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EBAA, NBAA unveil online dialogue ‘EBACE Connect’

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced the launch of “EBACE Connect” – a new, virtual programming series that will gather business aviation’s most compelling and authoritative voices to engage the industry in a vital conversation around the issues and trends shaping the future of Business aviation.

EBACE Connect will take place May 18–19, 2021, the dates originally planned for the in-person show, which NBAA and EBAA recently cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis. The two-day lineup will feature an opening keynote and several sessions focusing on trends driving the business aviation market, continuing innovations in advanced air mobility, perspectives from OEM CEOs, the latest in the technologies in aviation sustainability, and predictions about business aviation’s future in a COVID-19 context. Also included as part of the virtual program will be opportunities for press conferences from leading aviation businesses. The two associations noted plans to launch a dedicated website with a detailed program agenda, online registration capabilities and other information soon.


2020 was worst for European airport traffic in 25 years

Airports Council International (ACI) has published its traffic figures for the full year. It is the only air traffic report that includes all types of commercial flights to, from and within Europe (full service, low-cost, regional, charter, full freight and others). Europe’s airports lost 1.72bn passengers in 2020 compared to the previous year, a decrease of -70.4%. Although its figures were awful Heathrow was not the worst, Frankfurt having that dubious honour, down 73.4% v 72.7%. Amsterdam and Paris lost 70.9% and 70.8% respectively. Istanbul, with its new airport was down by only 59.6%. Overall freight traffic fell by 11.8%. Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe commented: “With just 728m passengers in 2020 compared to 2.4bn passengers in the previous year, Europe’s airports were back to their traffic levels of 1995. No industry can on its own withstand such a shock. While some States have taken steps to financially support their airports, only €2.2bn has so far been earmarked for that purpose in Europe. This is less than 8% of the revenues airports lost last year.”


Bombardier prepares to end production of the iconic Learjet

Bombardier is to cease production of the Learjet series by the end of 2021, after over 55 years of flying and more than 3000 deliveries. Learjet had hung on in recent years despite relatively few product updates, the failure of the Learjet 85 programme and heightened competition in the light-jet segment.

“Bombardier will end production of Learjet aircraft later this year, allowing the company to focus on its more-profitable Challenger and Global aircraft families and accelerate the expansion of its customer services business,” Bombardier said on 11 February. Bombardier president and CEO Éric Martel said the decision to end production after a nearly 60-year history wasn’t taken lightly: “The iconic Learjet has had a remarkable and lasting impact on business aviation.”

The ramp-up in Global 7500 deliveries led to a 3 percent year-over-year growth in Bombardier’s business aircraft revenues to $5.6 billion, but Bombardier plans to cut 1,600 positions and end 2021 with a global workforce of about 13,000, Martel said.

According to Martel, business-jet flight activity globally at year end was about 87% of pre-Covid levels. Pending no major setbacks, it will likely take a few years for the industry to return to 2019 delivery levels, he added. In 2019, Bombardier delivered 142 business jets. By contrast, Bombardier expects to deliver 110 to 120 business aircraft in 2021.


People: Swissport appoints Warwick Brady as President & CEO

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

The Board of Directors of Swissport International AG has appointed Warwick Brady as the company’s new President & CEO. He will replace Christoph Mueller, who assumed the CEO role ad-interim after he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Swissport in December of last year. Mr. Brady will also join the Board of Directors of the company.

Warwick Brady is currently the CEO of Esken Limited, formerly Stobart Group, a British infrastructure, aviation and energy company with operations in the UK and Ireland. He has transformed Esken from a conglomerate into a business focused on Aviation (airports, aviation services, regional airline) and Renewable Energy. As part of the restructuring, he successfully executed on M&A, operational turnarounds, complex financing and the strategic re-focusing of the business. Prior to his CEO role at Esken, he was Chief Operating Officer at EasyJet for nearly eight years and was part of the leadership team that transformed the airline into a FTSE 100 business.

Mr. Brady brings a wealth of international management experience including senior roles in Europe, India and Asia. His previous roles include the posts as Chief Executive Officer of Mandala Airlines in Indonesia, Chief Operating Officer at Air Deccan/Kingfisher in India and Deputy Operations Director at Ryanair plc. He previously held board positions at Airline Group and NATS, the UK’s airspace provider and was Deputy CEO of Buzz. Mr. Brady is a non-executive director at the First Group. He holds an MBA and is a trained commercial pilot.

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