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The Pre-Owned Private Jet Market Is Soaring in the US. Here’s Why.

Pre-owned aircraft inventory increased by 40 percent in the second half of 2022.

Private jet parked at terminal Marie LaFauci via Getty Images

Some US fliers aren’t looking for the shiniest and newest aircraft on the lot anymore. Instead, they are turning to pre-owned aircraft to get a better deal.

Private aviation hit new heights during the pandemic as private flights were safer and more reliable than commercial. The upward trend continued into 2022, despite inflation and higher fuel prices. At the same time, production slowdowns have resulted in limited quantities among jet makers and clients now face long waitlists for newer models. Rising interest rates have also led to buyers to be more conservative with their spending; nobody wants to deal with higher borrowing costs amid a recession.

As a result, the pre-owned market has flourished. Aviation analyst Brian Foley says that the inventory levels for pre-owned planes increased by 40 percent during the second half of 2022, citing data from industry specialist AMSTAT.

Brian Proctor, chief executive of aviation advisory and brokerage firm Mente Group, told Reuters that he is currently working with two active buyers looking to purchase a pre-owned jet “even if it wasn’t 100 percent perfect.” Proctor also notes that while the demand is high, the speed of sales has slowed, with many pre-owned aircraft now taking weeks to sell rather than hours or days like in late 2021.

The move towards pre-owned vessels could also be linked to the fact that more countries looking to aggressively tax new aircraft with high retail prices. Last year, Canada passed legislation imposing new tariffs on luxury jets, cars and yachts. In December, Belgium announced that it would be taxing private jet owners to reduce noise and air pollution. France has also considered imposing taxes on private jets to fight against rising carbon emissions.

In such tumultuous times, how do you decide which jet to buy and when?

“The only way to successfully navigate this market is to take your time and look for opportunities,” Jennings adds. “If you absolutely must buy now, look for an experienced broker who can do the best due diligence.”

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