2015 Global Business Aviation Outlook is Looking Good

With the Super Bowl seeming to serve as the unofficial opening for the business aviation travel season, we found ourselves asking, What should global operators be thinking about in 2015?  When considering global operations this year, here are few things we’re keeping our eyes on, and you might, too:

  • Look Out Cuba, Here We Come—As of part of President Barack Obama’s ongoing efforts to open up travel between Cuba and the U.S., trips to the formally travel-banned country can be made for purposes that fall under one of 12 approved categories, including “professional research and meetings.” For every pundit who questions the ability to travel for business, there is one who says the government isn’t concerned and personal travel to Cuba is imminent. As for business aviation, longtime Cuba expert and author Julia Sweig noted in a washingtonpost.com story, “The next thing they're going to do is negotiate a civil aviation agreement so charters can carry more people. And once you have more Americans going to Cuba without the sort of bureaucratic hassle there has been in the past, that's going to create a real impetus for officially lifting the travel ban once and for all."
  • Drinking from the Right Informational Fire Hose—With the amount of information we amass doubling every 13 months (and IBM predicting that number could jump to every 12 hours when the “Internet of Things” concept hits its stride), getting information is no longer an issue. Global business aviation in 2015 will be about getting the right information at the right time. For smart operators, this is good news. Yes, that will mean putting an extra emphasis on knowing exactly where to look, and then asking precisely the right questions at the right moment. But it will also mean that more critical decision-making information will be available for planning, operations, navigation, etc. than ever before. Stay connected during all phases of your trip, have trusted partners and sources at the ready and treat all information like a banana you just brought home from the store—it’s ripe now, but you’re never really sure for how long.
  • How Low Can It Go?—With fuel as one of your biggest budget items, what’s not to like about fuel rices in 2015? The IATA (International Airline Transport Association) price analysis reported that as of January 9, 2015, jet fuel prices are 46.7% lower than they were a year ago. Before you go spending your new fuel windfall all in one place, plan for a bit of a fuel price correction in 2015. A 2015 Global Economic Outlook story on businessweek.com suggests that crude oil prices will steadily climb to $90 per barrel throughout 2015. Unless you’re locked into a fuel contract, lower fuel costs could mean more and/or longer trips, equipment upgrades, growing your fleet, adding staff, upgrades of operations hardware/software or just being able to save for a rainy day. The most important thing is to be smart about where you invest the fuel windfall that comes with 2015.
  • Aluminum Overcast Predicted—We’re seeing firsthand how lower fuel costs mean increased chances of aluminum overcast in 2015. That not only means more trips per aircraft, but more aircraft might be taken on each trip. Watch for:
    • Things like slots, fuel, parking, ground handling and others logistics services being in higher demand. Plan in advance and put extra emphasis on getting confirmations from those you are counting on to help manage every aspect your global air and ground travel.
    • The differences in how other airspace governing bodies, like EUROCONTROL, operate compared to the FAA. The differences may be subtle, but they’ll be magnified if you don’t know them during peak travel times.
    • Requests to fly to new destinations (see “Cuba”). Whether you’re landing, refueling or merely flying-over, be sure you fully understand the new regimes and regulations you may encounter.
  • Be on Regulatory Reconnaissance—A quick peek at the regulatory horizon doesn’t indicate any significant changes pending in 2015. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the details residing in many current regulations could get a bit of quiet tweaking. Make sure you stay up on the regulations that impact you the most so you don’t find out about any small, and potentially painful (fines) changes after it’s too late.
  • Emission Remission—In April of 2014, the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading Scheme) provided a temporary exemption on CO2 emission fees for flights performed by non-commercial operators with total annual emissions lower than 1,000 tons/tonnes. This is for flights into, out of, or between the EU’s 28 member nations. While there are a number of nuances and complexities to the EU ETS, all signs seem to indicate no changes to the regulations in 2015. In fact, it appears that things will remain relatively unchanged until ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) comes out with its 2016 emission guidelines that are to be implemented by 2020.

The good news for 2015 is that, as things appear today, the year brings the kind of good news business aviation hasn’t seen in a while. That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. Quite the opposite. The opportunities that seemed lost over the last 5+ years are budding again. 2015 is the year to nurture them, invest wisely, be smart and hope that this good news is the beginning of a sustainable and predictable trend—and not just a glimpse into “someday.”

It’s the job of Jeppesen’s International Trip Planning Service (ITPS) professionals to understand the challenges and opportunities facing global business travelers at any given time. One of the best ways to ensure you and your operation get the most from the opportunities of 2015 is to work with a partner who knows the new places you’ll be flying over and visiting, who is connected to the best support teams around the world (whatever the need), and who is watching the regulatory climate around the globe to ensure smooth operations no matter where your next trip takes you. Learn more about Jeppesen ITPS by clicking here or calling (800) 553-7750. 


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