In UBS Investment Research’s business jet update released on Tuesday, industry analyst David Strauss noted that U.S. business jet flight activity last month declined 11 percent from the same month last year.
The business aviation downturn will last at least another year or two but there is still plenty of room for good deal-making, according to financial advisors First Equity. Director of investment banking Brett Pogany told NBAA Convention News that new aircraft sales are being stifled by “negative factors” such as supply pressure from a strong pre-owned market.
“Things are better than they appear,” Sentient Flight Group vice president of aircraft management Gil Wolin said today at the 13th annual Corporate Aircraft Transactions Conference in New York City. Despite the souring U.S. economy, the business aviation industry is expected to be sustained by a growing number of international millionaires, declining airline service and fractional aircraft owners.
In his opening speech at Crossair’s December 6 extraordinary shareholders assembly in Basel, Switzerland, Crossair founder and outgoing chairman Moritz Suter expressed regret over the new shareholders’ decision to oust him and six other members of the board, but resigned “to ensure a smooth transition and secure a good start” for the reconstituted Crossair intercontinental airline.
It is AIN’s normal approach to report the news without comment.
Sentient, a leading provider of business aircraft transportation through membership block charter, was purchased last month from CSFB Private Equity by TH Lee Putnam Ventures, a New York-based private equity firm. Sentient claims more than 1,400 aircraft available from among its approved charter aircraft providers. Participants in its Private Jet Membership purchase TravelCards valued at $100,000, $250,000 and $500,000, respectively.
Guggenheim Partners and UBS have formed Guggenheim Aero Finance, a corporate jet financing company that will combine worldwide reach with a streamlined approval process to offer aircraft financing solutions to individual and corporate buyers of new and pre-owned corporate jets.
While the fractional market continues to expand, shareholder growth is advancing at a slower rate, according to data from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Andre Dosé resigned his post as CEO of Swiss International Airlines last month amid a continuing investigation into the Nov. 21, 2001 crash of a Crossair Avro RJ100 near Basseldorf, Switzerland. Swiss chairman Pieter Bouw has replaced Dosé as CEO.
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.