The world of business aviation has always had a degree of secrecy about certain elements of it, and nowhere is that more obvious than in order data.
Order dates for business aviation shown in Fleets Analyser tend to come in two different types. There are known orders – which are a minority – where a major operator has made a multi aircraft order that the airframe OEM in question is happy to publicise; and then there are the unknown orders, which tend to be small, and are often single aircraft orders where non-disclosure agreements are commonplace.
In the case of the latter type, we estimate the order date as best we can, often a six to twelve month lead-time from the point of a completed aircraft’s delivery. In the case of a new aircraft programme with the type just entering service, the order lead-time can be larger – going back several years to when we believe the airframe OEM’s orderbook for that type opened up. As more and more of that type of aircraft are delivered, the lead-time shortens. These estimated dates tend be created at a ‘midyear’ point which by our methodology is 30th June – this approach will lead to an artificial peak of orders placed during the month of June when a month on month analysis of order dates is run. Pre-delivery aircraft from manufacturers who use full registrations – rather than test registrations – that come from these unpublished orders do not have an order event prior to delivery, they can be found by looking for the “registered to manufacturer” event and at the point of delivery, will be given an estimated order date as previously described.
With the above information in mind, we suggest that business aviation backlog information – or “apparent backlog” – be treated with caution by users due to the nature of these estimated dates from orders that haven’t been publicly announced.