Whilst boarding the plane at Gatwick airport, I was kicking my heels to the tunes of Phil Collins, singing loudly to “ Something in the Air ” as I planned my annual trip to the spring sun on the beautiful island of Malta, to catch up with everything aviation.
This trip has now become one of the first in the diary for any trust company involved in the world of luxury assets, with both the combined yacht(see report to follow) and aviation events run so professionally from the Westin Dragonara in St Julian’s Bay.
As with my previous trips to Malta, I am never short of appreciation as to how Malta drives its success with such vigour and positive energy. The annual event is attended by not only professionals from the financial services industry, but some of the key people in the aviation industry, with the attendee list now looking like a “who’s, who” of everything aviation.
So what were the key messages this year?
- The aviation industry continues to grow. Private jets continue to be an important piece of the corporate jigsaw and will continue to be the case. Europe is a touch behind the rest of the world, and the US continues to be the prime market, but growth is happening in all areas;
- The sanctions in the CIS countries are having an impact, but deals are still being done. There are less deliveries in the new aircraft market, but there are some excellent opportunities in the re-sale market and non-sanctioned clients from Russia are still active;
- Malta is doing well. The minister for tourism did an excellent job of “rabble rousing” to start the show and the positivity in the room towards Malta was again strong. The number of aircraft on the Malta registry continues to increase and the number of aircraft operating under charter contracts has shown substantial growth. The ability to register a blend of private aircraft and commercial aircraft does set Malta apart from places like the Isle of Man and is a key differentiator in the islands proposition.
In summary, it was an excellent event with a strong audience of industry professionals and the timing of the show, between Corporate Jet Investors annual conference in February and EBACE in May could not have been better.
The only thing I would have changed about this trip was the weather. I should have realised that listening to “something in the air tonight” would have resulted in a week of rain, wind and thunder…….