23 MAY 2022


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Article from BTNews 23 MAY 2022

EBACE starts today

EBACE 2022 (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition) kicked off yesterday (Sunday 22 May) at Palexpo Geneva with prime Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) highlighting their commitment to sustainability and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.  Major annoucements are expected later today.

BTN’s Alison Chambers is already installed for a brief summary next Monday, and full report later.

Kenny Dichter, founder of Wheels Up, which has just moved into Europe with the acquisition of Air Partner UK was special guest at a Embraer sponsored media lunch.  He spoke of the need for aviation to be more inclusive to attract new people - more women, more people of colour. 

“We are delighted we can showcase our industry at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) again”, says Athar Husain Khan, Secretary-General of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA). “We are delighted about the response – exhibitors, visitors and sponsors are keen to get back on their feet and meet in-person in Geneva.” EBAA co-organizes the event with its US counterpart, the National Business Aviation Association.

At 250, the number of exhibitors may be lower than in 2019, which stood at almost 400. “Applications are coming every day”, Husain Khan adds. The last exhibitors are coming later than usual. “Six months ago, there was some hesitancy because of the Covid situation”, Husain Khan explains. “Now we have clarity and the Swiss have lifted all travel restrictions”.  Around 50 aircraft are expected to be seen, and viewed on the apron.

Innovation will be represented, notably with electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicles. EBAA sees advanced air mobility companies as a new component of the sector. “We are happy they have entered the market,” Husain Khan says. “They are showcased prominently at EBACE ... We promote membership for them to understand the benefit of being part of our industry”.

Looking back at the pandemic’s impact, “we recovered steeper than other parts of aviation,” Husain Khan says. “In 2021, we did quite well, the summer season was very good ... and we are continuing to do very well in 2022”.

Long-haul operations have suffered, however. “When the US reopened in November, we had been deprived of transatlantic flights for 18 months 1.5 year”, Husain Khan says. “And China is still locked”.

Meanwhile, the effect of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit) has been fading away. After significant complications when it became effective on 31 January 2021, the situation has improved, according to Husain Khan. “We strived to mitigate the red tape and unclarity”, he says. “There are still issues here and there ... and Covid has obscured the effects of Brexit, as it is hard to tell whether a decrease in traffic is due to Brexit or Covid”.



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