Welcome to CJI Global 2021 – an ultra-virtual conference!
To learn more about the sessions, find our agenda here. Or you can watch the event live streamed – in three parts – on YouTube just below.
If you would like full, free access to our event platform, other attendees and networking opportunities, please head over to this link to register. Should you encounter any issues with registration, please email [email protected]
Morning sessions (07:45 – 13:00 BST)
08.05 BST / 15.05 HK G’Day from Australia
Daniel Renwick, sales director, Jetcraft Australia told CJI Global delegates he is “busier than ever”.
The traditional success of the ultra long segment in Australia has taken a hit since the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent travel restrictions, and is now gradually beginning to return.
“It’s super midsized aircraft, Challenger aircraft, that are really popular right now,” said Renwick. “We are actually busier than ever right now. In terms of sales activity we haven’t seen it this strong since before the GFC [global financial crisis].”
08.40 BST / 15.40 HK The key issues facing the industry in Asia
The lack of networking events have been one of the challenges faced by the Asian Business Aviation Association, said Anthony Lam, director of marketing and external affairs, AsBAA.
However, Max Motschmann, CEO AsBAA, said that business aviation in Asia is picking up again. “I was impressed by the resilience of business aviation in Asia. Once the travel restrictions and borders are opening, it will take-off like a rocket.”
09.00 BST / 16.00 HK Operating in Asia in 2021
Carlos Schattenkirchner, Regional Director (China, Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan), UAS International Trip Support, told CJI Global he believes partnerships will become increasingly frequent in years to come.
“Outsourcing was already in many operators’ minds before the pandemic. Now I think more and more we are going to see the benefits of doing that, not just financially. I think in future there will be closer cooperation between many organisations,” said Schattenkirchner.
09.55 BST / 16.55 HK We sell planes – pushing business aviation in Asia
“I haven’t seen this sort of enthusiasm since I worked with David [Dixon] in ’07 and ’08,” Nilesh Pattanayak, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, Bombardier told CJI Global. Reporting a strong 2021 so far Pattanayak believes there is potential for large growth in the Asia region.
“There are 17,522 business aircraft worldwide, Asia has 1116 of them. That’s just 6% of the global fleet yet we have 40% of the world’s billionaires. I think there is tremendous opportunity for growth, growth that we have been waiting for,” said Pattanayak.
Poll: What does the business aviation Industry in Asia need to prioritise to help realise the next growth cycle?
11.25 BST / 18.25 HK Operating in the Middle East
“We have quite a big land area here in Saudi, in can take two to three hours to fly east to west and may be three to four south to north. So we are seeing a rise in domestic travel here in the country, it’s places our VIPs — who usually fly to locations such as Cannes and Monaco — have never been to before,” said Yosef Hafiz, NASJET, Vice President Sales & Marketing.
This rise in domestic trade has helped NASJET, the largest operator in Saudi Arabia, considerably, Hafiz told CJI Global.
“The government is still flying internationally and domestically. We are now beginning to see an inclination towards international travel,” he added.
12.00 BST / 19.00 HK African business aviation
There are two different perceptions — one from the inside and another from the outside — of operating business aircraft in Africa, said Dawit Lemma, CEO, Krimson Aviation.
Lemma addressed the adoption of digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, in Africa. He said: “A lot of African countries work in cash. Bitcoin will be difficult to use widely across the continent. Today, even wire transfers are difficult.”
James Foster, chief operation officer, Vertis Aviation, agreed, saying “cash is king” in Africa.
Poll: How hard is operating in Africa?
60% – Improving
20% – Very
20% – Getting worse
12.40 BST / 07.40 ET Interview: The latest news from Airbus Corporate Jets
In terms of deliveries, Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) remained on track last year (2020) with six aircraft delivered to customers. The firm have another 12 new orders now in construction.
The Toulouse-based company also recently announced the launch of its new aircraft the ACJ TwoTwenty with Comlux as the launch customer. Jean-Noel Robert, ACJ, Head of Business Development told CJIGlobal the aircraft is on track for entry into service in 2023.
Afternoon sessions (13:15 – 18:00 BST)
13.15 BST / 08.15 ET Flying in Europe
“It’s going be between an explosion and a tsunami,” said Robert Fisch, president, aviation services, Luxaviation Group, about the demand for flight hours in the coming months.
Justin Bowman, CEO, Air Charter Service thinks business aviation will be buoyant for “at least the next three years”.
13.55 BST / 08.55 ET The Strong Case for Arbitration in Private Aviation
“Arbitration and private aviation are a match made in heaven,” Paul Jebely, Managing Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
If for nothing else the confidentiality arbitration provides makes it ideal for the industry, said Jebely. “It should be thought of as a crucial tool for managing business relationships from their inception.”
Litigation heard before national courts would be public, except under really exceptional circumstances, explained Jebely. Arbitration hearings generally take place in private and parties agree that hearings, evidence or any other materials produced for the arbitration will be kept confidential.
14.20 BST / 09.20 ET Latest flight trends update
Richard Koe, MD, WINGX said weekend travel in the USA has had a strong rebound, but the weekday travel – or business trips – have not yet done so.
14.50 BST / 09.50 ET Interview: Expansion under umbrellas
“I actually think in terms of a broad trend it’s still early when we’re talking about investment in the private aviation industry,” Nick Fazioli, Managing Director, Head of Commercial Aerospace and Aviation, Jefferies told CJIGlobal.
“A lot of the investment wave got started on the operator side with these household brandnames — the OneSkys, Wheels Ups, the Vistas — and that leads to a reshaping of the industry and a lot of capital to go with it, so I still think it’s early.” FBOs and MROs have both been a popular investment for private equity in the past, added Fazioli.
15.50 BST / 10.50 ET Why the connected aircraft has arrived
Connected aircraft means a lot of things to a lot of different people said Michael Derion, Principal Sales Engineering Specialist, Bombardier. “What we mean is having the aircraft’s pulse at all times, it is like having a patient in an ICU when then nurse is across the room with monitors and she has complete knowledge over her patient.”
The technology has brought us to this point continued Derrion, “we have Bluetooth, Wifi, 4G, ATG, Satcom which all makes it possible, at a very low cost, to provide information to operators and maintainers to able to diagnose the aircraft in real time.”
The new Bombardier Global 7500 is the premier aircraft for this type of communication Steve McManus, Sales Director, GE Aviation told CJIGlobal. “We’ve got access to engine data which we have never had, giving the most optimum value out of that aircraft.”
“When you’re buying a product which is a connected aircraft you’ve got its history right there at your fingertips,” he added.
Focusing on the future operator, Kevin Duffner, Product Management Leader, Connected Aircraft, GE Aviation Systems, said having connected aircraft means when you detect an issue you can proactively address problems on other aircraft in the fleet. This broadens the ability of the operator to keep the fleet running efficiently.
Poll: Do you understand what the term connected aircraft is?
The results are in:
58.1% – Yes I think so
32.3% – Yes definitely
6.5% – Not sure
3.2% – No idea
16.40 BST / 11.40 ET Principals’ Evolving Needs
Kai Tang, Senior Vice President Business & General Aviation, Inmarsat told CJIGlobal the demands for global connectivity have grown more complex.
“For us that means we stay the course, we future proof our systems, but it does underscore an important principle of ours,” said Tang. “What really matters at the end of the day is consistent, reliable and dependable connectivity.”
Tang continued: “The principal doesn’t care what system they are using, even in the military — in my previous life — we talked about satellite communications, but that wasn’t the mission. Satellite communication is something that just needs to work all the time. Whenever you pick up the device, turn on the app, tap into the conference call, it just has to work.”
17.00 BST / 12.20 ET The latest aircraft registration updates
Len Cormier, Bermuda Aircraft Registry, tells CJI Global delegates that there was a 3.5% drop in the number of aircraft on the registry due to Covid-19. “But after the busy months of April  and May, that will be recovered by the end of June to 850 aircraft on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry. So, I’m optimistic for the future.” MS.
17.20 BST / 12.20 ET Can the pre-owned bull run continue?
Hamish Harding, Action Aviation, told delegates it was becoming harder to find quality inventory. “It is getting increasingly harder to find the aircraft people need. We have to go further afield. So it helps to be based further afield [in Dubai]. Time to finance is taking eight to 10 weeks, which is too long, he said. “To grab the bargains, if there are any, you need to move in four to six weeks.”
Janine Iannarelli, Par Avion, predicted the return of corporate buyers to private jet acquisition. “If you look at the timeline, companies are renewing aircraft on a five-year cycle. Many are now in the sixth and seventh years. Some clients have gone back to management companies.”
Jay Mesinger, Mesinger Jet Sales, noted: “OEMs are very smart. They don’t want to find themselves in the uncomfortable place of the past [through over production]. The race to increase production, just for the sake of an extra few sales would, haunt them and the industry.”
Brian Proctor, Mente Group, agreed. “OEMs seem reluctant to boost production and over produce. Production is likely to be the same as last year – relatively flat,” he said. MS
Evening sessions (18:15 BST)
18:15 BST/ 13:15 ET What is happening on the Hill?
‘Ed Bolen, president, National Business Aviation Association said his biggest takeaway from the past 15 months was that industry relationships matter. “We were able to call on the right people and bring issues to the forefront.”
Athar Husain Khan, secretary-general, European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) said: “Business aviation was at the forefront of maintaining the service to society. The pride is very much in the fact that we are a recognised entity in this discussion.”
Timothy Obitts, president and CEO, National Air Transportation Association, pointed towards teamwork with agencies and Capitol Hill. “Together we are better. Collectively we accomplished great things during this time.”
18.50 BST / 13.50 ET Making sense of cabin connectivity: Options for operators
Speaking on cabin connectivity James Person, Head of Sales and Business Development, Business and VVIP Aviation, Viasat told CJIGlobal delegates. “We have a saying in the US ‘its not your dad’s old Buick’. That’s because it’s night and day between what we could do five years ago to what we can do now inside the cabin. It’s gone from 10 mbps to 100mbps in five years — that’s a thousand times the capacity.”
19.10 BST / 14.10 ET Finance in North America
Cash is the biggest competitor, said Don Walsh, senior VP, Stonebriar Commercial Finance.
He said: “There is much more cash on personal and business balance sheets than before. In terms of corporate debt there has also been a rebound. But theoverall financial markets are even harder than aircraft market is.”
19.50 BST / 14.50 ET Green business jets
“Yes there’s no doubt” for the past five years that sustainable aviation has experienced a sea change Leo Knaapen, Chief, Industry Affairs, Bombardier Business. Aircraft told CJIGlobal.
While attention on sustainability has gone down a little due to Covid-19, “we see constant microscopic type analysis or conjecture by the media” on the industry, said Knaapen.
20.30 BST / 15.30 ET Topical issues for UHNWI
Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) have been the driving force behind private jet sales and there is no sign of an imminent return of corporate flyers or buyers, according to speakers at the forum Topical issues for UHNWI.
Ford von Weise, Citi Private Bank, told delegates: “Certainly, UHNWI have had a big impact over the past two years because we have been super busy.” But the number of UHNWI enquiring about buying or financing an aircraft has begun to decline.
Corporate flyers showed no sign of an immediate return, he added. “The jury is out until September or October to understand what the corporate impact on the overall market conditions might be.”
Candice Nakagawara, MUFG Union Bank, told delegates: “We’ve seen more enquiries over the past 12 months than in the previous two decades.” MS.
21.10 BST / 16.10 Operating in the US
Andy Priester, Priester Aviation, says: “Every time we think it [business] might slow down a little bit, it winds up accelerating. In the very recent post pandemic, every week seems to get stronger.”
Priester added that predictions about the Covid-19 pandemic were coming true. The pandemic was a tough time but the new customers it brought are adding to the existing client base. “Once things opened up, we would have not only the old set of customers staying with us, but we would have a new set of customers, for the charter side of things and management, and it would just wind up accelerating,” he said.
David Best, Jet Aviation, reported steady growth at a macro level but peaks around US public holidays and weekends. “The whole thing has shifted by three or four days [from a weekly peak business on Wednesdays]. We are now seeing a build up to big weekends, and it [charter business] eases during the week.” MS.
You can contact any of our journalists by clicking the initials at the end of each story. Alternatively, please use any of the links below:
MS – Mike Stones – [email protected]