In the high-flying world of aviation, moving forward is a constant and when it comes to business aviation, things tend to move even faster and with more precision than ever before. As a result, we’re sharing the business aviation trends for 2017 that have not only caught our attention, but those that we believe will have the greatest impact on the industry overall.
Manufacturing, Sales and Jet Cycles Numbers – According to recent reports, the number of business aviation aircraft sold through the middle of 2016 was approximately 854 units, off by just a handful of units from the same period the previous year. Additionally, business jet cycles (one take off and one landing) were up only one percent in 2016. Experts indicate that volatility in the global economy, a divisive presidential election and concerns regarding the recent economy and regulatory environment contributed to the seemingly flat sales and cycle numbers. However, 2017 is poised to be one of the best times to find value in business aviation purchases. Industry analysts predict that we will see an increase in the operation of newer aircraft, with aging aircraft flying little (if at all). Additionally, business aviation buyers will enjoy a wide selection of aircraft to choose from, with more than 40 business jet models in production or slated for delivery in the next few years.
Increased Need for New, Modernized Aircraft – According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), recent avionics mandates, noise abatement requirements and concerns about carbon emissions means that 2017 will continue to put pressure on aging aircraft and will likely ground many in operation today. What’s more, business aviation customers are placing ever-increasing demands on fractional and charter operators, as well as their corporate flight departments, to offer the same level of connectivity, technology and comfort that they enjoy in their well-appointed offices. That’s because business aircraft are finally being viewed by many organizations as business tools, and their biggest advantage is reducing the amount of time spent by employees travelling commercially.
Changes in the Charter Aircraft Market – With the prevalence of Uber and Lyft shaping how we travel on the ground, a few entrepreneurs are finding ways to bring scalable and on-demand business travel to the skies. Industry analysts indicate that while millennials may be comfortable with this type of “sharing economy” in their air travel, most businesses and corporate travelers still value privacy, so they don’t anticipate the need for charter and fractional jet services to be replaced anytime soon. However, we certainly plan to keep a close eye on this trend.
An Uptick in Technology – In this digital age, where you needn’t look much further than your smartphone to access your calendar, conduct online banking, ensure that you’ve locked your vehicle’s doors, adjust the temperature and lighting in your home and attend a business meeting with colleagues in another region or country, business aviation customers are requiring for more and better technology in their in-flight experiences. As a result, we anticipate a great deal of attention and movement in business aviation technology to improve customer service, and provide owners and operators with more accurate and relevant information about their aircraft.
Making Way for Millennials and Younger Professionals – With more and more millennials and younger entrepreneurs not only entering the workforce, but the business aviation industry, analysts have noticed shifts in corporate aviation to work with a younger clientele and up-and-coming aviation professionals. Of particular interest in the business aviation industry, is the eagerness demonstrated by young professionals, coupled with their concern that their more experienced counterparts (pilots, maintenance technicians, corporate flight department managers, etc.) are seeming to retire more quickly and many not be able to fully transfer their knowledge and insight to the next generation of industry professionals.
Deeper Collaborations to Increase Safety and Security in Flight – With safety and security always paramount in aviation, 2017 will see the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), work even more closely with local industry and government entities to help further safety and security in flight. For business aviation, there will be a significant push to ensure that operators remain vigilant to address distractions, such as prohibiting personal electronic devices for pilots while on duty and the need to observe sterile cockpit rules when flying below 10,000 feet.
If you’re wondering whether or not corporate aviation is right for your business, or if you are seeing additional trends in business aviation that you would like us to explore, contact us.