Sun shines in Miami
It may have been the weather but the attendees at Corporate Jet Investor Miami last week are looking forward to 2017. Some 80% were optimistic (13% were very optimistic) for the next 12 months. With the US elections over (59% of attendees thought that President Trump will be good for business aviation) there is a consensus demand in the US may be picking up.
“The are signs that the market is beginning to turn,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream. “The last six months have been different and the first quarter was the best since 2009. “There is a compelling business case for aircraft and people still need these products.”
Brian Proctor, president of Mente Group agreed: “There is a quiet optimism at the moment, but no one really wants to tempt it. We all know there could be another Black Swan event.”
However, Proctor and many other speakers raised the problem of falling aircraft values stopping buyers. More than 86% of the 200 plus attendees agreed that this was a problem, with 53% thinking that big falls are the new normal.
One of the other key themes was people trying to disrupt the market – this included Kenny Dichter from Wheels Up, Adam Twidell from PrivateFly, Jonny Nicol from StrataJet, Paul Touw from Stellar Labs and Avinode’s Per Marthinsson. As one operator said: “If you don’t have a digital strategy in five years you will be out of business.”
The biggest frustration amongst attendees related to liquidity. As one senior manager at an OEM said: “This is my fourth time at CJI Miami and I still have not been in the pool.”