For the FBO industry, just how good a year 2012 will be depends solely upon how much flight activity there is in the corporate and private aviation sectors. After all, parked aircraft do not use fuel nor require the services of FBO staff.
Aviation International News » January 2012
Bell Helicopter has put a price on playing catch-up: $1 billion. That’s how much the Textron company plans to spend on accelerated research and development, new and renovated facilities, taxable inventory and operations during the next four to five years. It’s all in an effort to recapture some of the market share Bell has lost to Eurocopter and AgustaWestland over the last three decades.
Cessna is doing more than introducing new business jet models. The Wichita airframer is changing the way it does business with its customers. That is the message from Cindy Halsey, the company’s long-serving vice president of interior design and engineering.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Gulfstream International Airlines continues its transformation with a name change–to Silver Airways Corp.
The airline emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, when its new owner, Chicago-based asset management firm Victory Park Capital, provided $5 million in debtor-in-possession funding.
The Middle East business aircraft fleet has shrunk by 6 percent, according to market analyst Brian Foley. “The Middle Eastern business jet population has declined from 550 to 516 aircraft in the last 12 months,” reported Foley in December. “It represents a fleet contraction…mostly in large and midsize business jets with an aggregate value approaching three-quarters of a billion dollars that were either sold, grounded or repossessed.”
ExecuJet Aviation has been in the Middle East for the long haul since 1999 and since then it has seen the bizav market fluctuate from boom to flat and now reach a slow climb. It has seen rivals come and go, and ambitious business plans turn to dust.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is now emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen some fall-out from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
Moshe Yanai, data-storage entrepreneur and aircraft owner-pilot, is seeing the fruits of his labor to establish two widely dispersed on-demand, air-taxi operations: Tel Aviv Executive Helicopters in Israel and Boston Executive Helicopters in Norwood, Mass.
The company operates an Aerospatiale AStar and TwinStar in Israel, and an AStar at Norwood Memorial Airport serving the U.S. Northeast. A TwinStar is scheduled to join the U.S. business soon.
Avionics technology is accelerating, and while manufacturers have made tremendous advances during the past decade, the march of microprocessor speed, electronic storage growth and high-speed communications networks means that engineers can increasingly do much more with less equipment, bringing stunning new capabilities to the cockpits of tomorrow.