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Flexjet to go public through $2,6 billion SPAC deal

Subscription-based jet company Flexjet Inc. said last week it has struck a deal to become a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Horizon Acquisition Corporation II. The two companies held a joint investor conference call, noting that Flexjet's membership consists largely of aircraft owners who fly between 50 and 200 hours a year versus Wheels Up's base of primarily ad-hoc passengers who fly less than 25 hours a year.

In addition to the Flexjet brand that offers fractional jet ownership and leasing, the company also operates Sentient Jet, which focuses on jet cards; FXAir and PrivateFly, with their on-demand charter programs; and Sirio, which specializes in full aircraft ownership. Combined, the company’s fleet includes 254 aircraft ranging from the Embraer Phenom 300s to the Gulfstream G650; it also includes 19 helicopters. The deal is expected to be completed by mid-2023.


Honeywell Forecast Shows Strong Growth for Business Aviation

Honeywell's 31st annual Global Business Aviation Outlook forecasts up to 8,500 new business jet deliveries worth $274 billion from 2023 to 2032. "The business aviation industry is greatly benefitting from a wave of first-time users and buyers due in part to changing habits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Honeywell Aerospace President, Americas Aftermarket, Heath Patrick. "The business aviation sector is expected to recover to 2019 delivery and expenditure levels by 2023. Demand for new business jets is as high as we've seen it since 2015." Key findings in the 2022 Honeywell Global Business Aviation Outlook include:

  • New business jet deliveries in 2023 are expected to be 17% higher than in 2022. Expenditures are expected to be 20% higher.

  • Five-year purchase plans for new business jets are up three percentage points compared with last year's survey; this reaches 2019 levels and is equivalent to 17% of the current fleet.

  • One-third of those surveyed expect to fly more in 2023 versus 2022; 64% expect to fly at least the same amount, and just 4% expect to fly less.

  • Just 2% of surveyed operators plan to dispose of an aircraft without replacement, which is half the rate gleaned in 2021.

  • Nearly 85% of first-time users operate in the Americas.

  • Business turboprops and small cabin jets each make up 35% of the fleet carrying these new users.

Half of this year's surveyed operators report currently implementing at least one method to reduce their carbon footprint, which is 30 percentage points above last year's survey.


War in Ukraine and economic fallout delaying recovery in air traffic

Air traffic in Europe is not expected to recover to 2019 levels until after 2024 according to a new 7-year forecast of air traffic, issued this week by EUROCONTROL. The forecast which sets out three scenarios, with the most optimistic showing recovery to 2019 levels during 2023 and the most pessimistic with recovery after 2028. The most likely ‘baseline’ scenario foresees the recovery in 2025.

The High scenario envisages moderate GDP growth, a limited impact on demand from inflation and limited capacity constraints in 2023 at airports and airlines.

The Baseline scenario is based on GDP being weak, inflation (including jet fuel price) impacting demand and lower passenger confidence/propensity to fly.

The Low scenario considers the impact of several downside risks, including a number of states in recession in 2023, strongly impacted demand for travel (inflation/COVID-19/alternatives to business travel/environmental concerns) and staffing/capacity issues at airlines/airports in 2023.


People: Luxavaition appoints Stefan Benz as its new President of Aviation Services

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

Luxemburg-based operator Luxaviation has appointed Stefan Benz as its new President of Aviation Services. The role will involve the management of further business development across aircraft management and charter, according to the company.

Stefan Benz has more than 25 years’ worth of experience as an aeronautical engineer in the aviation industry. He held various executive level positions over the past in sales, marketing, business development and operations across MRO and FBO services in EMEA and Asia. Prior joining the Luxaviation Group, in his most recent role as Senior Vice President Operations at Jet Aviation, Stefan Benz was responsible for all companies` global business services provided out of EMEA including Completions, MRO, FBO, Aircraft Management and Charter.

Stefan's home and family base is Munich. Outside of work he is a keen sports enthusiast and has a passion for arts and music. Stefan joined the Luxaviation Group management team in July this year and is the President Aviation Services as of 1st October 2022.

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