EBACE Convention 2013
More Stories from EBACE 2013
Eurocopter (Booth 7050) has received orders from China’s State Grid General Aviation Co. (SGGAC) for two AS350 B3e AStars and one EC225 . They will be used not only to support the country’s electric grid development but also for other airlift missions. “The SGGAC is growing its helicopter fleet and capabilities,” said general manager Zou Ben Guo.
Chad Trautvetter spoke with Trevor Esling of Gulfstream Aerospace, inside the Gulfstream G650, about the European Business Aviation Market at EBACE 2013
The AviaGroup Nord announced plans for a major redevelopment of the Pulkovo-2 terminal in St. Petersburg. The project will transform a 1950s-era airline terminal into a modern business aviation complex and should be complete by November.
Since the building has protected historical status, AviaGroup Nord is able to make only limited changes to its façade, but the interior is undergoing radical changes, while some striking Soviet-era aviation-themed artwork is being retained.
Signature Flight Support (Booth 364) has opened a satellite base at Berlin Tegel Airport. The new facility gives operators an alternative to the company’s existing FBO at Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and closer access to the center of the German capital.
As its membership continues to grow beyond 200, the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA, Booth 827) plans to hold frequent regional conferences to stay attuned to its members and keep on top of local business aviation issues. According to MEBAA founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi, these Middle East Business Aviation Conferences (MEBAC) will be held about four times a year in different countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.
Yesterday Nextant announced the sale of a second 400XT to Czech operator Time Air, which is based at Prague-Ruzyne. Time Air was the first European customer for the Nextant-remanufactured Hawker 400. According to Martin Prazsky, managing director of Time Air, “The Nextant 400XT has been an incredibly popular addition to our charter service offering due to its low operating cost and outstanding dispatch reliability. We’ve flown 600 hours in the first nine months, and demand for the aircraft increases month over month.”
Canada’s Mechtronix has been selected to build a full flight trainer (FFT) for the Piper Meridian at its Montreal facility. The FFT is being acquired by OK Business Aircraft, which acts as the Piper dealer for central-eastern Europe. The contract was signed on the wing of the Meridian in the static park at EBACE 2013.
Airbus (Booth 7040) announced here at EBACE 2013 that it has created a concierge support team for its ACJ customers worldwide, called C4you.
The C4you corporate jet customer care team is located at the Airbus Technical AOG center in Toulouse, France, and is comprised of experienced Airbus professionals ready to accommodate the company’s more than 500 corporate jet owners needing assistance with a maintenance or service item.
Rockwell Collins is warning that there are considerable risks that operators run when hooking up various web-based systems, Wi-Fi, satcoms–in fact anything where they are opening up ways for would-be cyber-attackers.
RocketRoute (Booth 1257) announced at EBACE that Salzburg, Austria-based charter, management and sales firm Private Airlines is its first Gulfstream customer for the RocketRoute flight-planning app. Private Airlines’s fleet includes the Gulfstream G150, G280 and G650, as well as Boeing and Airbus bizliners.
The Challenger 350 will become the time-to-climb leader of the entire Bombardier business jet line once it enters service next year, Bombardier Challenger v-p and general manager Stephane Lablanc told a gathering of reporters during a technical briefing here yesterday. Bombardier expects the super midsize to jet to reach 41,000 feet in 18 minutes, surpassing the current leader, the Learjet 60.
Jeppesen (Booth 1351) has teamed up with Honeywell to develop what it claims is the first integrated navigation data service (INDS) data manager application for the iPad. It will be available later in the summer, initially for operators of the Pilatus PC-12 NG with the Honeywell Primus Apex integrated flight deck and Aspen Avionics CG100P connected panel. The INDS solution greatly simplifies the update process by wirelessly uploading or downloading critical Jeppesen and Honeywell flight data to the onboard avionics.
After almost 50 years of quiet growth, Belgium-based charter operator Abelag is ready to speak up. “Abelag is a discreet company,” CEO Herve Laitat said at EBACE. “Maybe it’s the philosophy of the company to be low profile, like our clients.” Even Abelag’s compact stand (Booth 1157) is low-key, belying the scale of its operations. The privately owned company operates a fleet of 25 aircraft ranging from a Beechcraft King Air 200 to a pair of Falcon 7Xs, based at five airports. Abelag also operates an FBO and a Part 145 repair station at its home base at Brussels International Airport.
“People do not understand what we do,” stated Marc Bailey from the British Business and General Aviation Association, speaking at yesterday’s Business Aviation Around the World conference, which brought together speakers from associations in numerous regions and nations. It was a message that was reiterated by other speakers: “The biggest challenge we face is the public acceptance of business aviation,” remarked NBAA COO Steve Brown. “It is not seen as a business tool, it’s seen as being excessive or unjustified.”
European business aviation flights declined almost 4 percent in the first four months of 2013 over the same period the prior year, according to data released at EBACE by Avinode, the online air charter market maker based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The figures provided a sobering introduction to Avinode’s Business Intelligence presentation and panel discussion, which brought charter operators and brokers to the dais for a frank discussion of air charter in Europe.
The exhibitor booths at EBACE are among the most creative and beautiful to grace the PalExpo Center in Geneva, Switzerland. Here is a sample look at some of the exotic airplane models, and some of the other hall displays.
Steve Varsano, founder of London-based business jet sales brokerage The Jet Business, is optimistic about the industry these days. Keeping things in perspective, he said that there are now 35 percent more business jets in the fleet since the recession took hold in 2007. “That’s 5,000 more jets flying today than just six years ago, which is pretty good when you think about it,” he pointed out.
Cobham Satcom (formerly Thrane & Thrane, Booth 2107) has announced that its Aviator 300 SwiftBroadband solution has been approved by EASA under a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation in the Cessna 550, 550 Bravo and S550.
The STC was developed in partnership with Danish company Scandinavian Avionics (Booth 373). The companies are also looking at certifying the system for additional aircraft in the Citation family, such as the 500, 552 and 560. SwiftBroadband is already approved for the Citation X, Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Bombardier Challenger 300.
The Embraer Lineage 1000 on the static line at EBACE 2013 has been sold to Belgium’s FlyingGroup. Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets, and FlyingGroup CEO Bernard van Milders, climbed aboard to celebarate the sale of the first ultra-large cabin Embraer Lineage 1000 delivered in Belgium. The aircraft, which will be operated both privately and for charter by FlyingGroup, will be based in Antwerp and operated to points as far away as Kazakhstan, and even beyond, according to van Milders.
German air ambulance specialist Flight Ambulance International (Booth 1047) has named Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s Al Bateen Executive Airport as its preferred stopover airport in the Middle East region. Under the agreement, Al Bateen will host two Learjet 60s dedicated to air ambulance service and served by German Medical Teams. A Learjet 60 air ambulance can accommodate a medical team, one patient and two patient escorts and can carry critically ill patients between Abu Dhabi and anywhere in the world.