At face value, the current state of the global FBO sector is fairly easy to summarize. Outside the Americas, Europe remains at best flat in terms of traffic volumes, while markets such as Asia and Africa continue to see strong growth. The Middle East is somewhere in the middle.
So market conditions amount to a mix of challenging times in which costs in some locales continue to rise, further squeezing profits, and extraordinary opportunity presents itself in other places. This background suggests that business aviation handling companies would be retrenching in mature markets such as Europe and feverishly expanding in the new territories. But the reality belies the obvious, and so we find a paradox in which no fewer than eight FBOs continue to battle it out for declining traffic at Paris Le Bourget Airport (with rumors of more market entrants to come). Similarly, up the road in London, there are now five FBOs scrapping it out at the UK capital’s Stansted Airport alone, with operators having plentiful alternatives at some half dozen airports with almost two dozen FBOs around the metropolitan area.