EBACE Geneva 2016
The bizjet world is not exactly a hive of industry at present and the recent EBACE show was but one example of an industry under stress….attendance and booths were down…..the static display was bustling (with jets begging for buyers).
Other international shows are suffering greater downturns…LABACE in Brazil and Jet Expo in Russia are two of the casualties of these regional economic meltdowns that will hinder any global resurgence in bizjet activity, including pre-owned sales.
However, there was still enough show-sizzle to entertain those of us that came from far and wide to experience Geneva’s exorbitant hotel rates and UN-style restaurant pricing.
Pilatus flew their newest fleet addition to the static. The Pilatus PC-24 cut a dashing figure in its experimental colours and eye-catching exterior signage. The pilot can get out in a hurry courtesy of a rapid egress seat (a sort of ejection seat)..the seat slides back on rails and the pilot is punched out through an exploding main door…(we hope the new James Bond can find a cameo-role for this jet in his next movie). There is also a tail-mounted drogue chute in case the PC-24 experiences any ‘unusual attitudes’. I suggested to the sales-chappy that Pilatus should retain this chute into production…sort of a Cirrus on steroids ! One can only imagine the looks when it lands at St Barth’s or Saba….however, take-off may need a slight rocket-assist !)
The other very interesting appearance on the static display was a mysterious-looking Dreamliner. There is apparently only half a mystery because the seller of this VVIP Dreamliner was Michael Dell…the buyer was an as-yet-to-be-named (soon will be) Chinese buyer. The price tag is rumoured to be in the four hundred million (dollars) range. The buyer is supposedly in the internet and banking businesses…both of which are clearly doing well in China, no matter what the real price.
Falcon had its 8X at the static following a much-vaunted around the world tour. However, we’re not sure how long the three-engined ruse will continue to work. Has anyone seen a new commercial three-engined jet come into service in the past twenty years ? The 8X has more range than its predecessor (naturally) but will still fall short of the G650/ER and Bombardier’s 7000/8000….when these two Globals eventually join the bizjet force.
One thing is pretty obvious though, at least Dassault knows how to build a wing.
All-in all, a fun show in Geneva and as always, a great locale for networking and fine dining …with a terrific view….!