NBAA 2018 is over – Veni, vidi, volavi 


The business jets and aviation stands are gone from the Orlando Convention Centre. Now replaced with refrigerators and lettuce of the Fresh Convention and, tomorrow, with the smell of sporran wax as the Scottish Highland Dance Convention takes place.

But these will struggle to live up to NBAA-BACE 2018.

The association deserves real credit for organising the biggest business aviation show so brilliantly – especially as Cheri Rudd, a much-loved long-term NBAA colleague, passed away at the start of the week.

OEMs dominated the news and all of them are feeling much more positive about the market compared to a year ago. Ronald Draper, Texton Aviation’s new president, says that he is inheriting a much better market than his predecessor in 2011. Bombardier announced that it now has a $14.3 billion backlog – Gulfstream’s was $12.33 billion in June.

Selling new aircraft is still very hard work. Buyers are easily spooked by negative news stories and there is competition for every sale. All the manufacturers are hoping that more people will place orders as the pre-owned inventory becomes even smaller.

OEMs are also hoping that new models will stimulate sales – and there are a lot of exciting new jets arriving soon.

Embraer is hoping for the same thing with its new Praetor 500 and Praetor 600 aircraft.

As you would expect, there were big queues to get on both Praetors [or Praetores in Latin?] – but particularly the $20.9 million Praetor 600. This may be an indication of future sales. Embraer is rumoured to be aiming to close more than 20 orders from the show.

The always upbeat Brazilian manufacturer was even more upbeat than normal.

As Embraer now says: “Veni, vidi, volavi – I came, I saw, I flew.