Trump's trade war is wreaking havoc on the private jet industry

private jet chinaAFP

  • BBA Aviation, a major private jet charter and services company, blamed President Donald Trump's trade war for disappointing business results.
  • The London-based conglomerate said it experienced softness especially in its discretionary flying unit, as the world's elite do less jet-setting.
  • Shares of the company fell as much as 5% in London during trading Monday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

BBA Aviation, a major aviation conglomerate that's part of Uber's flying taxi network, warned Monday that global trade tensions are dampening demand for its charter services.

"Uncertainty around the US trade tariffs, Gulf tensions and a slowdown in China continues to impact business confidence," the company said in a quarterly performance update, directly referring to President Donald Trump's trade war with China and other countries which sent stock indexes around the world sharply lower to begin the week.

"The reduction in discretionary flying, which has been most notable in our charter customer segment, continues," the company said.

Shares of BBA, which trade in London, fell as much as 5% in trading Monday following the company's earnings release for the first half of the year. The stock regained some steam to close down only 0.83% Monday.

Read more: I flew first-class in Delta's 6-month-old A220, the plane Boeing tried to keep out of the US

The company also said it delivered fewer large aircraft as the world's elite do less jet setting.

"An additional factor we're seeing at the moment has contributed to our shortfall on the historic levels about performance," Mark Johnstone, chief executive, said on a call with investors, "is the reduced activity in the heavy aircraft line."

"This is across two notable segments," he continued. "The ultra-high net worth individuals' and heads of state, that are traveling less to the US and therefore less within the US, and we're also actually seeing less US government flying across all bases within the US. These customer groups purchase large uplifts. A typical transaction is over 5,000 gallons, which is much, much larger than we would see on an ordinary business jet."

BBA Aviation, through its Signature fixed base operation subsidiary, already provides ground infrastructure and labor support for Uber's helicopter shuttle between Manhattan, New York City and its three airports.

In 2023, when the ride-hailing giant plans to roll out its full "urban air mobility" network, BBA is set to provide similar services from its network of 400 FBOs at airports.

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