Global Jet Concept is cautious when asked whether the market for aircraft charter and management is yet in a state of full-blown recovery. But maybe its actions speak louder than words since it has just made the investment to move into new, larger premises here in Geneva.
“The market is recovering slowly and gently and we expect 2011 to be better than 2010,” said Global Jet CEO Laurent Autier. The move to the new headquarters has allowed the company to get all its various departments on the same floor, creating a far better working environment.
Today, the company manages a total of 60 aircraft, a number that has not increased since last year when it marked its 10th anniversary. The fleet, of which just over one third is available for charter, consists of a diverse mix spanning the following types: Cessna’s Citation Sovereign; Bombardier’s Learjet 45, Challengers 300 and 604, and the Global Express and Global XRS; the Gulfstream G450; the Embraer Legacy; the Dassault Falcon 2000LX, 900DX and EX and 7X; the Airbus A318 Elite; and the Boeing Business Jet.
Last year, the fleet logged a total of 23,500 hours–an average of just under 400 hours for each aircraft. Autier told AIN that demand trends in the market have continued to be “unstable” so far in 2011 and these continue to threaten the profitability of the sector.
“Charter prices have been really challenged and business aviation is no longer ruled by the same expectations,” commented Autier. “Global Jet has kept its policy and has continued preserving throughout the crisis its charter and management clients’ interests in terms of pricing and quality standards.” This suggests that the company has been unwilling to follow some competitors who have appeared willing to take charter bookings at very low rates in order to generate some income in hard times.
From Global Jet’s perspective, the traditional management business in which aircraft are operated purely for the use of their owners has not been as seriously impacted by the economic downturn. Nor have rising fuel costs had much of an adverse effect, in its experience.
Autier indicated that the prices for both new aircraft and larger pre-owned models have started to recover after being in the doldrums for the past couple of years. Global Jet has a separate aircraft sales and acquisition office based in Monaco.
Responding to rising demand further East, Global Jet (Stand 1325) recently established a team based in the Russian capital Moscow. At the same time, it is increasingly pursuing opportunities in Asia and Africa.