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It’s A Great Big World Out There

Jay Mesinger reflects on his recent trip to Asia’s largest trade show for business aircraft and related services.

Jay Mesinger   |   1st June 2014
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Jay Mesinger Jay Mesinger

Jay Mesinger is the CEO and Founder of Mesinger Jet Sales. With over 40 years’ experience in the...
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Business Aviation Provides Access to Global Markets

I recently returned from Shanghai- China where I was attending and speaking at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE). It struck me while in Shanghai that our aviation world just keeps getting bigger. The universe of business aircraft is no longer based within three time zones. Ours is really a global business now. Although situated in China- ABACE drew attendees from all over Asia- an area of the world that is beginning to percolate. Major commercial centers are becoming much more sophisticated and mature in their understanding and operation of business aircraft.

Looking beyond the Asia market and continuing to contemplate the enormity of our industry- I thought of other trade shows and education platforms throughout the globe that are presenting the benefits of business aircraft. By the time this article is published- the attention of the Business Aviation community will have shifted to Europe where EBACE took place in Geneva during May- drawing from Europe as well as the Middle East- Russia and the United States- and the next major show will be LABACE taking place in Sao Paulo- Brazil- August 12-14. South America has a very robust and growing Business Aviation presence.

The National Business Aviation Association’s BACE- which occurs this year in Orlando- Florida- October 21-23- is considered the ‘Grand Daddy’ of the shows and draws from the four corners of the globe. Moving on from BACE we travel to Dubai- in the United Arab Emirates- for the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) gathering. This event draws from Africa and the Middle East as well as many parts of Europe.

New Markets
The world of Business Aviation keeps getting bigger. There are other regional shows in Russia- Eastern Europe- Africa and India. The first ever venue established solely for Business Aviation in Africa was created by the African Business Aviation Association as part of the Marrakech Air Show in Morocco. While these trade and educational events attract delegates from a smaller area- they fill in the gaps of coverage for OEMs and service providers to keep business communities and local governments informed about the advantages of Business Aviation.

So how does a growing global Business Aviation community affect the operator in Atlanta- Georgia; Abu Dhabi- UAE; or Shanghai- China? It means that there are opportunities as well as complexities and nuances around the Great Big World of Business Aviation that never existed in past years.

New Challenges
The fleet of business aircraft is bigger- and hopefully the buyer pool is also growing. Of course it means that manufacturers see this growth as a positive sign for the long-term viability and health of our industry.

It also means that regional and country regulatory bodies and governance authorities will need to find a universal language and standardized regulations if we as an industry are able to shrink the Great Big World to a manageable- cohesive marketplace. In many of the emerging markets (like the Middle East- Asia- Russia and others where the fleet age is young)- we probably will see the first replacement of aircraft in the next few years.

For the first time- owners in these less mature markets will join the bigger world as they contemplate selling their current aircraft into other markets with differing regulatory bodies.

Since many business aircraft operating now in emerging markets were delivered new from the factory- current owners have never experienced the regulatory aspects of resale and export to buyers in other countries. They will quickly learn that what has worked for them when dealing with the OEM may not work for a prospective buyer of a pre-owned aircraft in another part of the world. They will need very skilled experts to guide them through the steps required to export their aircraft to a buyer in another part of the world.

Furthermore- the market for business aircraft is truly global. The economic conditions that depress prices in one region may not apply to other parts of the world.

The bottom line is that we must be vigilant and carefully track our industry’s growth and supply. We also must seek common ground for equipage issues and governance regulations. The future will be challenging- but the opportunities huge!

Read more about: ABACE

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