Thoughts for the New Year
CONTRIBUTOR: Lou Pepper
We start each New Year with excitement and enthusiasm. Sometimes it’s founded in reality and sometimes its wishful thinking. For 2016, it’s as real as it gets.
2015 was a full rebound year for our industry and for Atlantic. Not only was business robust for the entire year but for the first time since 2007, it was underpinned by economic growth in key areas. Real estate was off the charts in 2015 having fully rebounded from the recession. Carried along were banking and mortgage companies. All are big GA users.
The equity markets had a strong year as well with increased public offerings boosting the subsequent road shows which go hand and hand. Tech, manufacturing and constructing continued the trend as well.
The only sector of traditionally heavy GA users which had a downturn was the oil business.
As far as our industry was concerned, we experienced continued consolidation among the big FBO chains with the biggest merger in FBO history being agreed upon between Signature and Landmark. That merger is expected to be completed in the 1st qtr. of 2016.
Not to be out done, Atlantic made several strategic additions in ’15 and other consolidation moves to strengthen our industry presence with more to come in early ’16. We also spent tens of millions of dollars in facility upgrades and new equipment.
We face some increased competition in key areas in ‘16 but will respond as we have for the past 20 years which is to stick with our proven business model of providing great service, extreme safety, and exemplary facilities and equipment. It isn’t tricky. It isn’t faddish or knee jerk. And it isn’t easy.
If it were, everyone would do it.