Keeping the flag flying

Business aviation has had a lousy few months, at least in its largest US and European markets; to name a few, Obama’s private jet taxes, Hawker Beechcraft’s woeful results, new emissions taxes enforced in Europe, and with the backdrop of economic uncertainty continuing to stifle demand. But two high profile events either side of the Atlantic just now show a certain resilience from users.

In the US, for Super Bowl XLVI, Indianapolis International Airport expects to set a record for the largest number of jets ever to fly in and out for the big game. That’s some record – football and private jets seem to get on well in the US, even in the worst of economic weathers. Back in 2004, 400 jets flew to Phoenix. Last year, 600 flew to Dallas. This time round we already know Mayor Bloomberg is flying in private. Could we imagine the likes of Boris Johnson doing the same?

Still, the Europeans have held up their end of the industry at Davos (even if the users themselves may not be European). Zurich and its surrounding airports were overwhelmed for parking spaces form incoming dignitaries on jet. And then from the airports they flew in by helicopter. The Occupy movement braved the sub zero temperatures but can’t have had much luck, penned in as they were by the train station…

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