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Buyer’s Market? How to get a read on a supply levels within specific aircraft markets

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Does it seem like “a lot” of aircraft of a particular type are for sale? It depends on the size of the fleet to begin with.

By Shawn Dinning

In a previous blog post, I went through various aircraft markets and compared snapshots of those markets 3 years ago to snapshots of those same markets today. In all cases, aircraft markets (and associated aircraft values) have fallen dramatically, in some cases 50 to 60%.

What I would like to do now is take a look at the markets today from a slightly different perspective – “Percentage of aircraft fleet for sale”.

Everybody is seemingly in tune with how many aircraft are available for sale in a given market. For example, if I go to my database and research reports of aircraft, and extract all Citation Excels available for sale, I see a total of 26 aircraft available for sale.

To diverge from my topic for a moment, the database and research that DJI uses is much more robust than any retail website that aircraft buyers might be familiar with. If I go to the industry’s most popular retail website for aircraft listings, there are 13 Citation Excel listed for sale. So, by tapping into a broker’s resources and databases, a prospective buyer would have access to 100% more airplanes in this particular market! Like in any market in any type of product, there is a small portion of the 26 Excels that isn’t truly for sale, but you get my point.

So, 26 Excels sounds like a lot of airplanes for sale and a lot to choose from. It would suggest that it is a “Buyer’s Market”. So, now you know how many Excels are available for sale, but do you know how many have been produced and are in operation today? Amazingly, there are 369 Citation Excels in operation today.  This large number is due to a relatively long and stable production run of the aircraft, in addition to widespread marketplace acceptance of the Excel. This paints a much more telling picture of the state of the Citation Excel market. Yes, 26 airplanes is a sizable number of aircraft. However, you must process that number in the context of the entire fleet, which consists of 369. Percentage-wise, only 7% of all Citation Excels in operation are available for sale. This is not that many. This comes back to the supply and demand basics that we all know. While 26 airplanes is a notable supply number in absolute terms, it is not that sizable in the relative perspective.

It is this relative perspective that seasoned aircraft brokers, lenders, and appraisers use (along with other statistical data) to gauge the health and momentum of the market.  All things being equal, a broad rule of thumb to use is that 10% is a good line of demarcation between a slow market and a “heating” market. So, the Excel market is not as over-supplied as one would think. There is clearly no rationale for prices to drop further in this market, if you’re looking at supply alone. The constant stream of Citation Excel transactions at today’s prices is proof of a limited supply and stable, steady demand

Compare this market to the Hawker 800XP market. There are 52 Hawker 800XP aircraft for sale, in the context of 423 in operation. This equates to 12.3% of the fleet for sale. As any Hawker 800XP seller knows, the market has a high relative supply, and thus prices have not found a way to completely stabilize.  In order for prices to truly stabilize, supply/inventory must be sold to effect a lower supply percentage, or demand must increase on the available supply.

Everybody has heard that the 10 years and younger, large-cabin market has shown signs of increasing momentum this year. DJI conducts a lot of business in this realm. The percentage of Fleet for Sale for Gulfstream V aircraft? 5.7%. Data does not lie.

Below is a summary of fleet percentages available for sale.  As you go through this list, try and correlate your perception of that particular market’s momentum with the percentages.   You will notice a strong correlation.

  • Gulfstream V (GV) – 5.7%
  • Gulfstream G450 – 4.2%
  • Gulfstream G550 – 3.9%
  • Gulfstream GIV – 19.9%
  • Falcon 900EX EASy – 8.5%
  • Falcon 2000EX EASy – 12.5%
  • Falcon 50 – 21.2%
  • Bombardier Global Express XRS – 3.4%
  • Bombardier Challenger 300 – 6%
  • Bombardier Challenger 604 – 14.1%
  • Bombardier Lear 60 – 15.3%
  • Bombardier Lear 60XR – 16.5%
  • Hawker 800XP – 12.3%
  • Cessna Citation X – 6.3%
  • Cessna Citation Excel – 7%
  • Cessna Citation XLS – 6.1%
  • Cessna Citation CJ3 – 5.8%
  • Embraer Legacy 600 – 17.2%
  • Embraer Phenom 100 – 11.5%

While certainly not the only indicator we use to quantify a particular aircraft market, it is a great indicator that all aircraft sellers and buyers should be aware of. These numbers change monthly, if not weekly. Please feel free to contact me to further discuss these types of valuable data sets. It is my ultimate goal to help sellers and buyers have the intelligence to make smart decisions in the transacting of their high-value aircraft.


Shawn Dinning, Director of Sales & Acquisitions

Mr. Dinning acquired his formal education at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the areas of Operations Research and Management Science and also holds a degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Dinning brings 16 years of aviation experience from a variety of aviation disciplines, including FAR 91, FAR 121, FAR 135, defense, and shared ownership sectors. A former full-time professional pilot, Mr. Dinning holds a current Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, and is type-rated in the Gulfstream V/G550/G500/G450/G400/G350/G300, Bombardier CRJ-200, and Citation 510 Mustang. He has logged over 5500 flight hours, with 3500 of those hours in corporate turbine aircraft. Mr. Dinning has been consulted in publications such as Business & Commercial Aviation on various issues related to turbine aircraft transactions.

Mr. Dinning brings to Dallas Jet International a rare and highly valuable skill set of operational and business acumen, and has become a leader in the professional marketing and procurement of corporate turbine aircraft all around the globe. He also specializes in aircraft mission analysis, aircraft valuation, and cash flow and operating cost analysis for private aircraft owners. Mr. Dinning has a track record of successful transactions that is well known amongst his clients and colleagues. His reputation for intelligent and meticulous management of aircraft transactions have made him one of the most respected aircraft brokers in the industry.