Although it is the display flying of the fighter planes ripping through the skies in formation and the big passenger jets that get most of the attention at the Farnborough Air Show, much of the business impetus comes from sales of business jets – the luxury planes used by company executives and super-rich celebrities.
It’s a growing market despite the ever rising price of oil. The cheapest and smallest such planes cost around two million euros, but you can pay in excess of 25 million.
More and more manufacturers are realising the potential; Brazil’s Embraer started its executive-jet division just three years ago but is predicted it will provide a quarter of the its revenues within the next two years.
And many of the buyers for these planes – known as Very Light Jets – are Europeans as Trevor Esling, Vice President International Sales, for Cessna told EuroNews: “The largest markets for the aircraft within the EU have been the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain; and some of the new countries within the EU: in the Balkan areas, former Yugoslavia, we’ve sold a number of them there as well.”
More than 1,200 business jets are due to be delivered this year and Esling said the customers span a wide range: “There have been some people who have never owned any aircraft before, because of the price and particularly when you look at the euro-dollar relationship, it’s a very good time to buy. So, they have come into the market and bought their very first airplane which in this case is a jet aircraft. There are several people, particularly in the Eastern European countries, who have done that.”
Industry experts are predicting that around 15,000 business jets, worth more than 125 billion euros, will be bought over the next ten years.