Read what James Dillon Godfray has to say in Fly Corporate about Business Aviation in 2015.

Thursday 8th January 2015

JDG

James Dillon - Godfray VP Business Development at Marshall Aviation Services. With the company's multi-faceted aviation offering he is well positioned to comment on what to look out for in 2015.

2014 saw significant consolidation between a number of leading operators which has resulted in an hour glass shaped business aviation market place. The top is populated with a small number of very large aircraft management operators consisting of over 100 aircraft in the fleet, a very thin waistline with virtually no fleets of 40 aircraft and an equally large number of operators with less than ten aircraft to operate. Those with 40 or so aircraft have more or less disappeared. However as 2015 begins with a more stable business landscape consolidation could see this gap filled with smaller operators joining forces to ensure they can compete. There is no doubt that the consolidation era is not over and 2015 will see an interesting selection of companies joining forces.

The consolidation won't be just in the operators sector. The FBO market has become distinctly divided between the large chain companies who provide a single familiar brand on an international scale, and the small independent FBOs that provide a personalised, individual service with a bespoke character. 2015 could be the year we see these independents joining forces to strengthen their offering and provide the end user with a greater choice.

A good FBO can handle pretty much every need crew members may have, from arranging dry cleaning to full-scale flight planning services. As aircraft get busier, and demand for services increase, one of the consequences will be that more joint ventures will occur between larger international trip planning companies and the FBO fraternity. Alignment of these two key services will make for a seamless flight management experience for crew and a more efficient trip for passengers.

Aircraft are increasingly becoming more than just a means of transport as they mutate into the passengers' office in the sky. The installation of faster, more reliable, secure internet, mobile and web access will be top of the shopping list for any aircraft completion or refurbishment project. A small number of completion houses are already packed to the gunnells with large scale projects and are full until 2017 whilst the wider market focuses on completing or refurbishing a wider variety of aircraft of all sizes. Speak to any of them, their pipeline is strong, and its comms technology that has become a major driver for business growth. MRO continues to be a competitive market owing to fluctuating currencies and the OEM's increasing capacity to provide maintenance service scheduled work as part of an overall sale. Companies that offer MRO as a complementary service to refurbishment will benefit as a single source workshop that can incorporate scheduled, unscheduled maintenance along with interiors upgrades, will be increasingly attractive to busy aircraft owners and operators.

Emerging markets will continue to develop and Africa will continue to lead the way as the continent with the most vibrant and dynamic growing business aviation community. China's economy may be slowing but demand for executive jets is still there and other countries such as India, Turkey, Malaysia will continue to buoy up the industry in terms of newly purchased aircraft. However these new business aviation markets must continue to develop the infrastructure to support the expanding industry, and this is where there is still much progress to be made. 2015 will see Africa continue to grow supported by a very active Business Association, which has undoubtedly contributed to the continent's rapid development in the last few years.

But most of all 2015 will see Business Aviation continue to move forward on a gradual upward projectory. We are unlikely to see the heady dizzy heights of 2008 again, but we shouldn't want to, that bubble is well left burst. Based on our experience where sales of aircraft at Marshall's have been exceptional, we anticipate an upward trend in sales. 2014 saw a resurgence of the popularity of the King Air for charter and private individuals demonstrating the need for aircraft that can facilitate the multi sector trips required by many business leaders. The turboprop is enjoying an renaissance as a valuable business tool enabling executives to manage their time and costs in the most efficient manner..

Large jets will continue to be popular in the Ultra High Net Worth fraternity but this year will be further complemented by sales of the smaller work horses of the aviation sector. This will underpin what the industry is all about, providing a valuable business tool to facilitate economic growth, and for the very wealthy a discrete and reliable alternative to the commercial offering.

http://www.fly-corporate.com/article/oem-brokerage/looking-crystal-ball

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