Home' Asian Aviation : AAV February 2016 Contents 46 AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2016
APAC BUSINESS AVIATION
he 2016 Singapore Air Show looks set to
showcase some of the latest, most advanced
aircraft designs in business aviation when it
commences this month. As the business
aviation world takes stock of the impressive hardware
that will be on display, it is also timely to take stock of
some of the issues that look set to affect it.
There is no doubt the Asia-Pacific business
aviation region encompassing South East Asia,
China and Australia has had its challenges over the
last 12-18 months. But it also has plenty to chirp
about. From a business aviation point of view, the
region as a whole has plenty of opportunities as it
takes advantage of a cultural shift in the industry.
This is despite the fact some of the emerging
business aviation markets within this regional
block still have issues to contend with. Markets
must navigate regional political tensions from time
to time, plus government austerity measures. But
the largest challenge for the industry is the global
economy and its fickle financial markets, particularly
plunging commodity prices and the slowdown in
the Chinese economy. These issues can impact
business confidence influencing bizjet sales.
Yet, despite a relatively lacklustre and uncertain
global economy at the present time, business
aviation in the APAC region continues to ride the
current financial storms and hold its own, reflecting
a multifaceted and nuanced operational canvas. A
cautious and measured degree of optimism about the
industry’s future pervades the broader APAC industry.
ExecuJet Aviation Group vice president Darren
McGoldrick says ExecuJet is just one company that
is gearing up for positive growth in the region, and
has invested considerably in it as a consequence.
“The Asia market as a whole is considered the
long-term growth market in the world. This is a
view still shared by all the OEMs. As an aircraft
management company, ExecuJet shares this view
and have increased our presence in the region and
are planning for the long term”, he says.
“ExecuJet have certainly seen first-hand growth in
their aircraft management business and have taken
delivery of three new aircraft in the last six months.
These aircraft are fully managed from ExecuJet’s
South East Asia team based in Singapore. The
aircraft will be based in Singapore and Kuala
Lumpur”, he says.
McGoldrick believes the regional business aviation
outlook is positive, especially in the South East Asia
region, but has the view that more tailored services
to clients could assist in developing the industry
further. The Australasian company vice president
discusses how improvements could also be made on
the infrastructure/procedural front, thereby improving
the flow of business aviation traffic in the region.
“The growth in the industry in the short term may
only be moderate and it is during this time that all
operators will need to concentrate on creating value
for their management clients. Creating value and
reducing fixed costs will improve the client retention
rate and make aircraft ownership more sustainable...
The lack of slot/parking and airspace coordination in
the whole region will hamper the business aviation
community disproportionately to the scheduled
carriers as flexibility is the main benefit of private
aircraft ownership,” he explains.
The lack of slots/parking and airspace restrictions
are persistent issues that affect a number of
countries in the APAC and South East Asian
region. China is constantly singled out as the major
problem with airspace restriction issues. However,
it is an issue which is endemic to the region. With
the increasing numbers of private jets operating in
the region, the fundamental issue of “opening up the
skies” and “making room on the ground” is vital for
the business aviation industry to thrive in the future.
Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA)
South East Asia committee chairman, Jaiyavat
Navaraj’s views on these matters correspond with
McGoldrick’s. Navaraj believes that a number of
current regulatory restrictions and infrastructure
shortages are challenging the industry’s growth in
“The main road-blocks for the growth of business
aviation in South East Asia is the lead time and
austerity procedure to obtain landing permits at
some destinations, the lack of slot/parking space at
several busy airports, for example Bangkok, Phuket,
Samui,” he says.
However, Navaraj believes the industry’s present
“hiccup” in terms of lacklustre industry growth will
pass. He believes that as the business aviation
industry matures in some of the region’s emerging
markets, a cultural shift of sorts will emerge.
“The present state of business aviation industry
in South East Asia has slightly declined due to
the slowdown of the world economy especially in
China...I believe the present state will stay for another
year. The business aviation industry will continue to
withstand the hiccup. It will gradually transform from
the ‘luxury toy’ perception into a ‘powerful business
tool’ one,” he says.
Navaraj’s view that further growth in the industry
will occur as customers come to recognise the
value and importance of business jets as effective,
time-saving tools is not baseless. Honeywell’s 2015
Business Aviation Forecast identified an emerging
global trend that operators were focused “on larger-
cabin aircraft classes, ranging from super-midsize
through ultra-long range and business liner” aircraft
types, which were expected to account for “more
than 80% of all expenditures on new business jets
in the near term”.
The later — and latest generation — of business jets
offer distinct cabin zones that are optimised for work
and typically come equipped with the latest in Wi-Fi
connectivity so businesses can conduct business on
the fly. And with their ability to fly long sectors and
offer a plethora of valuable city-pair connections in
the process, their value will increase dramatically.
At a manufacturing level, Dassault, Gulfstream,
Bombardier, Cessna and Embraer have all
The business aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region faces challenges, but opportunities are there to be found, Benn Marks learns.
Business aviation faces its challenges
A Bombardier Challenger is
a top choice for regional players.
4/02/2016 7:22:26 PM
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