Embraer just delivered its 1,500th business jet and has no open slots for new airplanes until 2023. Textron sales are up 20% with a backlog of $2.1 billion while Gulfstream sales reaches a 10-year high. The used aircraft market is at the lowest level for aircraft seen in a quite a while, causing prices to begin to raise. My flight department flew over 20 hours this past Labor Day weekend and every ramp was busy with a lot of activity. Some ramps have been at full capacity at desired tourist destinations causing crews to adjust flight schedules. FBO’s are reporting record fuel sales and this past weekend seemed very busy up and down the east coast. Angel Houck, with Aviation Tax Consultants and CFBAA BOD member, said she has had to postpone her vacation this summer because of the volume of new airplane buyers. NetJets has discontinued selling flight cards while the charter market is swamped as I experienced last week in arranging one for my boss.
This is great news for our industry, especially after the past two years of dealing with COVID and welcomed by vendors and operators. But? Does there have to be a but? Can we just enjoy this boom and worry about the future, well, in the future?
Not really. There are some headwinds our industry faces, and we have never shrunk from the challenges. Talent supply will be major issue in both the near, and far, future. Recruiting and maintaining qualified talent is already a problem for many vendors and operators and future predictions are not promising. As people invested in the business aviation community, we need to spread the news about how great, and exciting, are the opportunities for young people. One way will be through the newly established CFBAA Scholarship Foundation that will offer help to young talent considering business aviation. Keep an eye out for ways to contribute and participate.
As is usual in my life, I am unable to attend our annual meeting at my alma mater, ERAU, this month. Spending the day flying to Bartow is almost exciting as binging the Kardashian series. I hope everyone can attend and share in the excitement of the continued growth of our association. Ed Bolen, President of NBAA, will be our honored guest and will share what a wonderful job each of you are doing in supporting our industry. There have been many challenges in making this event happen and many thanks go to Alicia Smith and Sarah Ochs at Embry-Riddle for doing the major lifting. We cherish their hard work and wonderful support. Come and enjoy a fine meal and hear some of our national and local business aviation leaders speak. I’ll give everyone a brief on the life of the Kardashians the next time we gather.