Dougherty Quinn ("DQ") was once again represented at the Annual European Business Aviation Convention ("EBACE") in Geneva in May 2012. Attending were Paul Blake, head of business development and Stephen Dougherty, senior associate, both of whom work in DQ's specialist aviation & yachting team.

Brian Humphreys, President of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) confirmed that this year's show was the largest ever, with a record number of exhibitors, the biggest static display and the largest floor space. The event was attended by 12,638 people from 99 countries. These figures were very similar to last year's figures and were a significant increase from those of 2010.

The general feeling at EBACE was that whilst the US and certain Asian markets are showing signs of recovering, right now it remains to the seen whether or not Europe will hold its own and recover in the same way. Problems in the European financial markets have obviously had a knock on effect to the European aviation industry and this was certainly the talk of many of the attendees.

Whilst Cessna and Bombardier both launched new models, Hawker Beechcraft was the only manufacturer that announced orders. It announced that it had secured orders for 11 aircraft, the total sales of which amounted to more than $120,000,000. The news from Hawker Beechcraft was set against the context of its Chapter 11 status and the announcement by GS Capital Partners (a Goldman Sachs company) and Onex Capital Partners that they were selling their ownership stakes as part of a restructure under Chapter 11. The future of the company will be of great interest to those in the industry.

The Isle of Man Aircraft Registry continues to grow and to be held in great esteem by those in the industry. Recent figures show there are now nearly 500 aircraft registered on the Isle of Man register. Whilst other registers may pose some competition to the Isle of Man, many of those attending EBACE were quick to compliment and comment on its flexibility and commercial approach, advantages which will certainly hold it in good stead as it continues to grow in the future. Furthermore, the new dedicated business aviation centre currently under construction at the Isle of Man Airport is due to be operational in August 2012. This facility will greatly improve the business and private jet offering in the Isle of Man.

DQ is seeing continuing growth in business in its shipping and aviation & yachting teams with, as is inevitable in times of global financial uncertainty, an increased number of distressed finance transactions, repossessions and insolvencies. However, against that backdrop, the level of enquiries for new registrations coming into the Isle of Man for yachting and aviation is encouraging, as is the increase in new supertankers on the Isle of Man Ship Register.

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