The Asia Pacific region, where many of the industry's major players have high expectations for long-term future growth, reports 34 percent of its operators as interested in new purchases. This is lower than the 45 percent reported last year but remains above the world average and results in an aggregate share of world five-year projected demand of about 7 percent, off two points from 2011 levels.
Fleets in this region have been growing at double-digit rates throughout the past five years. This year more than a third of respondents planning to buy will do so within the first year, which improves chances of actual order placement and continued above-average near-term growth. When comparing purchase timing in Asia Pacific between the past two surveys, it is evident that this front-loaded profile was already in the making, with the timing of the bulk of acquisitions having simply shifted a year. The overall decline in purchase plans can therefore be partially attributed to a pause in backfill, probably influenced by a moderation of past exuberance and an economic tempering affecting the region's major economies.
"It is critical to understand that demand from this part of the world remains well above the world average, and we do not believe the 2012 results represent in any way a change in the region's fundamental underlying growth drivers or commitment to business aviation," Wilson noted.
The share of projected five-year global demand attributed to the Middle East and Africa remained near the center of its historical 4 to 7 percent range again this year.In the Middle East and Africa, 32 percent of respondents plan to buy a jet, down from 38 percent last year. Despite the fall off, the portion of respondents planning to expand their fleets in lieu of simply replacing an aging plane almost doubled. Operators in the region shared direct candid responses to our survey indicating their purchases may happen further into the next five-year timeframe, potentially influenced by recent political uncertainties. Latin America's survey results indicate 39 percent of operators have new jet purchasing plans, which is an improvement over last year's 32 percent. Furthermore, planned acquisitions are more front-loaded than the world average, with almost 70 percent of this region's projected purchases timed to happen within the first three years of the survey period. As with the Asia Pacific market, backfilling appears to have eased, albeit to a lesser extent. As a result of the improved purchase plan levels, Latin America's share of total projected demand increased nearly five points from a year ago to 18 percent. North America, the industry's mainstay market, has had new jet purchase plan levels remain stable, totaling about one-fourth of all operators, for the past five years. However modest interest levels might be when compared with emerging markets, North America represents more than half of projected global demand for the next five years based on the region's historically dominant installed business jet base, affirming the region's place in the industry's future. Timing of North American acquisitions has been deferred compared with previous results, suggesting that despite overall similar interest levels demonstrated by potential purchasers, short-term conversion plans could be postponed.