The dead cat bounce


Business aviation can benefit from sudden stresses and emergencies. When things get bad, there can be a sudden rise in flights. But, just like the famous stock exchange dead cat bounce, it does not last.

Whatever you think about the protests in China (and I am writing this on a Huawei smartphone), they are clearly bad news for Asia’s most important business jet market.

Mass occupy events have also taken place at Hong Kong’s International Airport, forcing the airport to suspend completely flights on more than one occasion – and possibly costing the CEO of flag carrier Cathay Pacific his job. This may encourage some to fly privately (although the FBO was also closed). But it will not last.

As well as stopping international travellers, the protests are also putting off visitors from mainland China – the Hong Kong government says that 76% of all visitors come from there.

This is bad news for all operators. Data company WINGX says that Beijing to Hong Kong is the fourth busiest business jet route within Asia, with 86 flights taking place in the first quarter of 2019.

Operators and trip-planning companies in Hong Kong report fewer flights. “The market is dead,” says one veteran. “Now is not the time to buy an aircraft.”