- May 21, 2009, 11:04 AM
“The business jet industry is no longer careening off a cliff; it’s just bouncing off the rocks below,” according to Brian Foley, president of business aviation investor consultancy Brian Foley Associates. “The worst of the cataclysmic economic events are behind us, but the perturbations will continue rippling through the industry for a while.” He said that nearly every market driver of business aviation growth was negatively affected during the steep downturn, including worldwide GDP rates, corporate profits, stock market indices, personal wealth portfolios and credit availability. “While still not great, these catalysts shouldn’t worsen and most are forecast to improve somewhat throughout the year,” he noted. “As we had previously predicted, the used business jet inventory is now topping out and we believe that there’ll be an accompanying increase in business jet utilization across the board very soon.” According to Foley, aviation companies that were affected by the downturn first–such as charter operators–will generally be the first to see signs of recovery. While he believes the worst is over, Foley said employment levels will further contract and business aviation companies must still ride out the financial aftershocks.