European business aviation flight activity may still be down, but overall prospects for one of the industry’s largest service groups are on the rise, according to Jet Aviation president Dan Clare. In an interview ahead of this week’s EBACE show Clare said the Switzerland-based company’s management and charter business is picking up well, with balanced growth between the markets in the U.S. and across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. At the same time, he hailed a recovery in Jet Aviation’s aircraft completions business.
Gama Aviation’s Sharjah Airport FBO has posted a 75-percent increase in corporate aviation movements during the past 12 months. The company responded to the increased traffic by adding five new employees to serve its expanding customer base. The increased traffic demonstrates that the FBO has established itself as “the stress-free preferred gateway for business and private visitors to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” according to Dave Edwards, managing director, Gama Aviation Sharjah.
Luxembourg’s MRX Systems is offering business aircraft operators its tablet-based BlueEye application for managing data associated with continuing airworthiness responsibilities. Its launch customer in the market is Dutch maintenance provider Jet Support, which is exhibiting here at EBACE with its FBO partner KLM Jet Centre (Booth 1937).
Lyon Bron Airport in southeast France (Booth 664), some 70 miles southwest of Geneva, enjoyed 7.5-percent growth in business aviation traffic during the first three months of this year. This came on the heels of 7.5-percent growth for the whole of last year–to 6,359 aircraft movements–ranking Lyon Bron the third busiest French airport for business aviation. The growing roster of new operators at the field and planned construction are giving the local officials cause for continued optimism.
Europe will remain the second-largest market for new business jets over the next decade, accounting for approximately 29 percent of delivery volume and 34 percent of billings, according to the latest 10-year forecast from Embraer. Since it will continue to be the largest market for business jets–predicted to take delivery of nearly half of the aircraft during the forecast period–the U.S. will dictate the speed of the recovery, noted Embraer Executive Jets president Ernest Edwards.
Among the few economic forces behind the rather tepid recovery of the market segment covering small and medium-sized business jets, perhaps the most influential rests with the world’s financiers. While the large business jet segment remains buoyant due to its comparative immunity from the vagaries of liquidity availability, for the rest of the market a lack of attractive financing terms remains a serious problem, according Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) president John Saabas.
Qatar Executive is investing in the development of a private jet terminal at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The opening of the new gateway for airline service has been delayed, following a failure to achieve the planned “soft opening” on April 1, but this appears not to be holding back plans to serve business aviation traffic there.
Unsurprisingly, considering the wave of further bad economic news from the sunnier parts of the Eurozone, chartered business jet departures from southern European cities dropped far more steeply over this part winter than in northern Europe. New charter data prepared by online charter portal Avinode exclusively for AIN shows departures out of southern Europe dipping below 10,000 in January 2013. This was almost 1,000 below the total for the same period last year and a big drop from the almost 20,000 departures seen in July 2012.
During the first quarter of this year, Air Charter Service saw overall growth of 12 percent, with 20 percent year-over-year growth in its executive jet division. The London-based charter brokerage was founded in 1990 by chairman Chris Leach and now includes 17 offices on five continents. Annual revenue is more than $420 million.
Last month London Oxford Airport-based Hangar8 welcomed two additions to its growing fleet of aircraft available for charter–a pair of Bombardier Global Express aircraft, operating from Oxford and London Luton Airport. The new jets strengthen Hangar8’s long-range fleet and highlight the company’s continued worldwide growth.