Tangible Signs of Business Aviation Recovery Seen at EBACE

After a couple of years in which the prevailing vibe at the business aviation community’s annual gathering in Europe has been one of mutual commiseration, EBACE 2011 has shown tangible evidence of recovery in the industry. Nine-digit jet deals are back in fashion, thanks to the likes of VistaJet and Comlux, which bought hundreds of millions of dollars in new aircraft this week at EBACE. The contracts they signed this week at the Geneva-hosted show largely validated the commonly held view that demand for larger models is firmer than at the light end. But there have also been a smattering of deals involving smaller aircraft, suggesting that the lifeblood of new orders may once again be reaching the lighter end of the market. As of midday yesterday–the last day of the show–there were nearly 13,000 registered EBACE visitors logged, an impressive foot-traffic figure that harkens back about four years ago during the glory years of the European show. This year there were a record 511 exhibitors, easily surpassing the previous high of 445 set in 2008. There were also 62 business aircraft at the EBACE static display, nipping at the record of 65 logged in both 2009 and 2010.

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