IBA sees positive trends in narrow-body aircraft values, but wide-bodies remain depressed

Aviation data and advisory consultancy IBA, has outlined a divergence in value trends between narrow-body and wide-body aircraft driven by a surge in domestic travel in certain markets, but continuing low levels of international travel globally.

In a recent aircraft values webinar, IBA illustrated how a surge in domestic passenger flights, driven largely by rapidly returning demand in North America, is driving a recovery in market values of newer-generation narrow-body aircraft.

The gap between the base and market values of the Boeing 737 MAX, now re-certified for operation in most global markets, with China being the notable exception, has narrowed significantly since the start of 2021. Values of the Airbus A320neo have stabilized and remain ahead of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft of an equivalent age, according to data from IBA’s InsightIQ intelligence platform. IBA forecasts that market values of both the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX will each trend back towards base over the next two years, and will align with base values by 2024.

Values of the older A320ceo and Boeing 737-800 narrow-body models are performing less strongly. Market values of both types built between 2008 and 2018 are continuing their divergence from base values, although the Boeing 737-800 continues to perform more strongly with a price range for a ten year old model of US$19.35m compared to US$16.43m for the A320ceo. This is driven by the former’s stronger demand for freighter conversions and less fleet dispersion due to ongoing replacements by the Boeing 737 MAX. Once the MAX is certified in all global markets, IBA forecasts the value gap between the A320ceo and 737-800 to narrow. IBA believes that this softening of market values is not yet severe enough to signal a reduction in base value for those types.

The continuing low level in international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting wide-body aircraft values. The Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330, the current generation wide-bodies that are the twin-engined mainstays of many airline fleets, are both seeing a continuing drop in values and an accelerating divergence between market and base values. The market values of a 10 year old Boeing 777-300ER fell 25% from US$46.3m to US$34.85m in the first six months of 2021. An Airbus A330-300ceo of the same age fell over 30% from US$27.39m to US$18.41m over the same period.

Phil Seymour, IBA’s President, says: “The divergence in traveller demand across the globe is driving a divergence in aircraft values, and this is a trend we believe will endure as the continuing growth in domestic flights boosts next generation narrowbody values. When international travel demand returns, we believe a similar trend will develop, with the newest wide-body aircraft types seeing the quickest recovery in values.”

Aircraft utilization has grown in all global regions between June and July 2021, with Europe & CIS continuing the steepest recovery with flight levels at 63% of the same month in 2019. This compares to 58% for the Middle East, 63% for Asia Pacific and Africa, 72% for Latin America and 78% for North America.

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