What is the future of general aviation dealing with COVID-19 for the upcoming months?

What is the future of general aviation dealing with COVID-19 for the upcoming months?

While COVID-19 is trembling further over the world, some countries and companies are starting up again gradually. If a new peak of COVID-19 cases happens, the result will be a slower recovery of the general aviation market because business owners and private fliers will have no destination abroad if borders stay closed for another few months. This is a possibility but unlikely to happen. The current economy where just-in-time-delivery has become the standard is in need of business aviation. The longer companies are placed on hold burning through their cash reserve, the longer it will take to restart and find out how the industry has reacted on this pandemic. Do people shop the same way? Do people travel the same way? Asking these questions become more important as the quarantine period is expanding. Large airlines, different from the general aviation states that it takes time to reposition all necessary crews, aircrafts and rethink and restart their business model. The good news is that business aviation is for sure more agile and changes course faster due to necessary travelling. Business leaders will need the fast and disciplined business aviation world to boot up their activities worldwide as fast as possible.

1.     Countries are divided more than ever before

Foreign establishments are divided from main companies more than ever. Countries act independently and use different measures to react to this pandemic. One factor that is going to play a significant role is the opening of different countries at a different time. General aviation will react mostly on the opening of countries worldwide. When borders of certain countries open up again, business owners will need fast response to boot up their establishments worldwide. General aviation will be once again a step faster than commercial aviation.

2.     More capital will be spend on independence from crowded airliners for the safety of employees and staff.

The dedicated capital for safety and health will increase due to the standards of employees and staff. If companies want to keep stimulating abroad missions or meetings, they will need to increase capital dedicated to procurements. This for example can be the different choices of communication and transportation. First of all, companies will more and more choose virtual meetings over face-to-face meetings abroad. This will have impact on the use of charter and private jets if not all required measurements of clients are taken in account by operators and FBO’s.

3.     Crowded airports will be traded in for smaller airports with personal terminals and FBO’s.

Just like all places where many people gather, terminals at large crowded airports will be more and more avoided. The smaller regional airport can be used as an alternative because these support more one-to-one contact and guidance, less human interaction with other travellers and more freedom in arriving and departing flights. These larger airports are still being structured by SLOTS and different health measures, these more regional airports work in function of the less planes that arrive and depart. 

4.     The move to the use of fractional owned business jets will be faster than planned. This with the requirement that disinfection after every usage becomes the standard.

Younger generations of business owners show preferences for sharing economy concepts such as fractional ownership and charter operations, which is becoming more the way to go over whole-aircraft ownership. This brings opportunities and weakens the capital required barrier of private flying. Crowded airliners will become less attractive for companies to convince employees working from abroad once in a while. 

While this fractional ownership becomes more and more the way to go, disinfection of aircrafts after every usage will likely become the standard to reinforce the message that operators want to give. ‘Using private flying as a safe and fast way to still work internationally without jeopardizing safety and health of your employees and staff.’ The words of Paul Cardarelli, vice president of sales at JetNet. He also concludes that this could be a very transformational time in the industry.

5.     There is no hesitation that upcoming summer will become a fast recovery period for business aviation worldwide.

At this point in time, we believe that new business jet deliveries are likely to be down by as much as 40-50% YOY in 2020, with recovery to the prior forecast trend line unlikely before 2023 at the earliest. The use of owned private and corporate jets and the use of charter planes is already rising in the first weeks of May. Flight activity that fell 77% in April from a year earlier was down only two-thirds in the first 13 days of May, according to Signature Aviation Plc, the world’s largest provider of ground handling. The use of private jets in America is in a rise again, because of the required business travel abroad to start up foreign subsidiary companies that were quarantined as well.

North Sea Aviation Center

This pandemic changes every market, every normal way of travelling and every contact with other people. NSAC is a new, personal FBO located at the international airport of Ostend-Bruges, perfectly located at the Belgian coast and only a fifteen minute flight to London. We handle all business aviation up to 45,5 ton, executed next to the 10.000 feet runway that is operational 24/7. Our services are given in our new facilities, accommodated with snooze rooms, in-house customs & border control, medical examinations FAA & EASA and 3.400 m2 indoor hangar space. For inquiries, information and requests, please contact our team that will kindly help you with all your needs: info@nsac.aero