The Corporate Jet Investor London, 2023: An Exciting Aviation Event
London, 6-8 February 2023. This year, Acumum – Legal & Advisory attended the Corporate Jet Investor (London), held at The Landmark London. With the glamorous backdrop of the 5-star premises, and an array of discussion panels featuring top-notch speakers, Dr Geraldine Spiteri has returned from the event, brimming with excitement.
Business aviation – ‘bizav’ – is on the rise. Business jets have stepped in during COVID, flying people and supplies at a time when commercial aviation had ground to a halt. For some, there is no going back to commercial flying. The tendency among high-net-worth individuals is to stick to private flying: this means fewer queues, less (or no crowds) and greater comfort and privacy while travelling.
Bizav nowadays provides connections to three times more European destinations than just a few years ago. It is responsibile for around 400,000 direct and indirect jobs and adds EUR 900 billion to the European GDP. It is toted as an industry worth investing in.
On the downside, it has a high carbon footprint, but accounts for only 0.04% of the global emissions annually.
Interestingly, during the event, protestors barged into the meeting twice. They slammed private jets as “obscene” and “a privilege that we cannot afford”. The protestors stormed in, as though timed, just as one of the sustainability debates had come to a close.
Later, we learned that a spokesperson for Fossil Free London told CJI: “We disrupted your conference because our climate is in crisis, and people around the world are already suffering and dying from the impacts of this crisis, particularly people in the Global South who have done least to cause this crisis and are now suffering from extreme weather, flooding, drought, heatwaves, storms and forest fires.”
During the conference, discussion panels were asked: Is the bizav industry being unjustly demonised? Among the subjects discussed was the ever-looming issue of the emissions caused by the industry and the bad press this has caused. Indeed, there is an increasing rise in the use of sustainable aviation fuel, though still expensive. Owners and operators are also investing in neutralising their carbon footprint. Naturally, it is still a polluting industry – but the general feeling was one of optimism: as the use of bizav continues to rise, so will scientists find a way to neutralise the carbon or to make the use of replacement fuels possible and, of course, feasible.
At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, a target was set to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. aviation sector by 2050. A huge part of the conference discussion centred on sustainable aviation fuel, produced from renewable and waste feedstock can provide the greatest impact in our effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Other discussions centred around the changing trends in the take-up of bizav – both as an investment and as a means of travel. In particular, changing trends in requirements for aircraft, increased demand for aircraft and a lack of supply (long lead times for the delivery of newbuilds) led to lengthy and healthy discussions on the future of the industry.
Naturally, the sanctions on Russia were high on the watch list. This has been seen as a creeping web of restrictions, which practitioners from across the industry are watching with keen eye. A considerable difference has been observed between the EU and the USA as to how to treat aircraft that has a connection with Russia.
The conference was attended by around 580 delegates from all over the world. Some of the world’s largest brands in aviation sponsored the event – aircraft builders, engine builders, maintenance companies, managers and operators and financial and legal advisors.
Acumum Legal & Advisory’s Marine & Aviation is headed up by Dr Geraldine Spiteri, whose main practice areas are maritime and yachting, aviation and transport and corporate law.
Dr. Geraldine Spiteri. I Head of Marine & Aviation.
[email protected] +366 2778 1700 ext 403