Bombardier showcased its business jet market forecast for the first time at EBACE, and the results are quietly encouraging. “You have to differentiate between short-term fluctuations and long-term growth,” reported Jean-Christophe Gallagher, the company’s v-p for strategy and marketing. “When you look at it from a long-term perspective, we see a lot of positives.” While forecasting is not an exact science, those words echoed those of a number of other companies exhibiting at EBACE.
Bombardier had a strong 2014, with 204 aircraft delivered, for a 13-percent increase over 2013 and a 34-percent market share by unit deliveries. In looking at the 2015 to 2024 timeframe, Bombardier forecasts underlying trends to continue upwards, particularly in the large-aircraft sectors, where the company has now delivered 647 Globals.
Driving growth across the industry are a number of factors, such as globalization and the economic emergence of many nations; better aircraft products to stimulate demand; increasing demand for replacement aircraft; and more ways for new customers to get into business aviation.
Overall, Bombardier estimates that 9,000 new business jets worth $267 billion will be delivered over the next decade. Although the light jet segment is expected to provide the best sellers in terms of numbers, with 3,400 sales forecast, it offers the lowest share of the revenue, totalling $39 billion, and only a 2.4-percent annual growth rate.
The midsize category fares a bit better, with a projected growth rate of 3.8 percent. Conversely, sales in the large-cabin arena are expected to cover 2,500 aircraft that generate $137 billion in sales, with an expected annual growth rate of 9.6 percent.
Regional analysis suggests that the North American market will continue to lead the way in terms of numbers, with 3,900 new sales, but at a growth rate of only two percent. Europe is expected to generate 1,525 sales, with a growth rate of seven percent. One of the criteria examined by Bombardier in its analysis is regional penetration, measured by how many business jets represent each $1 trillion of GDP. In the U.S. the figure is 600, while in Europe it is just 80. This suggests to Bombardier that there is considerable potential in the European market for greater penetration.
Bombardier’s analysis sees the slowdown in business aviation in China and Russia as being short-term effects, and that both markets, along with other developing regions such as Latin America, will contribute to the market growth in the longer term. For instance, Bombardier estimates an annual fleet growth rate of 13 percent for China and six percent for Russia/CIS.