MARCH 2012

Issue date 1 March 2012
issue number 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