Business aviation CEOs see recovery signs, urge governments' aid

Mon May 20, 2013 4:06pm EDT
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* Taxes, red tape seen hindering industry

* Appeal to government for help before annual show opens

* Sector seeks to rebuild after recession-sparked decline

By Robert Evans

GENEVA, May 20 (Reuters) - Leaders of the multibillion-dollar global business aviation industry see signs of recovery from four years of recession, they said on Monday, but they appealed to governments to ease the way ahead by cutting taxes and red tape.

The call was issued by executives from Europe and North America before the opening on Tuesday of the EBACE conference and exhibition, a major annual showcase for plane builders, equipment suppliers and service companies. The show will close on Thursday.

"The signs are encouraging," Ed Bolen, president and chief executive officer of the North American Business Aviation Association (NBAA), told reporters. "We are seeing progress in all sectors, but it is very fragile."

Fabio Gamba, CEO of EBAA, the European industry group, said:

"The difficult environment has dragged on. Traffic has yet to recover to comfortable levels, while an industry turnaround is hampered by some government policy measures."   Continued...