MARCH 2012

issue 19

Given the state of the current global economy, it is almost impossible to have any credibility as a forecaster or market analyst. They are never a sector who attract much sympathy, but right now, the signals are so mixed that it’s incredibly difficult to predict demand for any service or product.

Aircraft manufacturers, charter brokers and FBOs can only guess at where they will be in six months’ time, let alone on the three- to four-year business cycle that has been the traditional framework for their investment decisions. The financial peaks are growing higher, the troughs lower, and the flow from boom to bust and back again is now so breakneck that airsickness tablets may seem the only remedy.

Perhaps maintenance is the most secure game in town. Whether owners and operators are replacing their equipment or hanging on to what they have, there is always a need to keep it airworthy. Yet I’m sure that MROs working on shrinking margins will argue that even they lack the business continuity they would wish for.

The business aviation community, working quietly away in the background, has an unparalleled opportunity to show heads of state, wealthy individuals and the major world Games sponsors that it can deliver, even in the most unpredictable times.

Martin Roebuck

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Take A Peek

Featured in this issue

  • London showroom raises the bar in jet brokerage

    A long-time believer in face-to-face relationships, Steve Varsano has opened a corporate jet showroom behind ‘the best shop window on four continents’  An executive jet broker who has brokered...

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  • Feel-good factor begins to return

    Benét Wilson takes the temperature of a cautious but expanding US charter scene When the global recession hit in the autumn of 2008, business aviation was especially hard hit. Manufacturers saw bi...

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  • Czech FBO spreads its wings

    ABS Jets, the Prague-based provider of FBO and handling services, raised CZK 450 million ($22 million) of fresh capital for future development in November through an issue of five-year bonds. The mov...

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  • Youthful entrepreneurs resist Western gloom

    Czech and Polish operators may suffer an inferiority complex, but arguably are outperforming more mature markets in the region  The Czech Republic and Poland were among the few business aviation b...

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  • Still flying by the seat of my pants at 75

    David Gold, one of the UK’s most colouful entrepreneurs, shares some of his secrets in business and private aviation with Martin Roebuck [caption id="attachment_8679" align="alignleft" width="300...

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  • All under one roof

    Designers and completion centres are finding creative ways of streamlining the fit-out process from first concept to final certification  The first collaboration between two new partners in aircra...

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  • Rebirth of the VLJ?

    Some light jet builders survived their battering from recent headwinds better than others and are ramping up development again, Ian Putzger reports The turbulent history of the very light jet conce...

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  • Investment in Al Bateen pays dividends

    Al Bateen Executive Airport, the first dedicated business jet airport of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, began operations the end of 2008 and saw almost 9,800 commercial mo...

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  • Lineage takes ExecuJet to new level

    A number of new managed aircraft have joined the UAE-based ExecuJet fleet during the last year, including a Challenger 850 in October and a Lineage 1000 in January. The Embraer, the largest aircraf...

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  • Gama realises long-held Saudi wish

    Gama Group is expanding its business aviation services into Saudi Arabia in a joint venture with Imitiaz Company for Aviation Services as its local partner. The new company will operate under the Gama...

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  • Oil still fuelling Gulf economies

    The Middle East is exploiting its favourable geographical position and petrochemical wealth to take a bigger share of the global business aviation market, reports Martin Roebuck Business aviati...

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  • Qatar Executive extends its horizons

    Qatar Executive, the corporate jet division launched by Qatar Airways in 2009, is looking to develop beyond the immediate Middle East region. The division currently operates a six-strong Bombardier...

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  • Off the launch pad – a new plane for half the price

    Nextant’s remanufactured Beechjet could be the first in a complete lineup of ‘as new’ business aircraft There was a deeper significance to Nextant Aerospace’s handover of a 400XT aircraft i...

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  • Business airports practise their winning smiles

    Business aviation in the UK is set for a busy year in 2012, according to Brandon O’Reilly, CEO of TAG Farnborough Airport. The Olympics follow closely on the heels of the Diamond Jubilee from 2 to 5...

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  • Longer-legged H80 gets its wings

    GE Aviation’s H80 turboprop engine received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency in December, and has thus become the first engine from the company to go the EASA route first,...

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  • Sound economics, Italian flair

    Piaggio’s new production line will be efficient and ‘green’, just like its aircraft. But customers don’t have to sacrifice style Construction is well underway at Piaggio’s new €100 ...

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  • Expanding the offer in turbulent times

    CEO Martin Lener explains why the time was right to add an ACJ to the Tyrolean fleet, and how he is diversifying to combat current weakness in the charter market Austrian charter operator and aircr...

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