Yesterday afternoon fractional operator PlaneSense took delivery of the milestone 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters, during a ceremony hosted by PlaneSense founder and CEO George Antoniadis. Pilatus Business Aircraft president and CEO Thomas Bosshard was among the guests.
AINalerts » August 8, 2013
Raleigh, N.C.-based Jetcraft announced today that it acquired the aircraft brokerage activities of ExecuJet Aircraft Trading (EAT) from Zurich-based ExecuJet Aviation Group for an undisclosed sum. According to Jetcraft, this deal makes it “the world’s largest business aircraft brokerage company.”
Pilatus Aircraft Industry China, a joint venture between Pilatus and Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science, opened on Monday in Chongqing. According to the joint-venture agreement, the $400 million project includes the “establishment of a company engaged in production, general assembly and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, and the relocation of PC-12 production lines for the Asia-Pacific region and PC-6 production lines from Switzerland to Chongqing.” The Chinese venture will not produce components for Pilatus military training aircraft, namely the PC-21, PC-9M and PC-7 Mk II.
“Caution” is the word when it comes to demand for new business jets, according to JPMorgan North America Equity’s latest business jet monthly report, issued today. Though most business jet manufacturers continue to see weak demand at the lighter end of the market and better prospects at the higher end, JPMorgan is concerned about Embraer’s recent comments about “incremental softness at the high end.”
On Tuesday, Avantair asked for more time from the judge overseeing an involuntary Chapter 7 case filed against the fractional aircraft company in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa, Fla. Avantair, which had until Tuesday to respond to the filing, argued that the “company continues to negotiate with potential sources of financing and potential plan proponents in an effort to reorganize.”
Helicopter leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group announced today that it has attracted new financing worth between $600- and $750 million to fund “growth initiatives and acquisitions.” Since its founding by Richard Santulli three years ago, Milestone has acquired more than 100 aircraft worth $1.5 billion, placed orders and taken options for more new aircraft worth $2.2 billion and closed leases with 22 operators in 20 countries. Most of Milestone’s clients service the growing offshore oil and gas sector. The new financing comes from a consortium of global financial institutions.
Sonoma Jet Center at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif., has joined Signature Flight Support’s affiliate FBO program, Signature Select. As such, Sonoma Jet Center will offer the benefits of the Signature Flight Support network, including Signature Status and Signature TailWins customer rewards programs. Sonoma Jet Center boasts an “elegant” passenger terminal and a newly constructed 22,000-sq-ft hangar built to house G650-size aircraft, as well as a smaller 12,000-sq-ft hangar.
Ljubljana, Slovenia-based business aircraft charter and management firm Elit’Avia opened an office in Accra, Ghana. It is currently managing four business aircraft for West African clients–two Bombardier Global 6000s and a Bombardier Global XRS in Nigeria and a Dassault Falcon 2000 in Ghana. Elit’Avia also expects to take delivery of a Gulfstream G550, Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Challenger 605 for West African clients before year-end, which will almost double the size of its fleet in this region.
B. Coleman Aviation is building an FBO at Chicago-Gary International Airport, the company announced today. The facility will feature more than 25,000 sq ft of general aviation terminal and hangar area, in addition to a 12,500-sq-ft airside canopy large enough for Gulfstream and Bombardier ultra-long-range jets. Completion of the FBO complex is slated for the second quarter next year, though B. Coleman Aviation is now providing fuel sales and FBO services from a temporary facility at the field.
EmptyLegMarket has launched a new iPhone app with a name-your-price bidding feature for charter flights. The app allows users to enter the desired trip, the amount of the bid and payment information. Participating charter operators can elect whether or not to accept the bid. “The goal is to use empty legs or transient airplanes that are just sitting,” said EmptyLegMarket founder Elliott Schwartz. “It simplifies the chartering process so you can understand what the customer is willing to pay.”