Bombardier yesterday announced the first delivery into North Asia of a new Challenger 300 super midsize business jet to Corporate Jets, Inc. The aircraft is slated primarily for regional travel and occasional flights to North America. It joins a Global Express at the company’s Asian base in Taiwan and both are available for charter through the Canadian airframer’s Skyjet International block charter program.
According to Bombardier, the Challenger 300 features a higher Asian content than any other business jet in production. The wings are designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagoya, Japan, and the empennage is designed and built by the Aerospace Industries Development Corp. (AIDC) in Taichung, Taiwan.
“The substantial investment made by Bombardier in the past decade is helping to shape corporate aviation throughout Asia,” observed David Dixon, regional vice president of sales, Asia/Pacific, Bombardier Business Aircraft.
According to Dixon, Bombardier enjoys a 31-percent share of the business aircraft market and the number of Skyjet International business jets based in Asia/Pacific has surged by 30 percent over the past 12 months. “The number of hours flown with Skyjet International partners in Asia/Pacific was 24 percent above the most optimistic forecast for 2005,” he said.
“We know Asia/Pacific, and we know the issues facing the growth of business aviation in the region,” noted Skyjet managing director Judith Moreton. “Our experts have established relationships with industry representatives, regulatory authorities and leading charter operators in Asia/Pacific, and have played a leading role in opening doors and fostering acceptance.”
Last month, Bombardier’s new Learjet 40XR light jet entered service. Five of the aircraft began flying in January with operators based in North and Latin America, including three from Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional ownership program.
“I’m impressed with our new Learjet 40 XR,” said Glade Knight, chairman and chief executive officer, Apple Six Hospitality, a Richmond, Virginia-based real estate and investment company. “The six-passenger cabin is above the standard for this category jet and its outstanding range allows us to fly with ease and comfort throughout Eastern North America and the U.S. Midwest.”
Launched in 2004, the 40 XR flies further out of challenging airfields than the original Learjet 40 and delivers faster time-to-climb performance.
In addition to delivering new Learjet 40 XR jets from its Wichita facility, Bombardier is also offering Learjet 40 customers the opportunity to upgrade their aircraft. Bombardier issued its engine retrofit service bulletin on November 7. The first upgrades of the Honeywell TFE731-BR turbofans were completed in November with North American launch customer Malco Enterprises and UK launch customer Palace International.