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Economic downturn spurs growing debate over VLJ business rationale
VLJs are inspiring emotions ranging from enthusiasm to caution or even disdain among charter operators in Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

VLJs are inspiring emotions ranging from enthusiasm to caution or even disdain among charter operators in Europe, the Middle East and Russia. As business models, prices and demand become clearer, opinion is radically divided. There are companies which believe that the economic viability of VLJs is suspect, while others, especially those who have launched large fleets, report rising demand.

Many operators believe VLJs can complement and coexist with the bigger jets, at least in the national markets that they serve, but there is a number that are content to wait and see how demand pans out.

In a two-part series EBAN highlights business plans and the debate taking place against background fears of the effects of an economic downturn and the problems of high fuel prices.

Part II in September highlights the views of the sceptics who include executives at BlueStream Aviation, Phil Brockwell, md of Centreline Air Charter and Gunter Knall of Swiss Executive Aviation Ltd. But firstly this issue reports the views of those that believe the VLJ has a sound future complementing and coexisting with the larger jets. These include Faris Deeb, md Prestige Jet, Redstar Aviation's Mustafa Sevki Atac, ADOAir's Mutlu Inal, GlobeAir md Bernhard Fragner, George Galanopoulos, md of London Executive Aviation, and the managements of the U.K.'s Blink and the Middle East's Western Aviation.

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