The Sukhoi Superjet 100 will soon find its first home in Western Europe under the terms of a letter of intent between Moscow-based aircraft lessor Ilyushin Finance and Belgian carrier VLM Airlines. The LOI calls for VLM to take a pair of SSJ100LRs in April of next year under a 12-year operating lease, just ahead of the launch of the airline’s planned new regional services from its base in Antwerp. The deal includes options on another two SSJ100s and so-called purchase rights on another 10.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
After gaining 370-minute Etops certification for the A350-900 earlier this month, Airbus continues preparations for entry into service with additional approvals such as in-cockpit Wi-Fi and A330 common type rating (CTR), while also expanding parts inventories near customer bases.
Representatives of China’s Ordos Airport Industrial Zone (OAIZ) in Inner Mongolia and China Aviation Investment Group (CAG, Booth 4666) announced the establishment of the Ordos World Aviation Expo Industrial Zone, created to stimulate development of an indigenous aircraft manufacturing and services industry as well as high-end tourism.
Bryan Moss, vice chairman of hourly cost maintenance program provider Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI, Booth 1206), signed an MOU with Tarek Ragheb, founding chairman of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), cementing an alliance that should be good for both organizations.
Africa’s business aviation market is expanding, and with that the complexity of the market is ratcheting up. Under the new agreement JSSI will provide educational tools and incentives designed to promote the adoption of industry best practices among AfBAA members.
Leading Edge Composites (Booth 937) is experiencing significant growth, doubling its work force and tripling its plant space over the last year. The Coatesville, Pa.-based company recently moved into a new 44,000-sq-ft facility and now has more than 60 employees. It was founded 23 years ago by Brian and Charlene Arni. Brian, a former shop supervisor of Keystone Helicopter, also has a background in fixed-wing aircraft composite structures.
The Charlotte Regional Partnership has come to this week NBAA show (Booth 3575) seeking to attract companies to join the area’s growing cluster of aviation/aerospace activity. Curtiss-Wright and Sealed Air are among the latest companies to relocate their headquarters to the North Carolina city–in both cases moving from New Jersey. Other companies now with significant facilities in the area include UTC Aerospace Systems, General Dynamics, Michelin Aircraft Tire, ATI Allvac and Turbomeca.
Again this year, Factory Direct Models has brought a new custom model to award to a lucky visitor at the NBAA show. To see this year’s model–a five-foot Lockheed Martin F-35–and get a chance to win it, stop by the Factory Direct Models (FDM) exhibit (Booth 264).
Deer Jet, Asia’s largest business jet operator, is gradually transforming from a regional operator to a global one as it approaches its 20th anniversary. The Beijing-based company now has a fleet of 85 aircraft, based not only in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, but also in the U.S., Dubai and Moscow.
FlightSafety International (Booth 473) expects its Embraer Legacy 500 simulator will receive FAA and EASA approval by the end of this month. The New York-based Berkshire Hathaway unit is also offering new programs for Gulfstream GIV, GV and G550 aircraft, providing satcom system training for pilots, crew and maintenance technicians and expanding its online training reservations system.
Business aviation data provider Amstat (Booth 2968) has noted increasing sales activity in the industry of late. According to the Tinton Falls, N.J.-based company, a greater percentage of the active fleet of business jets (7.8 percent) sold in the first nine months of 2014 than in the same period in any year over the last decade.
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