Market Focus: Bombardier Challenger 604

The Challenger 604 market soldiers on. At 18 units, more CL604’s have changed hands in the past 6 months than any other large-cabin business jet.

theJetWatch is currently tracking 36 aircraft for sale, meaning that there is exactly 1 year of available inventory. This is well below the large-cabin average of 15+ months. Average time on market for these aircraft is 293 days, and the average asking price is $6.447M.

365 CL604’s were built by Bombardier between 1996 and 2007, making it one the most popular large-cabin models ever produced. The combination of range and cabin size has always been unrivaled for its price point. A variety of cabin configurations are readily available, including two different lavatory sizes, with seating from 9 to 12 passengers. At an average age of 15.7 years, many of these aircraft are rolling through their 16 Year inspection, which can cost in excess of 10% of the aircraft’s market value.

The best part of the aircraft may well be the engines. The on-condition GE CF34-3B’s are as close to maintenance-free as one can get on a private jet. The majority of these engines look set to stay on-wing for a long time before they ever require a shop visit. This, of course,contributes to low hourly engine program rates. Looking at an airplane without an engine maintenance program? GE OnPoint offers essentially a zero cost buy-in (but watch what happens to the hourly cost).

These engines help keep CL604 operating cost competitive. Together with cheap fuel prices, it’s possible to operate a pre-owned CL604 for numbers that aren’t that much worse than many smaller aircraft. With depressed asset prices, a nice CL604 is easily achievable for $5M-$6M. This presents a compelling value equation when you consider the aircraft is essentially a flying living room, attractive to many owners upgrading from mid-sized jets.

If you have questions about the CL604 market, please give Cass or Jeff a call at +1 212 888 7979 or send us email.