Are good times ahead for the aviation market in 2012? Most every spring of each year experts in aviation attempt to spin aviation growth in a positive light. Why? It may be that hope springs eternal? People always hope for the best in the face of adversity. It’s human nature? Does the internal mindset in humans skew economist and prognosticators for recent aviation projections?
According to CNNMoney and the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private group of leading economists charged with dating the start and end of economic downturns, the current recession began December 2007 and ended June 2009. The deterioration in the labor market throughout 2008 was one key reason why the recession began December 2007.
With home sales dropping, aircraft valuations plummeting to record lows since 2008, predictors of a turnaround are attempting to provide buyers a reason to return to purchasing new and used aircraft.
Listen to Leon Cooperman about investing, where investors should look to make money. Investors will value the cost of money to the margin of profit whether it is in financial instruments, housing or aircraft assets. Current aviation investors will first value how much of a loss they have taken on their currently owned aircraft prior to investing in another airplane. Investor discretionary income will determine what is the correct aircraft, make/model for the needs of the business or family.
Take a look on news web sites. Check out CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and determine for oneself the optimistic outlooks these sites portray for the economy, jobs and auto gas. It’s well known the sites mentioned seem to skew facts, stretch truth and for what reason? When the truth is stretched to indicate a rosy picture of news the viewer feels better. Hence, the phrase hope springs eternal.
It may be difficult to forecast aviation growth projections for 2012. The manufacture, Bombardier, said its closely watched margin for earnings before interest and taxes is expected to decline to about 5 percent in 2012 from 5.8 percent in 2011. It withdrew its 2013 forecasts, blaming the poor economy and regional jet weakness an honest evaluation by a respected manufacture.
Aviation week’s aviation review seems to show inconsistencies from its head line, “Business Aircraft Sales, Prices Continue Upswing”. Aviation week reported, the business aviation market is showing early signs that the momentum at the end of last year is carrying into 2012 with key indicators improving in January, according to initial analyst reports. Used aircraft sales continued to strengthen, and prices jumped dramatically in January for the first time in months, according to Jetnet’s latest report. The article continues, the percentage of the fleet for sale is down across all categories and fell below 10% for turboprops in particular, “clearly moving it into a seller’s market,” Jetnet says. Business jets for sale were down almost a full percentage point to 13.7% in January, and turboprops were down by more than a percentage point to 9.3%. Both turbine and piston helicopters for sale also declined to 6.4% and 6%, respectively.
My point earlier that hope springs eternal seems to exist in business aviation for 2012. How is an aircraft investor to determine the true direction with inconsistent reporting? At Air Global One Gulfstream pilot job demand and aircraft under management (or not) is the measure of a positive aviation upswing. Other key indicators are; job growth, charter demand and new/used aircraft sales movements. Ed Bolen of NBAA said “business aviation has been both a leading indicator and a reflection of the global economy and how it has changed in recent years.”
Owners and management companies continue to demand pilots pay for recurrent and initial yearly training when working as an independent contractor. Employment as a contractor is the current business model of charter companies and owners. Permanent placement is not possible currently. This personnel business model was not in existence prior to 2007. Business does not desire to take on employee overhead. There may be green shoots of optimism appearing lately.
Prospective employees must invest in yearly expensive training to remain competitive for part time positions. A tipping point has arrived that aviation personnel are not able to afford training for job placement. Personnel are finding the return on training investment is negative. This places experienced personnel with the unemployed. Unfortunately pilots, mechanics, flight attendants are not measured as unemployed if they are independent contractors. They join the ranks of person’s not counted in government statistics of weekly filing of unemployment benefits.
Without aviation growth the United States will see aviation employment stagnation for 2012. Aircraft values will most likely remain at current levels and supply of quality aircraft will remain abundant.