Hawker 4000 at Risk of Being an Orphaned Airplane

 - October 23, 2012, 3:30 PM
With only 75 in service, the Hawker 4000 could become an orphaned airplane as Hawker Beechcraft sheds its jet lines to emerge from bankruptcy as standalone company Beechcraft Corp. The post-bankruptcy company would focus only on its piston and turboprop aircraft lines.

In a reorganization plan filed in June with the bankruptcy court, Hawker Beechcraft listed a number of options and assumptions available during the process, among them that the company might cease all jet production–something the company reiterated it planned to do last week when announcing it would emerge from bankruptcy as standalone company Beechcraft Corp.

In the June filing, the company also noted that it would stop supporting the Hawker 4000 and Premier installed base, cease engineering support and transfer warranty support to a “residual” buyer. While the number of in-service Premiers would underpin a business case for aftermarket support, the Hawker 4000 might not, according to Mike McCracken, a former HBC employee and now president of Hawkeye Aircraft Acquisitions.

“The Hawker 4000 is a completely different game,” he told AIN. “There are only about 75 airplanes in service and nobody knows yet whether the SupportPlus program with its five-year guarantee on parts and labor will be honored.” He added, “Face it, without service and support, a business jet isn’t much more than an expensive lawn ornament.”

As for pricing, he said pre-owned Hawker 4000s are selling in the $12 million range, about half what new ones were selling for in 2008. “I don’t see any upside in resale values until the company’s future is established, and definitely not until the new aircraft prices reach a point where they are able to raise [used airplane] prices.”