Optimism jumps the pond
When the US business jet market catches optimism, Europe follows.
This is dreadful paraphrasing, but also true. There are signs that it is already happening. We are not talking about the aircraft-buying boom that has been promised every year since 2008 (a market is always darkest before a false dawn), but things are slowly improving.
Data from WINGX, the business aviation intelligence company, shows that last year was a record one for activity, but the number of aircraft flying in Europe is down. The active fleet fell from 3,349 aircraft in 2015 and 3,314 in 2016 to 3,291 in 2017. Many of these were sold to US buyers, who were taking advantage of the strong dollar.
But now brokers, manufacturers and even financiers are seeing serious interest from buyers in Germany, France, Turkey, Italy and other countries. Even UK customers are looking. This may be because the best way to escape round-the-clock Brexit commentary is by leaving the country.
There are also some positive signs in the Middle East, although it is patchier. Iran is looking further away from being a business jet market than it did two years ago and Saudi Arabia has been pretty much shut since the corruption crackdown in October. There are a lot of prospects and a few owners staying in the Ritz Carlton Riyadh, but now is not the time to pitch them.
Have a great weekend
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