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Europe' largest executive air charter operators – Luxaviation UK – interview EBACE 2023

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Europe' largest executive air charter operators – Luxaviation UK – interview EBACE 2023 - Business aviation publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: United Kingdom Aircraft: Airplanes

EBACE is the regular opportunity to look back over the past year and forecast market situation. To take a closer look at the results for 2022 and discuss current trends, we decided to reach out to the second largest corporate aircraft operator in the world, whose customers have access to a combined fleet of more than 250 business aircraft worldwide - Luxaviation.   More specifically - Luxaviation UK, which regularly flies in excess of one million miles annually. We had the pleasure of talking to the CEO of Luxaviation UK - George Galanapoulos. Here is the essential of our discussion:

Q. How Luxaviation UK spent the year since EBACE 2022?

G.G. 2022 was an exceptional year, not only for Luxaviation but for the whole industry. I’ve been in the business for 30 years. And I’ve never actually seen such a good year. Very busy, demand did outperform supply and charter prices went where they have always been, at the level where it makes sense for a company to charter an aircraft out. It was amazing. 

Q. What you expect from this year? Same tendances, some changes, how do you see the industry and the market?

G.G. The 2023 started quite slow. When I say slow, it is because our expectations were very high. Naturally, when you have such a good year, you expect the next year will be the same or even better. It went certainly down by 10% in the first quarter. By now we see that demand starts to be back, inquiries start to pick up again. So, we expect the summer will be a busy year. It might not be that busy as 2022, but I will be still a very good year for business aviation. 

Q. An easy and complicated in the same time question – do you see any difficulties in the industry? In terms of sustainability? Do you see a need to change things, or we have to go slowly on the industry?

G.G. I do think we could be doing more. Sustainability is a hot subject not only for aviation, but in every industry. My personal opinion is that we don’t do enough as an industry, to tell the world what we do about making aviation sustainable. We do A LOT! Unfortunately, we are an easy target. To the public, the perception, always, since I came to the industry, business aviation means luxury products, services for ultimate rich. Business aviation is not necessarily for ultimate rich people. It serves a businessman, who want to move around, who want to create wealth and employments. Now we are facing one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen in my life – how to become more sustainable. There is already a lot of what we do as the industry. Look at last 2-3 years – important savings on fuel, more direct routing, as a result reducing of carbon emissions. Sustainable aviation fuel is becoming more popular. At Luxaviation we encourage people to fly on sustainable aviation fuel. There is a cost associated to, right? But it is a price for a reason. For me – we are doing as much as we can to become more sustainable.

Q. Industry is putting a lot of effort to reach goals and go more sustainable. Do you think we need educate future generation of aviators and end consumers on our efforts? 

G.G. We certainly do! There is a lot happening actually. We speak to all manufacturers. This week I was speaking to Airbus. Airbus for example is spending ( if I do remember right numbers) something about 67 billions for the research and development. The majority of this is going for sustainable future. Gulfstream is doing the same. There is research on hydrogen engines. I believe in 2 years almost every aircraft will be able to fly on 100% SAF. The big challenge is of course, can we got enough of SAF?

Q. A bit of chicken and egg situation – do we have enough of SAF, can we produce enough of SAF…
G.G. This is something we as operators and manufacturers we cannot solve. Government have to work together. Governments, regulators, industry actors, all together. 

Q. Luxaviation is committed to Urban air Mobility and one of operators confident in future of this kind of mobility. Do you think people are ready to fly on that?
G.G. I think people will be ready! By the time first eVTOl will be certified, there are different opinions: it will be 2025 or 2026, 2027… I think people will be ready to fly this way.

George, I wish you a very good show and let’s meet here next year to look back on Luxaviation results!
Thank you Tatjana, it’s been a pleasure!

Related event:
23
May
2023
Switzerland, Geneva, Rte François-Peyrot 30, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland.


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