The business aviation sector will have to wait another year to 18 months for full-blown recovery. That was the message this morning from one of industry's most respected forecasters, Richard Aboulafia.
However, the good news from the Teal Group's chief analyst is that - from 2012 - the industry could return to the sort of annual growth rates of up to 17% it enjoyed until 2008.
Speaking at the opening session, Aboulafia said the biggest brake on recovery for new aircraft sales is the inventory of used business jets on the market. Although the percentage of the fleet available for sale has dropped from over 16% in 2009 to around 14%, it will "take another year or so to work through that backlog", he said. Used aircraft prices were still also falling.
There were many signs of optimism, he said. Corporate profits are rising and big companies such as Ford - forced to furlough corporate jets last year as a result of political pressure - are resuming business jet travel. "Business aircraft are essential for the worldwide operations of a company like Ford," he said.
Brian Humphries, chief executive of the European Business Aviation Association, and his National Business Aviation Association counterpart Ed Bolen called for everyone in the industry to "redouble their efforts" to convince policy makers of the contribution business aviation makes to the economy.
"Far too often rules are made based on a stereotype of business aviation very much at odds with who we are and what we do," said Bolen.
As several surveys proved, using business aviation was "the sign of a well-managed company", he added.