Private jet market emerges from US stormclouds

The use of private jets in the United States has grown to two-thirds of the global market for luxury air travel, as the number of high net worth individuals in the world’s biggest economy increases steadily.

The country represents some 66 percent of global deliveries in the private jet market as of the end of the third quarter, chief executive and president of Embraer Executive Jets, Marco Tulio Pellegrini said.

This is up from around 45 percent of market share before 2008 and low growth in the years following, Pellegrini said. The U.S. has taken on more market share steadily in the last two years as emerging markets have come under pressure. A clampdown on corruption in China has seriously damaged the luxury goods and service market there.

“Every year, we expect a better year, but 2015 will probably be similar to 2014 deliveries. (In) 2016 in our provisional forecast there will be slight growth. But we don’t see the possibility of a major transformation of the market size. What we see today is the U.S. playing a very important role in deliveries,” Pellegrini said, speaking at a press conference at the Dubai Airshow.

Brazilian plane maker Embraer, now the third largest in the world based on deliveries, produces commercial, military and agricultural aircraft as well as executive business travel aircraft.

The group announced during the airshow that Emirates had signed up to order five Phenom 100 business jets, with an option for a further five for use in its flight training academy. This follows Etihad’s firm order of four models of the plane in June this year.

Embraer planes sell for anywhere between $4 million and $55 million at list price, depending on size and model.

The aircraft maker said it has a 10 percent market share in the Middle East private jet market, but the pricing of second hand jets at big discounts to brand new planes in the region and in Europe has been tough on business.

Embraer

Embraer

One in ten business aircraft in the Middle East is up for sale according to data published by aircraft charter firm Gama Aviation on Monday, with the bulk on offer in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

But long-term, the company expect the number of business aircraft operating in the Middle East to rise.

“The Middle East’s landmass is around 90 percent of that of the U.S., and it has a population of 351 million people – some 32 million more than the U.S. However, the States has over 22,000 more business aircraft, and this shows the huge potential for the Middle East business jet market,” Gama Aviation’s managing director for the region, Martin Ringrose said.

Pelligrini said looking at the industry as a whole, the private jet market has seen slight recovery in the last two years.

“We expect this recovery will continue but overall it will be the same number of planes delivered worldwide as we had in 2014. Slightly higher, but still far from the peak of 2008,” he added.

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