Looking at the amount of product innovation on the business aviation market, one might be tempted to think: “Crisis, what crisis?” To give the surviving airframers their due, they responded to the collapse in fortunes in 2008-09 not by hoping normal service would soon be resumed, but by aggressively pursuing developing markets and going back to the drawing board to come up with concepts customers wanted.

Since then, the landscape has changed. The very light jet segment – the great hope of the new century – has failed to materialise in any meaningful sense. Lighter types have struggled too, with high-end travellers in newer markets seemingly unimpressed with the prospect of squeezing into a small cabin for two hours.

Sales of large-cabin types have been largely unscathed, with a fall in US and European corporate customers more than made up by demand from the emerging elites of Asia, who, new to private aviation, have stepped straight into the sector’s billionaire bracket.

But it is the middle of the market that is the most ­exciting. Midsize and super-midsize types fell from ­favour after 2008. However, the world of business is waking up to the fact that these aircraft represent great value – comfort rather than opulence, sufficient range for most missions, flexibility and reliability.

This segment is where much of the action is going to be in the next few years.

Source: Flight International