At last month's EBACE in Geneva, there was again optimism that the Business Aviation recovery is on its way, notes Terry Spruce. So what are the differences about the optimism in 2015 versus 2014?
I posed this very question to Scott Plumb, Sr Vice President, Sales at Jetcraft, who told me, “I think the difference between the confident optimism this year at EBACE and the cautious optimism last year at EBACE, is not about the European market directly, but about the effect the revival of the North American market may have on the European market.
“North America is currently a consuming market, taking advantage of other markets that may need to be selling (for various reasons) like China or Russia,” he added. “It's our hope that the economic confidence in North America, quickly finds its way across to Europe, and that additional European buyers sense confidence and progress from shopping to buying in the private aviation market.”
Next, I asked the same question to Oliver Stone of Colibri Aircraft. “To me, the biggest difference this time around was that the optimism has changed from a belief that we’re going back to the days of 2007/2008. Instead, there is optimism that the market is active and that there’s business to be done, albeit at a much lower level.
“It’s been seven years now since the market crash of 2008, and people have recognized that the levels of trading are at their normal level now and that their business can continue to grow and earn within those levels.
“This is the new sense of optimism, instead of the misguided optimism that business was going to rocket back to the days of old.”
Robert Smith of Jet Aviation when asked the question added, “I can only speak from Jet Aviation's perspective but last year we were optimistic about a recovery because we had many ongoing leads indicating strong demand for our services.
“While some of the negotiations took a bit longer to conclude than anticipated, the fact that we signed six new aircraft for completions earlier this year, in addition to a new global FBO agreement at EBACE, gives us every reason to be optimistic.
“Firm orders are in place; demand for our combined maintenance and refurbishment offerings at all of our major hubs continues to show steady growth; and our aircraft management and staffing services are also in high demand - all of which strongly indicates improving conditions in our market.”
So there is clear indication of a recovery, most likely being driven by the US. This jet sales recovery is expected to migrate across to Europe in the next few months. Perhaps you have your own thoughts on what’s generating the optimism. If so, we’d love to hear from you…