Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Buffett sees future - and it's a feast for aviation

This is a ringing endorsement of Bombardier products, particularly the Challenger, by one of the leading exponents of business aircraft operation, NetJets.

The Challenger is one of the world's premier business jets.

The deal says NetJets believes this market is going forward, which says a lot about its view of the economy. It believes we will come out of recession and its products and services will be in great demand.

This is Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, saying that he has faith in the future economy and that, by the time the aircraft are built, much economic woe will be behind us.

It reflects the quality of what Bombardier Shorts produces. This is a testament to the quality of workmanship, products, standards and everything that Shorts has stood for.

NetJets could have gone to Gulf Stream, Cessna, Dassault or other business jet manufacturers but have actually chosen to go with the Canadian/Northern Irish products and services.

NetJets operates by asking people to take a share in an aircraft. They are to make sure Buffett and his ilk don't have to wait around airports and have their routines hinge entirely on what an airline is doing.

Businesses treat them almost like plant and machinery - they are there to be maximised for its performance.

Chief executives and chairmen, whose time is very, very precious, can be where they want, when they want. Your share gives you guaranteed access so you get all the benefits without all the costs.

It's hard to name the people who fly these jets as they are very secretive, but many of them are directors of FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies.

This deal comes at an interesting time. It's like Ryanair's Michael O'Leary, who did a deal with Boeing just after 9/11 for 155 Boeing 737-800s.

NetJets might be saying, the market is a bit slow so I want a special deal. But that doesn't mean they got it on the cheap because business jets don't come cheap. However, they may have struck a special deal.