Cirrus Aircraft announced yesterday that it has secured funding to complete the composite single-engine Vision SF50 jet from company owner China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga). Development of the single-engine Vision jet slowed during the recession. When Caiga purchased Cirrus for an estimated $210 million last June, the company said that development of the Vision jet would continue.
AINalerts » April 19, 2012
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron reported first-quarter revenues of $2.9 billion yesterday, up 15.2 percent from a year ago, and $247 million in manufacturing profits, an $80 million increase attributable largely to Bell. While quarterly revenues at Cessna increased by $113 million year-over-year, to $669 million, the division still recorded a loss of $6 million, though the red ink was shallower than the $38 million loss in last year’s first quarter.
Bell Helicopter opened a new office in New Delhi today for all of its operations in India. The company has had a presence in India for nearly 20 years, opening a liaison office in 1995. There are currently more than 100 Bell helicopters operating throughout India, it noted.
“We believe there are tremendous growth opportunities in terms of sales and manufacturing [in India],” said Bell president and CEO John Garrison. “This is an important day for Bell Helicopter as we celebrate our continued commitment and partnership with our customers in India.”
The Italian government is considering granting foreign-registered aircraft an exemption from the business jet tax it enacted late last year. The tax, which currently imposes a levy on all civil aircraft that spend more than 48 hours on the ground in Italy, could total more than $393,630 annually for aircraft weighing more than 10,000 kg/22,046 pounds, NBAA has estimated.
Honeywell and Inmarsat announced completion of an exclusive agreement for Honeywell to develop onboard hardware for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress high-speed satcom system. Global Xpress will use three Ka-band Boeing 702 HP satellites to cover most of the world except remote polar regions with broadband connections of up to 5 Mbps uplink and 50 Mbps downlink. Airtime is expected to cost much less than current Ku-band satcom.
Los Angeles-based aircraft charter and management firm Jet Edge was named “Private Jet Services Company 2012” yesterday by the Institute of Transport Management. Bill Papariella–a business aviation industry veteran with experience at Sentient, Marquis Jet and NetJets–founded Jet Edge last July with the help of Bard Capital Group CEO Richard Bard, Western Jet Aviation CEO Jim Hansen and four other former NetJets senior sales executives. The company has five large-cabin Gulfstreams among its fleet.
Hong Kong-based Metrojet was presented with the Flight Safety Foundation Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award yesterday at the 57th Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in San Antonio. According to Metrojet, it is the first business aviation company in Asia to earn recogntion for its commitment to safety and service excellence. Roger Lee, Metrojet’s director of corporate safety and quality, accepted the award for the aircraft charter and management firm.
The King Air 250 received EASA certification, Hawker Beechcraft announced yesterday. The twin turboprop received FAA certification last June, followed by Brazil National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) approval in November. Hawker Beechcraft plans to start deliveries of the King Air 250 in Europe “soon.” The upgraded King Air features composite winglets and propellers, as well as engine induction modifications that contribute to its performance gains.
Royal Jet president and CEO Shane O’Hare is predicting that the Middle East market for private jet travel could grow at 6 to 8 percent this year and next, with Royal Jet itself forecasting 15-percent growth this year. He also said the growth of the private jet market could spawn the development of global alliances among operators, along similar lines to those in the airline sector. The Abu Dhabi-based flight services company reported a 15-percent increase in first-quarter revenue from a year ago.
Aviation Partners promoted Gary Dunn to vice president of sales and marketing. He joined the company in the mid-1990s to support the Gulfstream II blended winglet program and moved to the sales team in 2001. “Over the years he has been responsible for the sales, marketing and product introduction of virtually all our new products,” said company founder and CEO Joe Clark. “In the last two years he has taken over the marketing and advertising duties once performed by the legendary Dick Friel. He has filled those shoes well.”