CEPA EXPO 2012
The third Central European Private Aviation (CEPA) Expo was held in Prague on the 28th– 30th November bringing together an increased number of delegates looking to do business in the CEE market place.
The event was launched on the evening of the 28th with an Aviation Supper Club held in the city, followed by two days which saw over 160 members of the industry gathering to network and participate in panel discussions covering trending topics ranging from charter forecasts, manufacturers developments, aircraft finance, HR and recruitment issues and the ever primary concern – aviation safety.
Founder Dagmar Grossmann opened the event by restating the purpose of CEPA, to bridge East with West and how the Expo had come a long way since its first year. She explained that this year the Expo would be given a unique feel and interactive impact by introducing the industry premiere of the ‘Cepenger’ facility, a real time messaging system developed by the CEPA team which enabled delegates to post their thoughts and questions instantly during the speeches and panels in front of the auditorium without interrupting the sessions.
During the course of the two conference days of panels and speakers, the following indicators were revealed:
- Magnus Henriksson of Avinode said that although his numbers showed similar lack of growth in private aviation movements for East and West Europe, there were regions of significant untapped growth in the CEE. The most common routes flown from the CEE were to other European countries or Russia.
- This was backed up by Ross Mitchell of Bombardier who, when giving his perspectives on the differences in business aviation between East and West, explained that the preference in the CEE market was for smaller to mid-sized jets in comparison to the heavy jet hungry Western Europe, due to types of routes flown. The CEE market presents a good opportunity for manufacturers he said.
- Despite the numbers presented by Magnus Henriksson, most CEE operators have seen growth in 2012. Patrick Margetson-Rushmore of London Executive Aviation confirmed that they had seen a 25% increase in movements to the CEE countries in 2012.
- Also speaking about the challenges of selling aircraft charter, Bernhard Fragner of GlobeAir confirmed that passengers and owners are increasingly price conscious and Jaroslav Malinsky of VR Jet suggested alliances could be formed to help find cost efficiencies.
- All of the speakers felt that fractional ownership is not seen as an effective way to ensure access to private flying due to its inflexibility and high costs.
Partners of this year’s event were Gulfstream, Arinc Direct, Rockwell Collins, Primus, Fl3XX, JSSI, Hayward Aviation Insurance and Aelia, demonstrating the range of appeal such a networking opportunity has for the industry.
Dagmar Grossmann said “The quality and diversity of the partners and delegates at this year’s CEPA Expo demonstrates the potential in the CEE market and the desire of the industry to make doing business here easier”.
“The Expo’s continued success means that next year we will have a static aircraft display and even more opportunities for our industry colleagues to network and interact with each other”.
Dagmar Grossmann was interviewed in National TV right after
the last day of the conference (CT24 News, Czech republic).
During the CEPA Expo 2012 we had the chance to get together many aviation top executives
who came to represent their company from eastern and western bizav industries.