Rolls-Royce predicts slow recovery of business jet market

Rolls-Royce said yesterday that 2003 and 2004 will be trough years for business jet deliveries, with a slow upturn starting in 2005.

In remarks at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Annual Meeting & Convention, Ian Aitken, President – Corporate Aircraft, Rolls-Royce, said: ‘Our analysis of the market shows a wave of business jet retirements in the next 10 to 20 years that will need to be replaced, especially in the light- to medium-aircraft categories.

‘Our data shows that 25 percent of the business jet fleet is 26 years of age or older and 40 percent of the fleet is 20 years of age or older, which shows that as many as 5,000 aircraft will need to be replaced over the forecast period.’

Rolls-Royce forecasts a decrease in deliveries in 2003 and 2004 relative to 2002 as a result of slow economic growth and continued market uncertainty. The study found that 2003 deliveries are likely total 500 units, down 25 percent from 2002 and 35 percent from 2001. Deliveries in 2004 will be similar to the totals for 2003.

Despite these decreases, the company expects to maintain its leading market position. In 2002, Rolls-Royce won a 31 percent market share of business jet engine deliveries, based on the value of its share of that year’s estimated $2.2 billion corporate aircraft engine market.

Rolls-Royce forecasts that the market will demand 6,520 aircraft valued at $24 billion between 2003-2012 and sees 13,950 aircraft deliveries valued at $54 billion in the next 20 years.

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