Commercial, Military, Public Service


By John Persinos | March 1, 2009

The Chattering Class Gets Nervous

I recently ran into one of my counterparts at an aviation industry gathering, and his remarks to me were profoundly disturbing (well, what passes for profound among publishing’s "chattering class," anyway).

Because I don’t particularly enjoy the company of lawyers, I won’t print this person’s name. Upon entering this crowded, noisy soirée in midtown Manhattan, the two of us followed our genetic predispositions as journalists and made a beeline for the free buffet. With food and drink in hand, he bluntly told me, "Our industry is entering uncharted territory in 2009. No one knows where the bottom is. It’s scary as hell."


His dour prognostication prompted another round of martinis — and it also prompted me to set up a new webinar to help guide us through what is bound to be a very tough year.

For this online event, I’ve gathered as speakers two of the most sought-after, influential and credible analysts in aviation: The Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia and G2 Solutions’ Michel Merluzeau. Richard and Michel will tell you what’s in store for you and your business in the challenging times ahead, during a webinar titled: "Aviation in 2009: Predictions for The Challenging Year Ahead," scheduled for Monday, February 23, 2 — 3 p.m. EST.

If you’re not available on February 23, don’t worry: our webinars are recorded and archived and available anytime, on demand. Just go to to register.

The aviation industry experienced a difficult year in 2008 — to put it mildly! You already know the damning bill of particulars: global credit crisis, Wall Street meltdown, economic recession, volatile fuel prices, falling passenger traffic...the list of woes goes on and on.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently forecast that international air traffic will fall 3 percent in 2009 and that airlines worldwide will lose $2.5 billion. The only bright spot will be North America, where airlines are projected to make a small profit in 2009 of $300 million.

And therein lies the paradox: Despite the grim news, many profit-making opportunities still exist within all sectors of aviation, for those savvy enough to exploit them. Aviation in recent months also has witnessed a mind-boggling proliferation of technological innovation. Whether the topic is maintenance, composites or "green aviation", air transport has undergone sweeping transformations.

Now, on the cusp of 2009, aviation experts and insiders of all types are wondering: what can we expect in the year ahead? This timely webinar brings together two deeply informed analysts who will examine the major events of the past year and, from this examination, draw lessons that shed light on 2009.

From the trends of the recent past, our speakers will extrapolate as to what the aviation world can expect in the coming weeks and months. You’ll hear specific predictions, based on solid reporting, that will help you run your business more efficiently and more profitably. Remember: the battle is won before the fight, through preparation. This webinar will prepare aviation insiders for anything that may come their way in the new year.

You’ll learn which niches — maintenance, regional aviation, training, military transports, etc. — are poised for recovery and which are heading for even deeper lows. You’ll also discover what’s in store for the rotorcraft market, and whether market consolidation will pick up or lose steam.

Richard and Michel also will address the question of which helicopter OEMs will pull ahead in their perennial competition for primacy. As the economy sours, do OEMs face a flurry of order deferrals and cancellations? What are the new, technologies that are on the verge of shaking up the status quo?

As a turbulent year begins, Aviation Today has saved you the trouble of gazing into a crystal ball. For informed opinions about the future, without the guesswork, simply register for our February webinar.

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