As the Coronavirus grips the world, the economic impacts continue to unfold. Major hits to the stock market, oil prices, a rise in unemployment, and supply chain concerns have all compounded a rapid decrease in demand across almost every business sector as people hunker down and try to flatten the curve.
Despite this, as of mid-March, none of these impacts had yet to reach the Twin Commander marketplace. According to Eagle Creek Aviation Service’s Jim Worrell, prospects were continuing with their deals, and the phone was continuing to ring. “I just closed on a couple of Commanders last week,” Worrell said. Another one was in pre-buy, and he was confident other deals would continue.
Worrell was optimistic, in part because the market is behaving somewhat as he expected, given that it’s an election year. “In an election year we see some paralysis because of uncertainty,” he said. “I’m certainly optimistic, even through the broader market may seem dismal now.”
At the time of writing there were 25 Twin Commanders on Controller, and Eagle Creek was listing 12. Worrell’s recent transactions included three aircraft for aerial survey. Forestry airplanes, another driver of Twin Commander sales, are also slowing down. Worrell estimates that industry is consuming around 30 percent of the available inventory for sale, compared to 50 percent a few years ago.
For personal sales, the trend continues of well-priced, well-equipped late model aircraft being the most desirable. While still a buyer’s market, those airplanes are being turned in as few as three months, compared to six months or more for an airplane that needs a panel upgrade, interior, or paint. Part of what’s driving the desire for fully upgraded airplanes is that shops continue to be packed. Worrell said that their respective avionics and maintenance facilities are completely booked well into the future. Whether that will continue is anyone’s guess.