Royal Jet chief at the Global Aerospace Summit


Shane O’Hare predicts that regional growth for private jet travel might be between 6 to 8%

Shane O'HareRoyal Jet president and
chief executive Shane O’Hare predicted that the regional market for private jet
travel would grow at 6-8% in the region this year and next, with Royal Jet
itself forecasting 15% growth this year.

Both figures are well ahead
of the 2-3% annual growth forecast for business jet travel predicted by the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the next 20 years. O’Hare was speaking
at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu
Dhabi on 16-17 April.

“We had two
days of informed discussions with leading experts from the global aerospace
community,” he said. “The Summit
covered a great deal of useful ground on critical issues of air safety, air
traffic congestion and airport capacity.” He said there was a need to take into
account the requirements of VIP customers when planning airport investment and

He continued “Major airports
need to either encourage private investment in the development of improved fixed base operation facilities or invest in their own infrastructure as this
sector grows.”

“I am surprised at the basic
standards offered by many airports worldwide for private jets. Some major
airports process VIP private jet customers through airline terminals, which
defeats the primary reasons for private jet travel: speed, security and
privacy. Even the provision of adequate parking for business jets needs to be
factored into investment plans,” he said.

O’Hare told delegates that
he predicted more consolidation at the smaller end of the private aviation
sector due to competitive pressure. At the higher end of the market, the
quality of product and service delivery would determine which companies
survived and thrived.

“Some people believe the
private jet industry is driven by price, but I believe that the keys to success
are product and service,” he told the audience at a panel session on business
aviation. “Price is a factor, certainly, but the future belongs to those
operators who excel at product and service delivery.”

The Royal Jet chief
executive said the private jet market could spawn the development of global
alliances among operators, along similar lines to those in the commercial airline
sector. He said that regional growth in private jet travel would need to be supported
by more high-quality fixed base operation and maintenance, repair and overhaul