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Sat, May 08, 2010

Humphries: Biz-Av Poised For Strong Recovery

Bolen Says Interest At EBACE "Much More Than We Hoped For"

The leaders of two of the largest business aviation advocacy organizations on the planet say that biz-av looks like it's headed for a strong recovery later this year, based on the interest in airplanes at EBACE in Geneva this week.

Both Brian Humphries, CEO of EBAA, and Ed Bolen, CEO of NBAA, are optimistic as the European business aviation convention came to a close. Humphries told Reuters that business is returning to normal for many of the companies involved in biz-av. "Flying is picking up, and people are already looking to build up fleets," he told the news service.

Bolen had similar comments, saying business activity and interest at EBACE has been "much more than we hoped for."

The numbers seem to bear that out. Eurocontrol reports that business aviation flights have increased 11 percent over March of 2009, while in the U.S., the NBAA reports that flights are up 12 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

But there is still reason for caution. Plane makers report months of excess inventory of existing jets that need to be cleared before the industry will see a significant bump in manufacturing, and financing is still an issue as banks warily eye the economic recovery.

FMI: www.ebaa.org, www.nbaa.org

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