We have reached the last weeks of the year 2020 and even though many of us wish for some peaceful days we realize that the effects of this year’s pandemic crisis are just beginning to hit us in full force. While standard operations for the airline sector are still far from coming back to former levels after this year’s fundamental disruption due to severe national and international travel restrictions the transaction market has developed into a busy segment.
Nestled in the Northern spurs of the Swiss Alps we are curiously monitoring COVID-19 related projections for the tourist industry during the important winter months ahead. Will ski resorts open up and what will the concept for ski lifts, hotels, restaurants and entertainment look like? The possible economic loss could be historic and devastating for every mountain region, especially with regards to the crucial weeks over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Tests, quarantine rules and travel restrictions are already existent again and will most likely stay, allowing mainly for local and domestic recreational activities only. The same effects will hit the aviation sector. Less traffic but new opportunities out of domestic mobility. The larger a country the better the chances for domestic demand and overall activity. The USA as matching example? Airlines and lessors still have to embrace a bumpy ride, strip down their fleets and implement the most cost-effective parking and interims management for their aircraft.
This month, White Orchid Insights (WOI) caught up with Swiss Aviation Consulting to discuss the 70-100% industry bounceback, maintenance trends, and perceptions of business aviation.
In aviation neither the “old” nor the “new normal” business environment has been established. It is still all about monitoring the virus, its ever changing impact on regions and their consequent reaction in terms of mobility restrictions. Mid-term planning seems to remain impossible for most market players. Short-term we need to look at trouble shooting and recognising opportunities in the post summer months. Some niche players have demonstrated their capabilities successfully and take the lead for a steady recovery. With some investigation and persistence international team working is achievable again. At the end of July, SAC was able to successfully manage the ferry flight of a Bombardier Global from East Asia to Europe in a time full of uncertainty but solutions coming up again.
Swiss Aviation Consulting successfully took on full operational responsibility for relocating a Bombardier Global 6000 from its maintenance site in Singapore to the UK this weekend. A demanding task in times of COVID19 for local MRO, FBO and Authorities as well as Flight Operations support, Crew and Customer.
The Aviation Sector worldwide knew COVID-19 would leave nasty scars but everyone was hoping for a steady recovery within the 2nd half of this year. Fact is that while Europe is trying to open up its markets the virus is still raging in some areas thereby restricting free movement and posing great risks for travelers. East-Asia, that seemed to be well ahead in fighting the virus announced to block all border crossings for foreigners until end of August (or longer) and the Americas are still stuck in the middle of a desperate fight for saving lives and recovering stability. Reason enough to take a closer look at the once promising market of Brazil.
When crisis situations slow down business life it is most important to use the available time to develop new structures and concepts and to invest into opportunities that will pay back in a post-Corona world. While the Central European countries are slowly returning to the new “normality” SAC would like to introduce what we have been working on.
SAC supported a South Asian operator (Bamboo Airways) to achieve its EASA TCO approval. Bamboo Airways intended to start scheduled service into Europe by March 26 but had to postpone due to COVID-19 in regard to their scheduled service. Bamboo was able and thankful to the EASA TCO approval to complete 2 repatriation flights in April for Vietnamese citizen out of Europe.
In the last newsletter we looked at the crisis-ridden commercial aviation sector and the players’ prospects for the coming months and years. While this sector will require 2-3 years to regain its strength the business aviation community is more optimistic about continuing demand and stable prices in case travel restrictions will be cut for the 2nd half of this year and COVID-19 will not see a threatening 2nd wave across the globe. The first region to open up and returning to the “new” old daily routines is East Asia. Reason enough to take a closer look.
Peter joined SAC on 01 May as CAMO Specialist and Aircraft Inspector, supporting SAC capacities within CAMO / Technical Services and Asset Management. He holds an EASA Part-66 Licence and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering Sciences.