Business Aviation prospered through the benefit of favorable currency rates, tax policies and the synergies resulting from globalization. Orders for new aircraft reached a peak in 2008. With industry backlogs exceeding 75 billion dollars, all manufacturers planned the next decade’s production at rates far exceeding all previous expectations. In fact, business was so good that leaders in the industry proclaimed that the “Golden Age of General Aviation had arrived”.
Unfortunately, storm clouds were approaching unseen on the horizon.
During the Summer of 2008 the aviation boom was facing monumental challenges imposed upon it first by the rapid rise in energy expense, then the financial crisis of 2008, and finally by the uncertainty associated with changes in the U.S. government. Most industry insiders concede that orders began to dramatically slow in July, 2008, to a point where cancellations of existing orders far exceeded new orders by early 2009. The affects of the market downturn not only negatively influenced new aircraft orders but precipitously affected the value of used aircraft.
Used aircraft values plummeted across the board by 15 to 20 percent as aircraft availabilities grew in the for sale market. Specifically, most business and private aircraft models deteriorated in value by more than 15% in just a few short months.
The devaluation crossed all product lines for all manufacturers equally, but there is an isolated exception – the Cessna Caravan. Specifically, when other aircraft were plummeting in value, the Caravan barely dropped in value at all (by less than 5% for a typical machine). Furthermore, the total number of Caravans for sale in the used market has not exceeded 6% of the total fleet (over 1700 aircraft) which is a remarkably low percentage. Comparatively, other aircraft models cannot claim the same success with most fleet types exceeding 20% for sale in the used market.
Why has the Caravan avoided the depreciation in values found in most other aircraft? The C208, one of the most versatile and efficient aircraft ever built, possesses a combination of attributes that uniquely places it at the head of the line for aircraft value.
- Outstanding reliability (99.7% sustained dispatch reliability rate)
- Low cost of operations (Direct costs under $450.00 per hour)
- High useful loads (C208B’s typically exceed 3000lbs Useful Load)
- Turbine Safety (Pratt & Whitney PT-6/A legendary reliability)
- Diverse operational uses (personal, utility, airline, freight, military, etc)
- Operational service in over 70 countries
- Comprehensive worldwide service (Cessna Service Network)
- Tremendous resale value
- Low training expense & easy single pilot operation
- State of the art avionics (Garmin G1000)