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Corporate Jet Investor’s virtual EBACE Town Hall

By Jane Stanbury



Corporate Jet Investor held its EBACE-replacement town hall to satisfy the annual itch for the industry to gather together in Geneva. While not quite the same, speakers and participants agreed they were all missing the annual industry event.

Ed Bolen, President of NBAA, delivered some respite, confirming EBACE 2021 will return with sustainable aviation fuel, urban air mobility and a mock-up of the Gulfstream G700 already on the agenda. “In this instance. business aviation is a leading indicator of a recovery, rather than a trailer,’ he said.

Pointing to a quiet market, save for essential and repatriation flights, LuxAviation Chairman Patrick Hansen echoed the thoughts of many participants in suggesting there will be a bump in activity as the world starts flying again. But come Q4, the economic fall-out will really strike.

Graham Williamson, founding CEO of SONAS Aviation, which has just achieved its Irish AOC is cautiously optimistic but agreed that the sector may need to “baton down the hatches for the winter.” (See related story).

Aoife O’Sullivan, Partner Founder of The Air Law firm and Chair of the BBGA agreed. “It’s good to see the transactions coming back, it seems positive. I don’t want to say it’s all good and fine, but it is important to note that there is activity,” (Aoife had just hung up on a call with a new buyer coming into the industry for the first time.) Our versatility and ability to quickly find solutions in a challenging market is really helping us. “Business aviation ordinarily gets into the media for the wrong reasons, but during the pandemic we have shown our value and flexibility - supporting vital operations - key workers, cargo and medevac operations.”

Marc Cornelius, owner of 80/20 Communications highlighted the industry should now focus on delivering messages related to travel health and safety and the diversity of customers our sector supports. Dave Edwards, Chair of the Air Charter Association added. “Think about your messaging (in press releases and statements) and make sure you are able to support your claims. This is our opportunity to underline the positive contributions we make to nations and economies.”

LuxAviation UK CEO Patrick Margetson Rushmore, who was looking forward to making EBACE his swansong event, opined the sector needs to be looking at alternative forms of fuel in response to environmental concerns, as well as tackling the issue of public perception, as priorities. Dave Edwards concluded - the industry will still be here in 10 years’ time, “just maybe with electric engines.”

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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 4th June 2020 | Issue #560


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