IBA's Chief Economist takes stock of the ain learnings from ISTAT Americas, San Diego, 2023.
I’m back from a sunny yet chilly International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in San Diego where, for once, we weren’t discussing a new war, aviation tragedy or pandemic! Instead, the discussion was focussed on how we can achieve the pressing demand for growth given the challenges of stifled supply chains, the rising cost of debt, high inflation, and just a hint of impending ESG regulations.
This was further echoed at the IBA learning lunch, held on the second day to a full room. I was joined by Courtney Miller, Doug Harned, and Jim Morrison to discuss oil, supply chains and inflation respectively. The format was well received with plenty of involvement from the floor. So, what did we learn?
The biggest threat - The audience was firmly in the belief that supply chain was the biggest threat to growth in the aviation industry, which echoed across the rest of the conference.
A challenging delivery landscape - Aircraft deliveries are highly unlikely to meet their targets for this year, with supply chain issues and new generation engines cited as part of the delay.
It’s not all about engine supply - Whilst engines are the most visible component causing issues in the supply chain, they are by no means the only one. In an aircraft with around 2 million parts, there are a huge number of bottlenecks to overcome.
Oil – whilst price is typically at the forefront of the conversation, we’re now focussed on the erratic nature of demand expected between now and the middle of the century, and the push towards SAF.
Inflation - About 25% of the room felt that appraisers had misjudged the impact of inflation as delivery pricing moves to reflect higher costs. That’s not necessarily a problem for current market value, but the risk to underestimating the impact on residuals and future values will impact transaction mechanics going forward.
In summary, supply chains are enemy number one, followed by inflation (and interest rates), with the long-term evil of oil being relegated to last place!
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