Trickle-Down is where the action is in Aircraft Sales

Today it is very easy to comfortably wear the rut of community despair that fits so snugly across yours and everyone else’s shoulders, while walking from meeting to meeting with a look of long and painful sorrow and a low-hanging head while muttering phrases like: “I can’t believe these values”; “my aircraft is barely above its salvage number.” “Nothing is selling”; “woe is me”, etc.

Well ladies and gentlemen please listen very carefully: There exists a business aircraft market that is zinging from real and deadly serious business that is being conducted in tens of millions of dollars every single day (or at least on the days that the FAA Registry is open for business.) This very same market shall also soon provide you with the salvation that you had so long ago given up on ever hearing it knocking at your door ever again.

Trickle-down wealth is the path to economic nirvana, and believe-me the golden tentacles of the few, are already seeping down and restoring the faith and confidence amongst the many. Have I got your attention? So where can salvation be found you may ask? Two words: ‘Large Cabins.’

The large cabin business aircraft used market woke-up last summer, and quickly went from a pipe and slippers to wearing running shoes in the blink of an eye. I believe that three factors caused the Atropine shot to this market’s heart:

1. Asking and selling prices hit their lowest point after the aircraft that had to be sold were actively being advertised waiting for a buyer, long after the casual     sellers had pulled their aircraft from the marketplace

2. Corporations and the mega-rich alike, decided that they had-had about enough of the politically-correct moratorium on private flying and decided that flying was okay again

3. The DOW Jones Industrial Average started trekking northward to conquer new dizzying heights

To support my assertions please allow me to show you the numbers:

I as well as the good folks at AMSTAT Corporation define a large cabin as any aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight greater than 40,000 lbs.

In May of 2010, the average asking price of the composite of all ‘used’ large cabin business aircraft dropped to a low of $12,750,000. In June this number started climbing until it crested in December at $13,800,000. The reason for the crest is that by the end of last year all of the ‘best-deals’ had been snatched up by hungry deal-makers. Now we shall again see this composite asking price climb again in the second wave buying spree that is already underway.

Two years ago, in February 2009, the Percentage of Active Fleet For-Sale (Large Cabin) peaked at 15.3%. Today that has dropped to 11.4%. Specific models chosen as a snapshot are at the following numbers:

Falcon 2000EX  =  9.6%
Challenger 604 =  11.3%
Falcon 900EX =  7.2%
Embraer Legacy =  9.2%
Gulfstream V =  3.6%
Gulfstream G550 =  3.5%
Global Express =  10.2%
Global XRS =  7.3%
Boeing BBJ =  7.4%

Remember that a normal healthy market for most used business aircraft (all sizes and classes) is 10%.

Since a peak number in August 2009, the number of large cabin aircraft that were available for purchase has dropped by 20% (from 635 down to 510.)

While the House, Senate; and most prospective used business aircraft buyers and sellers settled down to their long, quiet and lazy summer holidays, the DOW began its climb from 9,700 points to well over 12,000 points today. The large cabin buyers then made their long awaited jump into the used business aircraft market as soon as the climbing ascent of the DOW became a certifiable trend.

Unfortunately the majority of all aircraft in the Midsize and Smaller markets still remain stalled today, and some are plumbing the depressing depths of even lower values. Regardless of this I can confidently argue that the time is definitely coming nigh for everyone in all categories below the large cabin segment. It is distinctly a simple law of nature that ‘trickle-down’ gold will eventually make it to the absolute bottom of the deepest of all subterranean markets. All you have to do is slough off your coat of misery, rise up your head, think positive, be positive, and most importantly live positive, and soon the world about you shall change and blossom into greatness as it passes through our long lost friends: ‘it’s alive’, ‘it’s getting up’, ‘fair’, ‘average’ and ‘good.’ Trust me on this. So, will you please stop moping about and making the market look bleak and untidy, and instead cheer-up and again restart living the dream?

Another good point to look at is the number of aircraft with "Real Pricing" listed on's Aircraft Exchange.  More and more listings are getting into the "Real market value" than ever before.  It might surprise you to know that we are getting back to business!

While the numbers are showing an upswing what have you seen to prove me right or wrong?  Pilots, bankers, brokers, dealers, CFO's what say you?