Royal Jet president Shane O’Hare has called for a commercial-airline style global alliance for the worldwide private aviation sector.
O’Hare was speaking at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi, attended by aviation leaders both regionally and internationally, which he hailed as a success for the industry and the emirate.
The Royal Jet leader emphasised the private jet market should closely look at the development of global alliances among operators, along similar lines to those in the commercial airline sector.
He said that regional growth in private jet travel would need to be supported by more high-quality Fixed Base Operation and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.
Speaking at a panel titled ‘Cooperation and joint industry collaboration between commercial airlines and business aviation’, O’Hare explained how commercial airlines and private jet operators can co-exist especially when private flights can help customers flying on scheduled airlines to destinations they don’t have routes for.
O’Hare also predicted that the regional market for private jet travel would grow at six to eight per cent in the region this year and next, with Royal Jet itself forecasting around six per cent growth in 2014.
Both figures are well ahead of the four to five per cent annual growth forecast for business jet travel predicted by the Honeywell Global Business Aviation Forecast and the Bombardier market forecast.
O’Hare further commented that there was a need to take into account the requirements of VIP customers when planning airport investment and infrastructure.
“Major airports need to either encourage private investment in the development of improved Fixed Base Operation facilities or invest in their own infrastructure as this sector grows,” O’Hare said.
“Some major airports process VIP private jet customers through airline terminals, which defeats the primary reasons for private jet travel: speed, security and privacy. Even the provision of adequate parking for business jets needs to be factored into investment plans.”
O’Hare told delegates that he predicted more consolidation at the smaller end of the private aviation sector due to competitive pressure.
At the higher end of the market, the quality of product and service delivery would determine which companies survived and thrived, he said.