Las Vegas NBAA

….recovering after the NBAA convention….AKA ‘Bunfight at the Bizjet Corral’
This time I was there primarily as the publisher of Bizjet Advisor magazine… ….enough shameless self-promotion (did someone mention a certain jet broker in Colorado ?…lol)

As we all know, there are any number of conflicting aphorisms and… “bigger isn’t always better” / “size matters” come to mind when describing the annual NBAA convention.
All of the big boys were there…Gulfstream, Boeing, Bombardier, FalconJet etc….yet there seems to have been a lot of hustle and bustle, but not much else, attendance and booth occupancy numbers notwithstanding.

A sassy press conference featuring a fractional provider announcing a ‘firm order’ for an as yet to be comprehensively-designed and in-production/revolutionary natural laminar flow-winged (phew !) supersonic bizjet only points to the shallow reserves of headline grabbing events at the show.

Let’s face it, the only ‘economic (turbine) engine’ that’s firing on more than a couple of burner cans at present, is the USA…..this is not saying too much about the health of the bizjet industry in general.

I must say, I was really impressed by the quality and quantity of the show-side afternoon alcohol-fueled events. These bashes are taking on more of the carnival-type atmosphere usually associated with LABACE (or Louisiana..bring back NBAA New Orleans !!!)…..speaking of which, I dropped by the Aruba Registry booth on the second day…an absolute gas !…I had my photo taken with Elvis (yes, he is still alive and, big scoop…. Elvis has just ordered a fractional supersonic share from the natural laminar flow crowd) and another photo with a curvy and voluptuous (is that redundant ?) carnival dancer, whose smile and entreaty had me believe that I was the only special fossil at the show.

….On to a more serious topic that I hope generates some feedback on other blogs and in the mainstream; In addition to the aphorisms atop this blog article, I have had numerous conversations with equally bizjet-convention-exhausted individuals…and even some (who cannot be named) OEM senior bods who all seem to be “singin’ the same refrain”….”stop this carnival !!!”.

The frequency of the ‘annual’ NBAA Convention needs to be re-evaluated. We used to endure/enjoy a couple of such shows per year…now it seems as though every PT Barnum-in-training wants to conjure up a bizjet show…all in the name of promoting ‘business jet use’ around the world…a bizjet show in Morocco ?…okay okay, I’m sure I’ll hear it from the AfBAA, but that part of the world has yet to learn the root of the word ‘transparency’ and is presently busy off-loading large-cabin (and other) jets, primarily as a result of the newly incumbent Nigerian president’s ‘oversight’ of the bizjet sector…(much like a similar situation, in the Orient).

This US NBAA bizjet lovefest needs to be trimmed back, much like California poppies, to a biennial event. The sheer logistical challenges and calendar-conflict amongst regional bizjet events points to a more favorable timing that would improve advance planning and allow for more frequent appearances by far-flung vendors….and greater attendance numbers…not to mention reduced “show-fatigue”.

Obviously, there is a stakeholder in this present setup that would not take too kindly to the above-suggested scenario. It’s probably about time to engage an outside audit of this entity and request an independent evaluation of the efficacy of the bizjet world’s “annual” event.

Do I hear a drumbeat ?

Gulfstream pre-owned aircraft price trends

We spoke to an aircraft brokerage recently about a couple of G550’s (we are currently buying a G550 for a client). Apparently this brokerage has recently published some sort of ‘report’ on the Gulfstream market.

I have no idea what this brokerage team is eating for breakfast….(probably grits with ‘shrooms)….but this report is somewhat puzzling because its overall claim is that Gulfstream pre-owned prices are ‘Holding Steady’
Now then; ‘Holding Steady’ is a nautical term, usually associated with maintaining course or heading, during extreme storms or squalls at sea….this is probably what this brokerage means, perhaps ?

If the Gulfstream market is holding steady, then, equally euphemistically, Aviatrade has just stolen the Crown Jewels… and we could have maybe stolen the entire FabergĂ© Egg collection and the Kohinoor Diamond…..therefore, Aviatrade can certainly assist any potential Gulfstream buyer wishing to accomplish the same ‘steal’.

All segments of the Gulfstream market (much like Falconjet and Bombardier) are dropping faster than Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.
Furthermore, there are more “price reduced” announcements in the Gulfstream pre-owned marketplace than you’ll ever see at a Macy’s Labor Day Sale.
More from this Gulfstream commentator and consultant, anon

Bizjets in China, sales quandary

China’s leader has now returned to China at the end of his recent US state visit and is no doubt quite satisfied with the results of his various discussions around the US.

At the other end of this round-trip journey, China is having its share of domestic problems and whilst bizjets are not exactly your common or garden issue among the billion plus inhabitants of China, the domestic turmoil (primarily Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign) influencing the current bizjet sales market in China is quite bemusing to those of us operating in China, or looking into China from the outside.

The bizjet OEM’s have ‘made hay while the sun shines’ over the past few years with lucrative big ticket bizjet sales, but now that many of these proud bizjet owners are being obliged to sell, (under less-than-ideal circumstances), there are some quite bizarre scenarios playing out in China. These sales problems primarily affect Gulfstream, Bombardier and Falconjet aircraft because these are the most prominent brands in China.

Take, for example, an Aviatrade Asia client (Gulfstream owner) who recently sent this (redacted) email to our office;
Hi Philip

This Monday I had conclusion from management they are not going to sell the jet at this point of time (due to recent business environment, thus some cost cutting implemented) and this jet sale may jeopardize their face in the Chinese community

– You may say this is rare but the reality is they had eventually make their mind- no action for time being la

So, as we interpret these comments, our China client is ‘burying’ the sale of the company bizjet until a more propitious sale window opens up….all for the sake of ‘face’.

Basically, most jet owners in China who are faced with an ‘exposure’ issue when attempting to sell, prefer to ignore the quandary and somehow hope that it goes away. There is also the ‘small problem’ of someone having to tell the ‘big boss’ that his aircraft is worth considerably less than what was paid to the OEM.

Another long range jet (Falcon) owner in China recently asked Aviatrade Asia to sell his jet. We discovered that the jet had suffered two incidents of damage, however, the owner refused to confirm this damage and would only say that he ‘no longer liked the aircraft, so he wanted to sell’
This demonstrates the all-too-common naivety amongst China bizjet owners and this mindset also permeates the ongoing maintenance and overall condition of aircraft that have spent their (relatively short) lives living on a China-based airport ramp or parking apron.
Basically, the good news is that most aircraft for resale are low time/late model…the bad news is that these aircraft have spent their entire lives parked outside.

Has anyone ‘tasted’ the quality of Beijing air lately ?