Business aircraft manufacturers are seeing Indonesia as the emerging country for business aviation in Asia. They believe that sales, albeit still relatively slow, are poised to grow, mainly due to favorable economic and geographic conditions.
The recent global financial recession notwithstanding, long-term airline traffic growth will average 4.7 percent per year, while cargo traffic grows at a slightly higher annual rate, 4.8 percent, according to the latest 20-year market forecast published by Airbus. However, the company projected a marked disparity between traffic growth in “advanced” and “emerging” markets. COO for customers John Leahy noted a divergence in gross domestic product GDP trends between the groups since 2000.
When the financial crisis that exploded in late 2008 began to ravage Western economies in 2009 and 2010, the business aviation industry took well founded comfort from the fact that escalating demand from emerging markets farther east seemed to be shoring up otherwise sagging demand in traditional markets.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen fallout from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
Leading business aircraft manufacturers are starting to take some encouragement from improving market conditions and more than ever are counting on emerging markets like the Middle East to give them the momentum the beleaguered industry needs to achieve a full-blown recovery.
Emerging markets is the buzzword in the business aviation industry, but few talk about the challenges of actually getting aircraft into service in these countries. ACASS president Andre Khury specializes in this area, and he sat down with AIN at the NBAA Convention to share some interesting stories about what it takes to get aircraft into service in emerging countries.
Ask former Bombardier Aerospace senior vice president for worldwide sales Jahid Fazal-Karim about the current state of the business aviation market and you’re likely to get a lesson in geography as well. Fazal-Karim, who this week became the managing director of aircraft sales and acquisition company Jetcraft Trading, said the business is increasingly becoming less U.S.-centric.
None of the world’s major helicopter manufacturers stands to lose more than Eurocopter should the U.S. economy falter. The company is making large capital investments throughout the country to sustain its huge production, support, warehouse and training operations in Texas, Ohio and elsewhere. The last thing it wants is a recession wiping away sales already in its order book.
Asia and the Middle East are widely regarded as the world’s next big markets for business aircraft. After years of unfulfilled expectations, both regions are achieving impressive growth in terms of locally based fleets and overall flying activity.