Globalization of Private Aviation

Globalization of Private Aviation

Since the inception of corporate  aviation, deliveries of both corporate jets and turboprops has been  dominated by US companies. Corporate aviation was largely a United  States phenomenon. There are many different factors that contributed  to this. The United States deregulated the airline industry which  some could argue contributed to a deterioration of service. The  United States lacks a world-class rail infrastructure. When you  consider the geographic distances between economic centers and  consider the lack of convenient alternatives the door was opened for  a better alternative…Corporate aviation.

United States is the birthplace of  aviation. Aviation has also been a strategic military asset for the  United States since shortly after the first flight in Kitty Hawk,  North Carolina. The first pure corporate jet was developed in  Wichita, Kansas by Bill Lear during the 1960s. Bill Lear purchased  the design of the P 16 fighter from a Swiss company and created the  first corporate jet. Beechcraft had already been selling their line  of corporate turboprops. The Cessna aircraft Company started selling  their line of corporate jets in the early 70s.

The United States economy was growing  tremendously and corporate profits allowed for the purchase and  operation of corporate aircraft. The efficiencies of corporate  aircraft are nearly impossible to replicate in any other manner. The  company leadership can realize a time savings of over 21 days per  year by using a corporate aircraft over an airline alternative. The  company can easily justify the cost to operate a corporate aircraft  if the company leadership is given 21 additional days of productivity  per year.

With far superior rail alternatives and  government supported airlines, the cultures of other corporations  around the globe were slow to adapt to corporate aviation. Today, the  tide has changed and in 2010 more than 50% of the new corporate jets  and turboprops have been delivered outside the United States. This  gap has been closing for several years and even in the economic  recession of 2009; the United States still took deliveries of 58.5%  of new corporate turboprops and 49.4% of new corporate jets. In 2010,  the United States dropped to 43.8% of new corporate turboprops and  42.1% of new corporate jets.

This trend is expected to continue and  if aircraft manufacturers want to be competitive in the future they  must prepare themselves to market and deliver aircraft that are  desired by and meet the needs of these other countries.

So where these corporate aircraft being  delivered?

The largest growth between 2009 and  2010 deliveries was in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2009,  these regions accounted for 15.6% of the new corporate turboprops and  15.0% of the new corporate jets: however, in 2010. Those numbers rose  to 26.5% of the new corporate turboprops and 20.8% of the new  corporate jets. Both the United States and Europe showed reductions  in the delivery of corporate aircraft in 2010 when compared to 2009.

The trend is  clear that a new economic paradigm has replaced tradition. The  benefits of corporate aviation have reached the corporate leaders  around the world. Corporate aviation will continue to grow globally.  If the current aircraft manufacturers want to increase their market  share, they will need to adapt to the needs of these new regions.  This may include development of new avionics, amenities, creature  comforts and possibly entirely new aircraft designs.