Waking up to Europe

US business aviation service companies – for decades stay at home joes who were happy to make the most of the Continent’s ample opportunities – suddenly seem to be waking up to the fact that business aviation is stirring in Europe too. Landmark Aviation is the latest. The now snappily-named former Garrett/Piedmont Hawthorne/Associated is one of the US‘s biggest fixed base operation and business aviation maintenance companies. After buying three FBOs in Canada, it now says it is looking seriously at a purchase in Europe, with France, Switzerland and the UK the most likely locations. It would have to be a fairly big acquisition though to justify appointing a senior management team in Europe, says vice chairman Dean Harton. Otherwise it would be impossible to run from the other side of the Atlantic. The rise of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva – the NBAA show’s smaller sibling – over the past five years has shown US companies that Europe is not a fringe region for the adventurous, but evolving into one of the most promising growth markets for business aviation services.

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