The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) 2018 has wrapped up after three days of events in Geneva, Switzerland.
EBACE is jointly organized each year by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
This year’s static display featured 54 aircraft on the ramp at Geneva Airport, which ranged from intercontinental business jets, turboprop and piston aircraft to helicopters. There were also 418 exhibitors, representing 100 countries from around the world.
The event also played host to the second-annual Careers in Business Aviation Day, which introduced more than 250 students from high schools and universities across Europe to the range of potential career paths throughout the industry.
Juergen Wiese, chairman at the EBAA, said, “This was a decidedly upbeat, optimistic EBACE week, which highlighted the passion and enthusiasm at the heart of the business aviation community. The show reflected a reverence for the industry’s history, as well as an embrace of its future.”
Ed Bolen, president and CEO for the NBAA, commented, “EBACE once again showed that business aviation is an industry focused on innovation and investment in the future. The new aircraft models, the new business models, the featured speakers and the trends we discussed all point to an energetic industry looking toward tomorrow.”
Here are some of the highlights from EBACE 2018:
Women encouraged to join business aviation sector
Although more women than ever before now work in business aviation, their representation within the industry remains comparatively small. An education session at EBACE 2018 examined what must still be done to bring more women to the field.
The session’s panelists were Charlotte Pedersen, CEO at Luxaviation Helicopters; Melissa Singer, senior director of brand extension at Signature Flight Support; and Karin Muller from Women in Corporate Aviation. Taunya Renson-Martin, strategic communications advisor for the EBAA, moderated the session.
Following the presentation, a panel discussion examined potential career areas for women in the industry. Renson-Martin said, “Women in aviation is not a women’s issue; this is a business growth and sustainability issue, this is an innovation issue, a technology issue, an engineering issue.
“A company that does not have access to all the greatest talent available, regardless of gender or culture, is a company that will never reach its fullest potential.”
Luxaviation Helicopters enters first international VIP partnership with HeliFlite
Luxaviation Group has announced a strategic partnership between its VVIP helicopter service Luxaviation Helicopters and HeliFlite, the premier VIP rotorcraft operator in the USA.
The deal marks the first ever international partnership of VIP and VVIP helicopter operators, with Luxaviation customers set to benefit from services to and from New York, Chicago and Florida.
Kurt Carlson, CEO, HeliFlite, said, “The interconnected service between HeliFlite and Luxaviation Helicopters means customers can now book a rotorcraft wherever they wish to travel with complete confidence, saving brokers and passengers the time needed to ensure they’re choosing the best and safest service providers.”
TAG Aviation to open maintenance control center in Portugal
TAG Aviation is to open a maintenance control center (MCC) at Lisbon/Cascais aerodrome, enhancing its current mobile repair team (MRT) operations.
The MCC will simplify the centralized handling of all AOGs and MRT requests, with one customer services contact number available 24/7, to request assistance from TAG’s technicians.
TAG’s maintenance services teams will be able to swiftly respond to clients’ requests, even at short notice, and can be dispatched from anyone of its eight locations across Europe.
Stratajet offers booking platform directly to aircraft operators
Booking platform Stratajet is offering its technology directly to aircraft operators for the first time.
Stratajet will give fliers direct access to the private jet marketplace, helping operators streamline their customer bookings. A white label product agreement is allowing operators to build Stratajet’s unique software into their own websites.
Luxaviation will be the first to offer customers accurate availability and prices of private jets through its own channels, with flights then instantly bookable online. The offering will go live this month.
Jonny Nicol, founder and CEO of Stratajet, commented, “It is the scope of more and more travelers gaining access to this means of travel for the first time that has driven – and continues to drive – our growth, and the fact that Luxaviation shares this vision is a major step change for private aviation.”
European business aviation seeks guidance as Brexit nears
The EBAA has unveiled a detailed analysis of six possible scenarios for business aviation operations in the aftermath of the UK’s pending exit from the EU, which is currently scheduled for March 30, 2019.
An education session at EBACE 2018 examined these options that range in severity from the ‘best case’ of maintaining the status quo for operators under Brexit to a scenario requiring the UK to renegotiate dozens of new aviation agreements with individual EU member states.
Concerns include traffic rights between the UK and EU member states, how to handle customs duties and VAT requirements, maintaining membership in the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA) and so-called third-country access to the UK by outside entities, including the USA.
Marc Bailey, CEO of the British Business and General Aviation Association, said minimizing disruption to British aviation operators should be the greater interest of all parties: “If Britain is damaged, the EU will be damaged as well. Within the UK we’re doing our best to make sure all associations across aviation are working together with a single voice. It may be a miniscule piquant on the map of everything else, but it’s a united position.”