EBACE Numbers Belie Economic Gloom and Doom

Someone must have forgotten to tell tradeshow visitors that general aviation is in a death spiral. Last week's European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) proved to be among the most highly attended since the show launched in 2001. Figures reached well into five digits, and there were 65 aircraft on static display, compared with 60 for last year's pre-meltdown edition of the show. In addition, leaders of airframe manufacturers emitted positive vibes. Though layoffs and other bad news continue to dominate, glimmers of optimism are appearing. For example, Dassault Aviation Chairman Charles Edelstenne noted that inventories of pre-owned Falcon business jets are decreasing, one of the first signs of better days to come for manufacturers.