Monday 27 September 2021 10:41 am

Exclusive: Study reveals 42 per cent drop in pre-owned private jets for sale as demand increases during pandemic

There are only around 142 pre-owned private jets for sale in Europe at the moment, which is 42 per cent lower than in December 2019, when there were 243 pre-owned private jets on the market, and 31 per cent lower than December 2020, with 207 pre-owned jets up for sale then.

Germany, The Isle of Man, Austria and France have seen the biggest fall in the actual number of pre-owned jets for sale, according to data from private jet broker Colibri Aircraft, shared exclusively with City A.M. this morning.

In December 2019, they had 36, 33,19 and 16 aircraft for sale respectively, but the corresponding figures for September 2021 are 20, 20, seven and four respectively.

Malta, Estonia and Ireland all saw an increase in the number of pre-owned private jets for sale.

Most difficult environment ever

As inventory has declined so rapidly, current owners are often holding onto their current aircraft as they struggle to find a suitable replacement in such a supply-constrained environment, further decreasing the aircraft that are coming available for sale, explained Oliver Stone, Managing Director of Colibri Aircraft.

“We have been operating for over 10 years now, and this is probably the most difficult environment we have encountered by buying private jets – particularly for European compliant aircraft,” Stone told City A.M.

“We are having to rely on or extensive contacts and expertise to source reliable aircraft for clients who want to buy, and on the flip side we are ensuring that those clients who want to sell their aircraft are securing the best possible price,” he explained.

Top 10 by number of pre-owned jets for sale in December 2019

Country (December 2019 December 2020 September 2021 
Isle of Man333220
Czech Republic863
European total243207142

The decline in the number of pre-owned jets is a global issue, and it is not just affecting the European market, according to the firm.

The global decline has been led by the USA, which kept state borders open and was less affected by international border closures. 

Key factors driving the dramatic drop in the supply of private jets for sale was a strong desire to travel in an environment with far lower risk of Covid transmission, there are as many as 680 fewer person-to-person interactions when flying by private jet compared to commercial, and a significantly reduced airline service making airlines less convenient, which meant that more owners of private jets wanted to keep hold of their aircraft and a large number of first time buyers entered the market. 

Surging asset prices in stock markets and real estate, historically cheap debt due to government stimulus, and depreciation benefits that applied to private jet purchases removed many of the financial pressures some owners might have been under to sell their aircraft in more normal circumstances and also encouraged new buyers to act.