The business aviation industry should expect market momentum to continue into 2019 despite “more headwinds than tailwinds,” Mente Group president and CEO Brian Proctor told attendees this morning at the Corporate Jet Investor Miami conference. He foresees a price recovery for both new and preowned business jets, but lower transaction volume on the latter side. For new aircraft, he believes 2019 will be a year for OEMs to focus on building order backlogs.
Proctor cited U.S. tax reform, preowned and new business aircraft pricing, pent-up demand for new aircraft, new aircraft entrants, and limited preowned inventory as “tailwinds” that help to build or maintain momentum. But his list of headwinds is longer: a strong U.S. dollar, making aircraft more expensive outside of the U.S.; low preowned inventory, which translates into fewer used sales transactions; lack of MRO availability; increased infrastructure costs, including that for maintenance and pilots; U.S. political discourse; and rising interest rates.
Meanwhile, Proctor expects the number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry to not only continue but increase next year, especially for companies that provide services.