Duncan Aviation is projected to complete 38% more pre-purchase evaluations in 2021 than the company did in 2020. He states that pre-buy slots are backlogged on average 3-6 weeks with larger aircraft taking even longer to schedule.
This demand for pre-owned aircraft has led to a price escalation of the most in-demand aircraft, such as the Challenger 605 and Phenom 300.
“Older aircraft are less likely to see the same value inflation,” explained Barber. “Having said that, there are a huge number of Hawker 800XP buyers. If there haven’t been any price increases, then you can be sure that there hasn’t been any downward movement either.”
As Leah Lenardic, another member of Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions team, points out, "Available pre-owned business jet inventory has continued to decline month-over-month for over a year now. There are still suitable aircraft available, though it may take longer to find them, and buyers should be prepared with their team to act immediately."
The Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions team is well-equipped with various tools to help buyers and purchasers make the most of the market.
“Partnering with experts will help you ask the right questions in order to dial in and target aircraft make/model, age, hours, maintenance status, history, and other key attributes,” said Gade. “In this market, preparation and patience are rewarded. Additionally, like the current real estate market, many transactions are consummated without the aircraft ever being listed, so being represented by an organization that has numerous boots on the ground with relationships and eyes and ears seeing and listening on your behalf is for the buyer a competitive advantage. We have clients that retain us early in the process whose timeline to get serious about a purchase may be 6-plus months in the future but they see great value in knowing someone they trust is aware of their intentions.”
Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions Sales Rep Doug Roth said when you are ready to upgrade, take time to research the market and know what to pay for an aircraft when the opportunity comes up.
“Once that opportunity surfaces, move quickly,” he said.
Barber has purchased three Legacy 600s this year, and each of the aircraft sourced was off-market.
“Duncan Aviation has been in the aircraft sales & acquisitions business for over 65 years,” said Barber. “Over those 65 years, our teams have established a network of industry contacts and connections that help us to expand to more than just what’s on the market.”
The Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions team currently has a Boeing BBJ2 and Falcon 900EX EASy for sale, among others.