The private jet market has been struggling for a decade, beaten down by outrage over the environmental waste, stigma of outlandish luxury, and an oversupply of planes. But there’s a good chance they’ll take off again.
Besides the usual strong economic indicators – the Dow above 20,000 points, high consumer confidence, and rising interest rates – there’s a more important indicator for private jets: ultra-luxury cars.
According to Matthew McConnell, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, sales of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maybach, Rolls Royce, and Bentley cars have been up 31% year over year since November, and first-quarter growth is strong. March alone has seen a 53% increase in sales.
Historically, jets have followed these types of car sales spikes. “The sales of these vehicles have led sales of business jets by one year with a correlation of 87% since 1995,” McConnell wrote. According to McConnell, there was already optimism that jets would fare well under President Trump, stemming from his plans to lower the corporate tax rate.
Trump, however, shouldn’t be given all the credit for optimism in the jet market. Overproduction from 2006 to 2011 hurt the industry – along with environmental and social stigma attached to private jets. McConnell noted the excess stock has almost been absorbed.
“[There was a] stigma against business jet usage since the financial crisis, particularly since auto executives were lambasted for flying to Washington, D.C., in private jets to request bailout funds,” notes McConnell.
For Textron (TXT), General Dynamics (GD), Bombardier (BBD-B.TO), Embraer (ERJ), Rockwell Collins (COL), Honeywell (HON), and other companies in the private-jet industry, there’s another secret weapon that could help them. Unlike his predecessor, President Trump, with his Boeing jet, is actually member of the club.