The latest reports from one of the leading aviation publications (Asia Sky Media) provide oversight of the private jet and business travel landscape as the industry still faces some headwinds in a globe trying to move on from COVID.
But the commercial sector is in an even more sticky situation with staffing issues and shortages, airport and logistical issues causing backlogs and missing luggage, and schedules that struggle to be reliable.
By the end of 2021, there were a total of 1,215 business jets operating in Asia-Pacific alone which included 33 new deliveries, 68 pre-owned additions and 114 deductions, which meant an overall slight decline in the region for private business jets
The COVID-19 pandemic still had an effect but more Light and Very Light jets are entering the region compared to previous years.
Which manufacturer was the most popular?
In the Asia-Pacific region, three Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) have a dominant market share of 77% by the end of 2021.
- Bombardier was again the most popular Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the Asia-Pacific region with a market share of 27% at the end of 2021. They delivered the highest number of business jets
- Textron saw a 5.7% increase to 315 business jets, and in doing so, became the second-most-popular OEM, with a market share of 26%.
- Gulfstream was third and had the second-highest number of new deliveries in 2021.
Other manufacturers which are prominent in the region are Dassault, Embraer, Airbus and Boeing.
The report also tracks the biggest number of jet orders over the past five years, which were:
- Global 7500
- Global 6500
- Citation 560XL
- Pilatus PC 24
- Falcon 2000
Since 2018, turbine helicopters and Turboprop aircraft have also seen a regular increase in fleet size in the Asia-Pacific.
What Type of Jet was the most popular?
The Long Range category declined by 3% last year but the nearly 400 Long Range business jets were still the most popular category across the region.
Business jets such as G650, G650ER, Global 6500 and Global 7500 accounted for 19 of the new deliveries.
Light and Very Light business jets were the only two categories that saw growth, and the trend suggests “a shift towards domestic flying in countries that can support internal operations” indicated the report.
The impacts of the pandemic might have been slower to affect private charter travel as the industry saw growth in 2020 compared to the year before. The ongoing restrictions in certain territories mean that there has been an adjustment in travel arrangements and some passengers have had to limit themselves to domestic flying which is supported by the switch in popular use from Long Range aircraft to Light and Very Light jets instead.
In Q1 2022, flight durations between 30 minutes to two hours remained the most popular in the Asia-Pacific region.
Which Regions in the Asia-Pacific Saw Growth
The number of business jets increased in East Asia, Oceania, and South Asia but the reductions in Greater China, in part caused by the stricter COVID restrictions, meant there was an overall slight decline in the region.
East Asia - The region accounted for 7% of the total fleet operating in Asia-Pacific, but it “outperformed all other subregions” during 2021 and experienced 14.9% growth.
Oceania - The only subregion that has experienced continuous fleet growth since 2014. with New Zealand’s fleet jumping up by 31.8% with the addition of seven aircraft last year.
South Asia - India was the biggest leader in this region and South Asia experienced a minor increase of 2.9%.
Southeast Asia - Although the regions saw a slight 2.6% decrease, there were still 263 business jets in the Southeast Asia fleet at the end of 2021 and it was the second biggest fleet in the Asia-Pacific.
More recent data from WINGX (data research and consulting company) suggested that flights with private aircraft have been steadily increasing as 2022 moves on. In Q1 2022, “flight activity in late March outperformed pre-pandemic levels as people hoped to stimulate economies by increasing business activities and leisure travel began to return”
In particular, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand all had positive year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2022
Who is using the Private and Charter Jets?
Most business jets fall into the category of charter, private, or corporate use, and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) with a net worth of US$30 million (or above) are the dominant users in the Asia-Pacific.
According to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2022, the Asia-Pacific region was home to 32% of the total UHNWI population in 2021, and according to the 2021 Forbes list, about 76% of billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region reside in Greater China or India.
From the statistics provided by Wealth-X in the report
- The average age of jet owners is 63.6 years old
- The average private jet owner's net worth is US$1.66 billion.
The main factors that continue to contribute to this type of passenger using private jets are that they “value privacy and security as well as efficiency”.
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