EBACE Connect ‘Lightning Round’ Session Highlights OEM Leaders’ Perspectives

19 May 2021

Day two of the 2021 EBACE Connect program included a first-of-its-kind keynote presentation featuring leaders of nine international business aircraft manufacturers, who offered their thoughts on all the major trends shaping the industry. Here are some highlights from the “lightning round” presentation.

On responding to COVID-19

“We learned how much we really missed seeing our customers face to face … Another thing we learned is that the private aviation industry is quite resilient.” – Benoit Defforge, president, Airbus Corporate Jets

On articulating business aviation’s benefits

“You can traverse three cities in one day, disclose your personal business on a private jet and securely work on confidential materials in flight, whereas you do not have that option when flying commercial.” – Michael Amalfitano, president and CEO, Embraer

On customers as advocates

“We have dedicated meetings with our customers to help to support the development of business jets. They talk to us during NBAA-BACE, or during EBACE, and have some good declarations [about] how it is really cost effective to get a [business aircraft] to travel and to be able to continue to work in flight.” – Éric Trappier, CEO, Dassault Aviation

On harmonizing international regulations

“During this crisis, we’ve had excellent relationships with both EASA and the FAA. They’ve been very helpful and supportive [and] very efficient despite all the limitation[s].” – Didier Kayat, CEO, Daher

On promoting diversity, equity and inclusion

“We have over a dozen different nationalities [and] the full spectrum of age, gender and various service backgrounds, including veterans, on our team. It brings a lot of different perspectives to all of our conversations, and we feel that is crucial considering the global disbursement of our customer population.” – James Detwiler, President, Boeing Business Jets

On attracting young talent

“Anybody who is in [our] industry should invest into training. Flying is a dream come true…I think we have more to push in that direction, with offering interesting careers, interesting technology and interesting jobs in a global industry.” – Markus Bucher, CEO, Pilatus

A focus on sustainability

“Every airplane we’ve built in the last 20 years is more efficient in a number of ways…Many of the systems that we built, like synthetic vision – and things of that nature that help the airplane be not just safer, but more efficient – are huge contributors to that sustainability effort.” – Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

On a bright future

“The pandemic was challenging last year, but I think it has created for our industry an amazing opportunity looking forward.” – Éric Martel, president and chief executive officer, Bombardier

“I’m optimistic that the industry is going to see increased demand and favorable days ahead.” – Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation