As we have written about a couple of times recently, used cars are currently mooning because of a combination of pent-up demand and supply-chain disruption.

And it turns out that automobiles aren’t the only used vehicles that are in short supply: the number of second-hard private jets for sale is also at an all-time low. According to the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), just 1,130 — about 5 per cent of the world’s fleet — of private jets are currently for sale. That’s less than half of what is normally available, we’re told, and compares with about 17 per cent during the financial crisis.

And when it comes to the less rusty ones — which we imagine the ESG set who use them to fly between climate change conferences would prefer due to considerations for their own lives — the shortage is even more acute. According to research from AMSTAT, a company that provides data on business aircraft in the US, “of 252 large, long-range jets currently for sale, just 20 of these are less than five years old”.

With so few jets available in the US, potential buyers are having to look to Asia for possible jets. As Chad Anderson, president at Jetcraft — another private jet market research firm — sombrely puts it:

Gosh. The heart really does bleed doesn’t it?

And not only are buyers (or their staff, to be more precise) having to look for jets in different continents, but the current buying process seems to have about as much dignity as a late-night eBay bidding war. Anderson tells us:

Now of course you might be asking why billionaires can’t just buy new private jets, but there is a shortage of those too. Manufacturers are accelerating production but apparently it will take six to nine months to speed up the supply chain. Until then, buyers have to look at older models.

It’s not just the supply chain that’s limiting the number of jets on sale either. It turns out that cryptoland is not the only place in which people HODL. Anderson tells us that some clients are holding on to their aircraft in case prices rise further.

But what’s driving the higher demand? Well it turns out that private jets provide quite a good way of making sure you’re not breathing in, say, a scary virus. Anderson says the number of first-time buyers has doubled over the past year.

Just when you thought the pandemic had been good for climate change action . . .

We don’t know about you but we are a little nervous about what this might mean for the illustrious elite who like to gather in Davos to talk about how to make the world a better, greener, more equitable place. Will they have to just bite the bullet and fly by helicopter or, dare we suggest it, First Class?

Or perhaps they will be able to bag some of those Greensill jets — does Cameron still need them or can’t one be released into the market?

Related links:Inflation indicators: used car edition - FT AlphavilleMy kingdom for a used car - FT Alphaville