CJI Asia: ‘The one bright spot is the new clients’

Mike Stones

The arrival of new clients is “the one bright spot” amid the Covid-19 global pandemic Darren Broderick, Asian Corporate Aviation Management, CEO, told 500 delegates at the forum Operating and Managing in Asia Pacific. But three-quarters of delegates were either ‘Very optimistic’ or ‘Fairly optimistic’ about the prospects for business aviation in 2021, according to an audience poll.

While Asian Corporate Aviation Management had suffered a big reduction in operations, reflecting a high proportion of its clients based in Singapore, which has tight restrictions, Broderick said the level of new enquiries was unprecedented. “I’ve never seen so many inquiries in Indonesia and transactions going through – with five aircraft brought in,” said Broderick. “Business is definitely high with a lot of improvement on this time last year.”

Broderick said the uptick reflected clients anticipating the end of Covid-19. “People don’t believe airline schedules will recover for several years. And they are scared to  travel in an aluminium tube from one part of the world to another. These perceptions were forcing people who had the means to travel privately and previously considered investing in private aviation to finally take the plunge.”

Carlos Schattenkirchner, UAS International Trip Support, agreed with that assessment. “Interest in private travel has been rising because people don’t trust airline schedules and don’t want to go to a big airport.”

Gary Dolski, Metro Jet, thought the emergence of ‘travel bubbles’, between Covid-safe countries could play a significant role in re-opening international air travel. “If there is a proven travel bubble between countries X and Y, then country Z might open up too.”

Meanwhile, 75% of delegates were ‘Very optimistic’ or ‘Fairly optimistic’ about the prospects for business aviation in 2021, according to an audience poll. But more than 60% thought it would take until 2022 before business aviation returned to normal operations. (See table). More information about Corporate Jet Investor Asia is available here.

How optimistic are you about 2021?

*Very optimistic: 3%
*Fairly optimistic: 72%
*Fairly pessimistic: 22%
*Very pessimistic: 3%

When do you think we will get back to operating normally?

*2021: 21%
*2022: 61%
*2023: 11%
*Never: 6%

Source: CJI Asia 2020 audience poll.

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