FOCUS I 18 B siness aviation has always been able to cope with the various crises that have crossed its young history. Even at its lowest point, as in 2008, the activity has always shown a mediumterm post-crisis recovery. The unprecedented nature of this crisis, which was health-related before it was economic, is more pernicious. Indeed, it is difficult to assess what the medium and long-term consequences will be on the world economy and on this sector in particular. Nevertheless, in the face of an exhausted commercial aviation that is struggling to catch its breath, business aviation could find a second wind and a new appeal to a clientele that had abandoned the use of private jets. If for the moment, no study has been unveiled on the subject, various professionals in the sector, starting with operators and brokers, have seen an increase in requests for quotes, even during the confinement. This is the case of Sylvie Darnaudet, President of Jet Monde, an air broker specializing in business aviation based at Le Bourget airport, who says she has «a higher number of requests for quotes for flights in and outside the Schengen zone». Requests that for the moment cannot be met in view of the border restrictions still in place in most countries. However, she is positive about the reopening of these restrictions: «the market could pick up again very quickly because managers and their executives have a vital need to travel. But they don’t want to do so under any conditions. In fact, business aviation meets their expectations, particularly in terms of health and safety. The idea of passing through a crowded terminal, with transit flights, seems inconceivable to them today». The second-hand market could also benefit in part from this new awareness. The idea of companies acquiring an aircraft to transport their management teams seems to be gaining ground again; again for safety reasons. And,this after years of «business aviation bashing» which no longer met the image and marketing criteria.
Chaotic first quarter With these few positive signs, business aviation could therefore resume flying sooner than expected. While this seems to be the case for operators in the short term, manufacturers will have to wait. And the year 2020 is already shaping up to be particularly difficult from an industrial point of view, as the latest report from the General Aviation Manufacturer Association - GAMA reveals. Deliveries of business jets were down 19.1%, with 114 units in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter of 2019. But the most significant drop was in deliveries of turboprop aircraft, which fell by 41.8%, with 71 units delivered. The value of general and business aircraft deliveries of .4 billion was down 21.3% year-on-year. While the association expected a year equivalent to 2019, the figures published in this first quarterly report highlight the effects of «the health and safety restrictions put in place in response to the Covid pandemic,» said Pete Bunce, President and CEO of GAMA. «These measures began to have a significant impact on global operations, supply chains and deliveries towards the end of the first quarter. Companies quickly implemented a wide range of health protocols in accordance with local, regional and national guidelines to maintain production, maintenance and training rotation,» he adds. However, given the uncertainty surrounding the duration and economic impact of the pandemic, some manufacturers have not hesitated to suspend their forecasts for the year 2020, such as Dassault, Embraer and , Bombardier. Drastic measures at Bombardier... Despite the economic situation, the canadian aircraft manufacturer delivered 26 aircraft, two more than last year. However, to deal with the health crisis, Bombardier had to suspend its activities from late March to early May in Canada, where the assembly and delivery of Global and Challenger aircraft are carried out. Major aerostructures operations in Mexico and Belfast were similarly suspended, affecting approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. In fact, the manufacturer states that « the impact of the production slowdown, supply chain shortages and other disruptions on revenues and earnings is expected to increase as the situation has continued into April and May 2020 ». While production is gradually resuming, Bombardier says it is «working on new delivery schedules with customers and suppliers. On the order side, the aircraft manufacturer has also informed its shareholders that its Aviation segment experienced a significant slowdown in March ». Given the low volume of orders, «production rates will be in line with market demand, which is expected to decline by 30% to 35% compared to the same quarter last year,» the press release said. Nevertheless, Bombardier is reassuring about its order book, particularly for the Global 7500, which, according to the aircraft manufacturer, «has remained largely intact, allowing it to target an acceleration in production rates ». Ultimate Jet I 19
TRADESHOWS & EVENTS
Sylvie DARNAUDET President 25 YEARS