With all eyes on Europe and specifically Geneva, for the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, it’s entirely appropriate that this edition should feature Niki Lauda, long-time leader in European aviation and exemplar of the business aviator.
He owns and flies a Bombardier Global 6000 as the essential tool that enables him to ‘work for the airline during the week and go racing at the weekend’. In fact, it’s the Global that ensures he satisfies his Mercedes-Benz contract to be at every Formula 1 race; without the jet, he says, he couldn’t and wouldn’t do it, because it would be impossible to balance his work commitments with family life.
EVA has also been busy speaking with a couple more leading European business aircraft operators, proving there’s definitely more than one way to fly a Gulfstream. TAG Aviation Europe and Global Jet both excel in delivering exceptional aircraft management and charter service to the most discerning clients, yet their business models are worlds apart… and Avinode is doing rather well too.
Airbus Helicopters chose last year’s EBACE to launch its Airbus Corporate Helicopters brand, bringing its rotary-winged VIP aircraft in line with Airbus Corporate Jets. One year on, CEO Frédéric Lemos says that while the process of evolution and learning continues, the only coherent jet/helicopter offering on the market is working well and customers are awake to its unique possibilities.
Niki Lauda is looking forward to delivery of his Global 70000 at year end, and with new aircraft also coming to market from Gulfstream and Dassault, a little further down the line, plus MAX and neo, this ought to be a brighter EBACE than we’ve seen in a while.