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.