A famous boxer once said, “Life is not a about how hard a hit you can give – it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”
Well this boxer was Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, but that is how it feels these days in the aviation industry. As of this writing in mid-May, we have all taken plenty of punches. The aviation industry has been hit as hard if not harder than any other sector. Stay at home orders are not synonymous with a robust aviation industry. Many FBOs temporarily closed. Corporate flight departments ceased operations. Flight schools lost students. Airlines canceled flights and furloughed pilots. The list of affected aviation businesses goes on and on. In fact, no aviation business has been spared.
To understand the sheer magnitude of the situation, let’s look at the numbers. Pre-Covid 19, the business aviation industry employed 1.2 million people and contributed $150 billion to U.S. economic output. In some states and regions, aviation makes up a large part of overall employment and local investment. For example, in Kansas, aviation makes up nearly one-third of the state’s economy. Thousands of companies that make up the aviation industry in the US, a large percentage of them considered small business, are the cornerstone of the American economy. As the first quarter of 2020 drew to a close, our industry was on track to have one of the best years ever. Then the industry literally was grounded.
Hopefully by the time you read this newsletter, our economy will have begun its eventual rebound to pre-Covid levels. What will the aviation world look like on the other side? Will it be a V-shaped bounce, similar to what occurred after the 9/11 tragedy, or a much slower and more painful U -shaped recovery, as when we rebuilt our national economy after the financial crisis of 2008-2009? Our crystal ball is pretty hazy, but we are willing to bet that we will have a relatively quick recovery based on the sheer amount of pent-up desire to get on with our professional and personal lives.
Our industry has taken its hits, and just like before we will move forward. From all of us at Titan, we appreciate your business and continued support.