Bombardier’s decision not to exhibit at the EBACE business jet convention in Geneva next month reflects a belief that its marketing dollars can be put to better use elsewhere.

That is according to the Montreal-based airframer’s chief executive Eric Martel, who on 25 April explained why Bombardier will sit out the European event, one of business aviation’s largest annual trade gatherings.

Martel also declines to say if Bombardier will exhibit at EBACE’s North American equivalent – usually known as NBAA after the trade association that organises it – the industry’s annual show-piece, to be held in October in Las Vegas.

EBACE protestors

Source: Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Climate-change protesters stormed the display at last year’s EBACE in Geneva, chaining themselves to a Gulfstream jet

Bombardier’s competitor Gulfstream has already confirmed it is attending neither show. The Geneva and Las Vegas events are the industry’s two largest conventions.

“We want to make sure we have the best impact [with] the money we are spending in marketing to showcase our products,” Bombardier’s Martel says. “This year, in the current environment, we felt that our money was better invested in other opportunities.”

Martel is not more specific, adding only that: “We felt that it was the right decision for this year. We will reassess… how we will be behaving in the future.”

Other leading business aircraft manufacturers – including Dassault, Embraer and Textron Aviation – are committed to exhibiting at this year’s EBACE, scheduled for 28-30 May at Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition centre.

Martel also remains non-committal about Bombardier’s presence at the October 2024 NBAA show, saying: “We are re-evaluating right now. We haven’t made any formal decision.”

Asked to comment, the European Business Aviation Association, which organises the EBACE show with the National Business Aviation Association, says: “Companies make decisions based on their business goals and priorities, and we respect this decision”.

The 2023 EBACE event was notable for a reason the industry might rather forget: massive disruption caused by activists protesting business aviation’s impact on the climate. Protesters broke into the static display on the tarmac of Geneva airport and chained themselves to aircraft, including a Gulfstream jet.

Justifying its absence from both events, Gulfstream says it has had success engaging directly with its customers.

“Over the past few years, Gulfstream has successfully created private events and experiences that have exceeded our customers’ expectations while delivering on our business objectives,” it says.

“We will continue to evaluate these opportunities and invest in those that best support our mission. We are consistently reviewing and evaluating our marketing investments.”