JetMS forecasts continued recovery for industry


Private aviation is expected to continue its recovery to pre-Covid levels through the first quarter (Q1), reported Jet Maintenance Solutions (JetMS) in its 2021 forecast.

Jet MS, CEO Vytis Zalimas, said: “We believe that government action that closely follows successful vaccine implementation in other countries can be beneficial for the global economy. In 2020 business aviation showed its resilience to outside factors like the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 will show a definite increase in both queries and flights.

“However, the situation with Brexit leaves a lot of questions unanswered, one of them being whether operators from the United Kingdom will have the ability to remain competitive with European market players from the perspective of taxation and permits. Being one of the strongest economic forces in Europe, the United Kingdom has been a key contributor to the private aviation market and seeing its importance diminish due to mismanagement by governments could send a significant shockwave to markets across Europe and the US.”

‘Significant shockwave’

Business aviation hotspots such as Nice Côte d’Azur, Paris-Le Bourget, Geneva and Ibiza retained strong aircraft departure levels during the pandemic compared with 2019. Nice Côte d’Azur and Geneva recorded 2,054 and 1,460 aircraft departures respectively in mid-2020 – just down from 2019’s figures of 2,453 and 1,478.

While quarantine and travel restrictions remain the biggest obstacles, said JetMS, the growing availability of vaccines is expected to open borders. “Catalysing firm travel demand in the industry while strengthening the business aviation sector.”

Travel confidence will most likely return in the form of increased bookings for both private and commercial flights in the coming months, noted JetMS. The largest markets in the world by private aircraft fleets are Germany and the US, which have already begun vaccination programmes. JetMS believes that the steps taken by the governments now on vaccination are crucial to see any recovery to 2019 levels come year end.

MROs estimate a positive effect on their businesses from the coming increase in capacity, as aircraft numbers, returning back to service, surge in the months after travel restrictions are lifted.

Small players rivalling larger competitors

According to JetMS, the role that MRO companies play in keeping aircraft airworthy will be a crucial factor in determining the recovery of the sector. Also, by taking opportunities presented by the pandemic to expand operational cost-efficiency, small players could begin rivalling larger competitors, increasing competition in the MRO market, said JetMS.

Meanwhile in the operator market, VistaJet reported a recording breaking year in 2020 as as on-demand service bookings grew 15% year-on-year (YoY). The company expects demand continue to grow from both corporate and first-time fliers. VistaJet is growing across major markets, with Europe registering the greatest levels of activity, accounting for 46% of total flights and North America 26%.

Thomas Flohr, Vista Global founder and chairman, said: “We are entering 2021 with optimism and grounded positivity following the unprecedented events of 2020. It is a pivotal and exciting time in our sector and I am extremely aware of the critical, growing role private aviation will play as part of the global economy for years to come.”