* Flight operators still slow to place new orders
* Manufacturers look to 2011-2013 for upturn
* Europe could provide impetus for recovery
By Robert Evans
GENEVA, May 4 Sales of jet and turboprop planes
for the business aviation industry are likely to lag a sharp
pickup this year in operated flights because of continuing
excess capacity, sector officials said on Tuesday.
The officials and industry analysts attending the annual
European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition EBACE, said
manufacturers were looking to the period from 2011 to 2013 for
an upturn from the gloom of the past two years.
"There is every reason to believe that demand for business
jets will begin to recover 10 to 18 months after a global
economic recovery begins," Rob Wilson, president of Honeywell
(HON.N) Aerospace Business and General Aviation, told EBACE
David Marsh, head of forecasting at the European aviation
safety organisation Eurocontrol, told Reuters there was plenty
of spare capacity in the global industry's fleet that could be
used before new plane orders were placed.
Major manufacturers displaying aircraft at EBACE, the
industry's main international showcase, include Airbus Industrie
EADS.PA, Boeing (BA.N) Business Jets division, Canada's
Bombardier (BBDb.TO) and Brazil's Embraer (EMBR3.SA).
Bombardier, the world's No.3 civil aircraft maker, reported
in February that it had delivered 25 percent less business jets
in 2009 than in 2008, but warned the weak economy would hold
back orders and deliveries this year. [ID:nN05199939]
FLIGHTS ALREADY ON RISE
On Monday, Eurocontrol said that after a sharp decline in
business aviation flights across the continent in 2009, largely
sparked by the economic recession, they were up 5.2 percent so
far this year and 11 percent in March. [ID:nLDE6421F4]
Patrick Dunne of the U.S. National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) said the number of business flights in the
United States -- the sector's biggest market -- was 12 percent
higher in March than a year earlier.
Business aviation, which ranges from large and luxurious
corporate jets through work-horse mid-range aircraft to air
taxis and helicopters, accounts for some 8 percent of air
traffic movements in Europe, and slightly more in the United
From the turn of the century the sector was recording
year-on-year growth of some 10 percent, but this came to a halt
amid global economic turmoil in 2008 and flights dropped by 14
percent in 2009.
Honeywell, which issued a revised edition of its 2009 market
survey Business Aviation Outlook just before the three-day EBACE
opened its doors on Tuesday, says Europe -- with a 27 percent
share of the global industry -- will lead the revival.
According to the survey, sector operators in Europe have
indicated that they plan to start new purchases earlier, perhaps
from 2011, than their counterparts in the United States, the
major global player in the industry.
(Editing by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)