2023 GAMA Light Jet Delivery Numbers

Explore the latest trends in light jet deliveries for 2023.

The Light Jet and Very Light Jet categories continue to enjoy a post-pandemic surge in demand as new entrants to private aviation absorb the market. New deliveries in the sector are benefiting from robust backlogs. Across the board, with the exception of the Citation M2 Gen2, the light jet and very light jet sectors are up on deliveries year over year (YOY). 

The Very Light Jet Category

The Hondajet YOY recovery is the most drastic, with a 30% increase compared to 2022. This is likely thanks to Volato expanding their fleet by over 50% as well as capacity coming online post pandemic. Overall, the delivery recovery seems to have stabilized in all the markets except the Citation M2. The backlog of Cessna Citation M2’s remains strong, so this is a function of throughput. With many manufacturers racing to stabilize their supply chains, the M2 is expected to see gains over the next two years.

The most significant growth in the very light jets was in the Phenom 100 market, where year over year there was 57.14% growth. On a sheer volume basis, it was the smallest player with only 11 deliveries. However, assuming their backlog continues to grow and they responsibly increase throughput capacity, the Phenom 100EV could put real pressure on the Citation M2 and the Hondajet.

The most successful and consistent was the primarily owner-flown Cirrus Vision Jet market, with more deliveries than the other three in the category combined. Cirrus’ continuous growth in the Very Light Jet has allowed it to maintain its leadership status, and it is uniquely positioned. It is the only single engine jet in the category, which makes the comparison somewhat unfair as it is not frequently flown for corporate purposes.

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Light Jets Continue To Grow

The Phenom 300 was the best selling Light Jet in the world in 2023, delivering a total of 63 aircraft. It experienced a 6.78% year-over-year growth and, notably, was the only jet to deliver more airframes in 2023 compared to 2019. Bolstered by fleet orders from many operators, the Phenom 300 will likely continue as a leader in the segment. Furthermore, the Phenom 300’s dispatch reliability contributes to its high demand among fractional and charter operators, which is increasing demand in the pre-owned market for potential owner-flow or owner-operated aircraft.

A notable growth story is seen with the Pilatus PC24, which experienced a 17.5% increase in Year over Year after a tough 2022 for deliveries. This indicates that the Pilatus supply chain has likely been unclogged, and they will be able to deliver on their backlog of over 2 years.

Outlook on Financing

Lending institutions remain optimistic about the new delivery of Very Light Jets and Light Jets, with advance rates staying high and amortization schedules often reaching 15-20 years. As we see the potential return of Bonus Depreciation and the Fed indication that rate cuts are in our future, we could see an increase in demand in the secondary market for these two sectors. Many buyers are opting for adjustable rates, anticipating that rates will decrease. Some may opt for a 5 or 15 year term, however, the prepayment penalties are heavily scrutinized by clientele.

When considering whether to buy new or buy used, it is important to consider these factors in what will happen in the secondary market. Newer vintage aircraft with low utilization remains on top for underwriters during the aircraft financing process

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