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Business Jet Sales May Grow in 2012 as Asia Blunts Slow Economy

Business-jet sales may increase worldwide starting in 2012 as emerging-market demand blunts a sluggish U.S. economy that fueled a probable decline this year, HoneywellInternational Inc. (HON)projected.

Purchase expectations are growing in Asia, followed by the Middle Eastand Africa, while the free-fall in developed markets like North Americafollowing 2008’s recession has stabilized, according to an annual survey of 1,500 companies by the Morris Township, New Jersey-based avionics and cockpit-instruments maker.

Companies also have cash to spend now, compensating for individuals that might hold back amid economic uncertainty, Rob Wilson, president of Honeywell’s business and general aviation unit, said in an interview. Replacement of aging planes has combined with international travel demand to boost potential sales aircraft of longer-range models, he said.

“Cautious optimism” will be a theme at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual conference that starts today in Las Vegas, Wilson said. “We’re figuring out how to make the most of it in uncertain times.”

Customers continue to say that they still intend to buy new aircraft in the next five years, though some have pushed out the timing to the latter half of that period, Wilson said.

Air-travel demand has been boosted by growing trade between Africa and China, a run-up in commodity prices and oil, and the exploration of new business opportunities in those regions, Wilson said.


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