During the first few days of November, UK airlines were plagued by thick fog that caused a number of lengthy delays for travellers who rely on aviation as part of their everyday lives. Being located on an island, we are reliant on the need for air transport and at the mercy of the weather on a regular basis. However on this occasion the timing had a particular impact as it coincided with school half term and, for me personally, two little boys trying to get to Euro Disney (and their first experience of flying).
In addition to the negative press regarding delays to flights in the UK, the aviation industry has suffered the impact of the latest air disaster in Sinai, which at the time of writing is still being investigated. Our thoughts are with all those who lost loved ones.
The aviation industry has also experienced incidents in England which I am sure will have an impact on the public’s perception of private aviation. Unfortunately the media reports from these incidents will likely see a drop in demand for charter flights by operators of smaller or similar aircraft types. This will no doubt be a short term issue as a large majority of flights will be completed for the individual’s business needs, driving back up demand.
But now to the positive aspects. Despite the above, flying remains one of the safest forms of transport due to the massive infrastructure behind it, the manufacturers R&D programs, the engineers and maintenance teams all help contribute to ensuring that flying is as safe as possible.
The forecast for business aviation is very encouraging, with growth in new deliveries being projected up to 2021. The recovery since 2008 has been slower than many people thought, however the prediction of positive growth for the next 6 years is a step in the right direction.
In addition to the above the manufacturers ongoing commitment to developing more technologically advanced aircraft, which will enter service over the next few years will hopefully ensure that the predictions are realised. The efforts of Honda to bring a totally new concept to market with the over wing mounted engines will without doubt generate a huge amount of interest into the very light jet market.
The news from the super large and ultra-long range markets is equally as exciting. The first customer Dassault Falcon 8X has arrived at outfitting, the Gulfstream G500 has completed over 100 flight hours and Bombardier are progressing with the flight test vehicles of the Global 7000. This ensures customers have plenty of choice.
It is worth remembering that business aircraft are tools that allow those travelling to manage their businesses in the most efficient manner in today’s world where everyone places such value on time, there will always be a demand. After all what other mode of transport allows you to travel to multiply cities in different countries and still be home in time to take your partner out for dinner!
Senior Manager – Aviation
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