Last month we closed another successful presence at the NBAA 2016 convention and exhibition. Despite well documented market challenges and the then-looming US elections, the audience, transaction conversations and number of quality attendees were well above even our own reasonably high expectations.
Through the client and prospect conversations we had at our static venue, we saw that most in the industry remain upbeat and on-track with their aircraft acquisition plans. As we have stated often through this year, there are deals out there and business transactions continue at a solid pace. Jetcraft remains on track to close another record-breaking year, making 2016 and 2015 the two strongest years in our company’s history.
Financing and the US Election
Even though business is continuing at a solid pace, and the majority of our NBAA interactions were positive, a few conversations did raise a few concerns that some buyers and sellers in the industry might wish to keep their eyes on. Mostly, these discussions centered on lending and financing, fueled by the consolidating lending space as lenders exit the business aviation sector, creating more competition.
Days after NBAA, some customers expressed concern with the change in government and that the new administration may, for example, eliminate corporate deductions once in place. Such a measure could have a significant impact on our industry. However, it is important to note that the President-elect is a heavy user of corporate aviation. This could bode as positive news for the industry, as there is a vested interest in maintaining a healthy business aviation sector and a strong infrastructure.
The pending US election also caused some to pause momentarily and entertain a ‘wait and see’ approach, but with the election season over, at least some uncertainty has been removed, even if the effects of the result will only be seen over time.
With NBAA and the election in the past, Jetcraft has an optimistic view for future business and is seeing business continue as normal based on the number of deals pending compared to previous years at this time.