JUNE 2012

issue 20

An old joke goes that banks will only lend money to those who don’t need it, and it’s never been more true. Small and medium enterprises, perhaps seen as too great a risk, are finding it very difficult to finance expansion. It is inhibiting their investment in people, premises and equipment.

In our own industry, sellers of used aircraft complain that the soft lower end of the market is restricting those higher up the ladder who, in more normal times, would now be seeking to upgrade. Business aviation activity has always correlated closely with corporate earnings, which are increasing – but perhaps the historical rules are now being rewritten. Brokers insist it has never been a better time to buy. Potential customers in the static markets of North America and Europe must be thinking: if only we could.

By contrast, cash buyers and fast-growing companies in emerging markets continue to buy large, long-range jets. In the BRINC economies – the former BRIC has expanded to take account of Nigeria’s new wealth – buyers want the best and they want it now. The old world’s current austerity measures are an unfamiliar idea here, and there is less sensitivity around business aviation. Operators do not face the threat of new taxes and regulation is less burdensome.

This all puts pressure on manufacturers of smaller aircraft with longer established product lines in traditional markets, which makes the troubles of Hawker Beechcraft look sadly inevitable. The company delivered 198 GA aircraft in 2011, down from 214 the year before. Although it was catching up by the fourth quarter, delivering 85 planes compared with 88 a year earlier, it still lost an eye-watering $632.8 million in the full year.

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Take A Peek

Featured in this issue

  • Falcon to kick-start super midsize sector

    The latest model on Dassault’s 2000 platform offers category-leading performance, space and comfort, reports Martin Roebuck  The latest member of Dassault Aviation’s Falcon jet family, the...

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  • In contact, in control

    There’s nothing today’s business traveller cannot do in mid-air, and connectivity will ony get better as satellite coverage improves Improved connectivity has drastically changed how we communi...

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  • A question of taste

    Alison Price On Air has become the must-have aviation caterer by recognising the difficult conditions flight attendants often face when presenting a tempting meal on board  Alison Price On Air...

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  • Standalone boxes cater for the long haul

      High-specification thermally insulated containers from German airline catering equipment designer and manufacturer B&W Engineering allow private airlines to present their clients with ap...

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  • Don’t poison the passenger

    Business aviation may have fallen behind the commercial airline sector in terms of serving food safely on board One of the scheduled speakers at the Business Airport World Expo in February was take...

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  • Sci-fi enters the real world

    Cabin design had not changed much in 50 years – until Portugal’s LIFE consortium set to work LIFE, a futuristic idea of how executive aircraft cabins may one day look, won the Visionary Concept...

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  • A new world in top-end completion

    A bumpy road lies ahead with more fit-out capacity coming on stream, just as bizjet buyers are cancelling orders and deferring completions The bizliner sector has been fertile ground for completion...

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  • Must-ask questions for the charter sector

    Designing an interior for an aircraft that is to go out on charter involves some very different principles than designing for exclusively private use – or at least involves a long list of questions,...

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  • Chinese clients demand the very best

    Flying Colours Corp has carried out three more interior completions of Bombardier Challenger 850 aircraft for Chinese clients, taking its total delivered into Asia, Russia and the Middle East to 10. ...

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  • Stone finish is not as heavy as you think

    The interiors team at Ocean Sky, the UK-based aircraft ownership and management group, offers stone flooring as a hard-wearing solution for areas such as vestibules and lavatories. The thinly cut ston...

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  • On trend, but timeless

    Paul Priestman, co-founding director of aircraft interior design consultancy Priestmangoode, discusses what makes a successful business jet cabin in today’s competitive travel market The trav...

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  • Surfing the Olympic wave

    Ocean Sky doubles capacity at Luton hub as busy summer looms Private aviation company Ocean Sky has announced a multi-million pound upgrade of its FBO at London Luton Airport, giving it the abi...

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  • London showroom raises the bar

    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 broker...

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  • ‘Any colour you like’ – the broker’s lament

    The health of the pre-owned business jet market depends on what you have on your books and how well connected you are with emerging markets, says Martin Roebuck  The continued decline in value...

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  • Paying the price for quirky design

    Buying a used aircraft is an emotional decision, and Colibri has learned that first impressions matter Oliver Stone, MD of Colibri Aircraft, says interior configuration – including colour –...

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  • Ireland defies the euro crisis

    Recent years have been hard going at Shannon, but it hopes to suceed by offering services that are unique in Europe Ireland’s exposure to the recession and the Eurozone crisis has seen inward...

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  • Differing fortunes on France’s “glamour coast”

    No fewer than 10 airports in south-east France, less than 80km apart, are able to accommodate business aviation traffic, but the two that jointly promote themselves as Aeroports de la Côte d’Az...

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  • Exceeding expectations

    Further improvement in service is Berne-based charter operator Nomad Aviation’s recipe to counter the strong Swiss franc Nomad Aviation’s first ultra-long range aircraft significantly expan...

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  • Back from the brink?

    Charter brokers and operators are seeing tentative signs of recovery – after plumbing new depths in the last four years Private jet broking was one of the brighter spots in Air Partner Group...

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  • What price European connectivity?

    Chris Cain and Tristan Crawford, from Oriens Advisors, argue that joined-up thinking on airport capacity is needed if Europe is to get back on its feet economically The current headlines in the...

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  • US industry fights off the lawmakers

    In the first of our two reports on threats to business aviation, Benét Wilson says a proposed US flight tax appears to have been shelved – but other perils await A number of legislative an...

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  • How new pilots measure up

    Flight schools’ increasingly broad-brush approach to training is at odds with proposed FAA regulations that simply ramp up the required hours. Ian Putzger reports The airspace over America is abo...

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