I mentioned earlier this week a subject obvious to long term business aviation professionals: from 2002 to 2007, the industry grew at a rapid pace. Naturally, I wanted to confirm my findings but only was able to do so yesterday when I sifted through the online archives of Aviation International News.
Turns out that from 2001 to 2007, global business jet operations increased by 20 percent, going from 4 million operations annually to more than 4.8 million just six years later. That makes for a healthy annual increase of 3 to 4 percent, but it was what happened later that sheds light on current (and painful) market conditions.
In 2008, the business aviation market contracted by about 10 percent, falling a further 15 percent in 2009. All told, the decrease is about 27 percent to 3.5 million operations last year. Operations are defined as number of flights taken. Thus, 2009 was only at 88 percent of the capacity of 2001; my guess is that what we’re seeing today is closer to what was realized in 1995.
But these numbers, which were supplied by the FAA, are on a global scale. Just how much of a drop was realized in North America versus Europe or the Middle East?
Again it was Aviation International News (AIN) which sees signs of recovery beginning to take shape in business aviation. Amstat, an aviation research firm, noted that through the spring and summer of 2009, 18 percent of the global fleet of business jet aircraft were up for sale. Since then, that number has fallen to 16.2 percent. Moreover, jet sales increased in consecutive quarters for the last three quarters of 2009.
Also of note is what JSFirm, the aviation employment company, has seen over the past few months. Specifically, the company experienced record hits to its website in January 2010 and they’ve also seen their employment listings increase by 22 percent since October 2009. AIN published both stories in its March 1, 2010 issue.
Other companies are seeing signs of improvement too, perhaps foretelling a recovery that will finally gain traction.
So get ready to dust off your resume—work is becoming available as we put the worst of the recession behind us. And, spend some time reading AIN too as they’ve got some good stuff in their publication worth considering.
Photo Credit: Adrian Pingstone
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