GLOOM AND BLOOM

UN­CER­TAINTY AND PES­SIMISM ASIDE, WE AT JET­GALA SEE THINGS A BIT MORE UP­BEAT

Jetgala - - NOTAM - Rainer Sigel PUB­LISHER

Late last year, Honey­well Aero­space re­leased its an­nual in­dus­try fore­cast, which painted a some­what sub­dued snap­shot of our in­dus­try. Ac­cord­ing to their crys­tal ball, busi­ness avi­a­tion or­ders are likely to con­tinue to see slow growth, with only around 8,600 new busi­ness jet de­liv­er­ies un­til 2016, with a to­tal value of USD255 bil­lion. If true, that would be more than five per cent less than the pre­vi­ous year’s pre­dic­tion. Add to this the Trump pres­i­dency and its ef­fects, with some see­ing a sil­ver lin­ing, but oth­ers fret­ting over the ef­fects of a pos­si­ble trade war with Asia. Un­cer­tainty and pes­simism aside, we at Jet­gala see things a bit more up­beat. Honey­well be­ing an equip­ment sup­plier to OEMs, it nat­u­rally sees its side of things through the lens of hard­ware de­liv­er­ies.

Yet, ne­glected in the re­port are two trends that show growth and prom­ise. One is the ad­vent of bet­ter or­gan­ised and stan­dard­ised char­ter op­er­a­tors, es­pe­cially in high-po­ten­tial mar­kets like Asia. They of­fer a uni­form fleet, sleek liv­ery and cab­ins across all air­craft types, top class ser­vice stan­dards — kind of an air­line ap­proach to pri­vate avi­a­tion. The undis­puted pi­o­neer in Asia for this busi­ness model is Zetta Jet, based in both Sin­ga­pore and Cal­i­for­nia, show­ing what is pos­si­ble and tap­ping new growth po­ten­tial in the process. Their fleet us­age num­bers are amongst the high­est in the in­dus­try, and re­views are glow­ing. And sooner or later, many of their reg­u­lars may want to opt for hav­ing their very own air­craft.

The sec­ond im­por­tant trend is on­line tech­nol­ogy. Fill­ing empty legs, pool­ing pas­sen­gers with match­ing itin­er­ar­ies, last-minute cabin-shar­ing of­fers, and so on will grow fleet util­i­sa­tion, and thus again pro­vide growth. And just as with on-de­mand char­ter, it will fa­mil­iarise a grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple with the ben­e­fits of fly­ing pri­vate, mak­ing it more ac­ces­si­ble, and thus pro­vide im­pe­tus for fu­ture air­craft sales.

One re­sult of these two trends is some­thing Honey­well did get right — the grow­ing need for larger air­craft. They fore­cast that over 85 per cent of money spent on busi­ness jets un­til 2021 will be for su­per mid­size to large-cabin, and lon­grange air­craft. Top flight man­u­fac­tur­ers like Embraer, Cessna and Bom­bardier are re­spond­ing to the mar­ket.

So, the skies are not as grey as some of the cold fore­cast num­bers may sug­gest. We all wish you safe trav­els and happy land­ings in the year ahead.

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