Corporate Jets for Sale

January 23rd, 2009 | Sources: Economist


Remember when the CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler flew corporate jets to Washington to beg for a bailout?

After receiving a righteous whuppin’ by politicians, bloggers and YouTubers, the group returned for a second go a month later in cars.

The fiasco was a killer for business-jet industry which had hoped the CEOs would defend the craft as time-savers.

They “didn’t have the guts to defend their actions,” Michael Boyd told the Economist.

No seriously, the aviation consultant does know the jets are a smidge unpopular these days. 

“Right up there with Saddam Hussein,” was the way Boyd put it.

In fact, many companies appear to have decided to rid themselves of their jets altogether. The US automakers, Time Warner, AT&T and Citigroup have put their jets up for sale and other companies cancelled orders for new ones. 

As a result, UBS reports a 62% increase year-over-year in the number of second-hand corporate jets on the market—that’s the highest number since the statistic was introduced.

“The market is dead,” states the UBS report in one particularly gloomy passage. Elsewhere, the report describes current affairs as “possibly the worst market since 1970.”

Surprisingly, not everyone agrees. The Economist cites a JPMorgan analysis of asking prices for used jets—they actually rose 3.4% in November.

To Jonathan Breeze, Jet Republic’s CEO, that means some firms don’t really want to sell their jets at all. They put their jets on the block for an unreasonably high price, assuring there will be no buyers. This way they appear to be in touch with the times while the top dogs gallivant around as usual.


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