Citation Excel, Citation XLS, Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign, Citation X
The Citation Excel retail transactions have been steady for the first two quarters but activity has fallen 40% for the third quarter with six transactions. There currently are 20 Excel aircraft for sale, which represents only 5.4% of the active fleet. The number of aircraft on the market has been fairly stable for 2017. The drop in activity for the third quarter may be explained by a lack of U.S. based aircraft for sale that are enrolled on an engine program. With overhaul costs averaging over a million dollars per engine, many buyers are now shying away from aircraft that are either not on an engine program or have high time engines. In the first three quarters of 2017, 7.2% of the fleet has sold.
The Citation XLS market has shown increased activity in the third quarter. With sales of five units in each of the first two quarters, activity increased to eight sales for the third quarter. Availability of aircraft on the market has been steadily increasing since the first quarter with an increase of 11 aircraft since the first quarter. Currently there are 27 aircraft for sale, which represents 8.2% of the active fleet. The Citation XLS market has been less active than that of the Citation Excel. 5.5% of the fleet sold in the first three quarters of 2017.
The Citation XLS+ market is down slightly in the second and third quarters with five sales in each period compared to seven sales in the first quarter. Availability has remained fairly steady throughout the year with a decrease of only two units since the first quarter. Currently there are 18 of the aircraft for sale, which represents 7.8% of the active fleet. For 2017, 5.2% of the fleet has traded, making this the least active segment of the 560XL markets. However, the statistics pointing to a degree of inactivity may be a bit misleading. Since the XLS+ is still an active production aircraft, the majority of owners will not trade their XLS+ until year three to five of ownership.
There is still a significant number of Sovereigns available for sale with over 10 percent of the aircraft production on the market. This trend indicates a continued increase in aircraft for sale at this time. The majority of Sovereign aircraft for sale are US based. Sales in the first three quarters were 19 aircraft compared to 28 retail transactions for all of 2016. The fourth quarter will need to be active to duplicate last year’s sales numbers. There will be more Sovereigns coming on the market as operators move up to larger aircraft. The Sovereign is still a very capable aircraft for many operators. We expect that in the near future there will be an increase in sales activity.
The good news is that there has been an increase in retail transactions over the last two quarters with the Citation X market. Through three quarters, there have been 25 retail sales. This almost equals the number of Citation X transactions in 2016 and is good sign of an improving market. We have seen a slight reduction in the number of Citation X aircraft for sale but there is almost 12% of the aircraft production available for purchase.