If you’re like many others plugged into the aircraft community, you may be wondering why pre-owned aircraft are so sought after lately. There isn’t a singular reason why the aircraft industry is so hot.

However, among a few reasons, it includes huge aircraft manufacturer announcements, trends in businesses, ongoing industry struggles, and beyond. Continue reading for guidance through why pre-owned aircraft are so sought after and similar relevant updates.

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What’s Going On With New Aircraft And Why Pre-Owned Aircraft Are So Sought After

You’ve heard right that the aircraft market is as hot as ever due to a few big updates and announcements in the industry.

Cessna is among aircraft manufacturers kicking off the excitement for new aircraft delivery in the next few years. The latest additions to its family of jets will include the all-new Citation Ascend and Citation CJ3 Gen2. Beechcraft is also turning heads with the announcement of its all-new Denali expected for delivery in 2025.

In fact, with both Beechcraft and Cessna in headlines lately, Textron Aviation has decided to expand its Interior Manufacturing Facility to support the demand for custom Cessna and Beechcraft interiors. In addition to refreshed interiors, upgrades to new technologies are also keeping the industry abuzz.

Beechcraft and Cessna are preparing to include innovative Garmin systems in their future fleets of aircraft. Beechcraft looks ahead to Garmin’s Emergency Autoland system and G3000 avionics suite. Meanwhile, Cessna is gearing up to showcase Garmin’s G5000 avionics system in a few of its newer models.

However, with these and similar advancements in technology, nothing comes cheap. Base prices for new aircraft are in the millions, leaving many potential aircraft owners facing the reality of affordability. Without cash on hand or another form of financial security from a high-end bank loan, those on the hunt are scouring the pre-owned aircraft market for the next best thing.

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The Pre-Owned Aircraft Market Continues To Thrive

The launch of new aircraft has its own set of pros and cons on the rest of the market. Usually, when one door closes, another one opens. But in this case, even with increasing new aircraft sales, the door for pre-owned aircraft isn’t overly inviting.

As 2023 comes to a close, many people searching for pre-owned aircraft simply want to know one thing…Why are used planes so expensive right now?

The answer comes down to a few key points including:

  • Competition
  • Limited availability
  • Ongoing labor
  • Aerospace supply chain shortages
  • Increase in aircraft going out of service
  • Growth of aircraft usage in businesses

Competition & Limited Availability

Many once semi-affordable pre-owned aircraft are seeing historically high prices to own. Finding a pre-owned aircraft that is well-maintained and in good condition is like finding a precious gem. Once found, you don’t easily want to let go of it until you can be sure that it’s signed, sealed, and delivered.

However, if you are among the lucky few in this position, you’ll need the funds to battle it out with others who are realizing the same thing – it won’t be available for long.

Ongoing Labor & Aerospace Supply Chain Shortages

Aircraft simply aren’t being produced and maintained as often as they should be to keep up with the demand. Part of the reasoning for this is the result of labor shortages in aircraft manufacturing. Following peak pandemic layoffs, shutdowns, and a surge in retiring professionals, manufacturing jobs in aviation are still struggling to bounce back. Even as many begin to come out of retirement, finding skilled workers is still a challenge.

Also at risk includes essential materials for electronics like chips needed for onboard technology. It’s also vital to keep in mind that there’s more than a need to simply produce tomorrow’s innovative technology. There is also a huge need for electronic parts to perform necessary updates to older computer systems many aircraft still use. Additionally, raw materials, such as aerospace steel used for various parts of the plane, are part of a worldwide shortage.

Outside of defense purposes, commercial aircraft (like Boeing and Airbus) and other considerable agreements between companies are also being prioritized over smaller single-engine aircraft and business jets. Unfortunately for the solo aircraft owner, this means being pushed further back to the line for parts and timely services.

Increase In Aircraft Going Out Of Service

The domino effect associated with those who don’t fly regularly or often enough and who cannot keep up with timely aircraft maintenance face the reality of their aircraft going out of service. And the longer an aircraft sits, the faster it depreciates without proper care and attention. More out-of-service aircraft means far fewer airworthy aircraft available for sale.

RELATED: When Will Used Aircraft Prices Go Down?

Growth Of Aircraft Usage In Businesses

Very few could have seen how fast the need for business aircraft grew since before the pandemic. Even so, business jet activities increased by a whopping 21% in North America compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The reasoning for business jet usage is clear. When businesses own their jet, they have access to a more flexible flying schedule, enhanced privacy, and a selection of luxurious amenities. Whether flying their executive board or impressing clients, there is no better way to fly than by private business jet.

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