The Gulfstream G150, which the Savannah, Ga.-based company describes as the first wide-cabin, long-range, midsize business jet, rolled out January 18 in el Aviv before hundreds of employees of Israel Aircraft Industries, which is producing the G150 at its plant on Ben Gurion International Airport.
Aviation International News » March 2005
In early January, after years of controversy, the Brazilian government took delivery of a new head-of-state aircraft that will be used primarily to carry President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his cabinet members and senior officials. The $56.7 million Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), named Santos Dumont after Brazil’s aviation pioneer, is replacing a geriatric Boeing 707 nicknamed Sucatão (the Portuguese term for “big heap of scrap metal”).
After returning to the business aviation industry in 2003, OceanAir Taxi Aeréo has expanded rapidly and now aspires to become one of the industry’s most important players in Brazil, with help in part from its partnership with Bombardier. “We spent much of last year getting organized, but we are now looking to this year as a year of consolidating our operations,” company director José Eduardo Brandão told AIN.
Brazil’s business aviation association has a lot more to celebrate this year than it did 12 months ago, with growing demand for aircraft and solid financial results from executive charter companies flowing from significant improvements in the local economy.
After a difficult year in 2003, Brazil’s largest executive charter company, TAM Taxi Aéreo Marília, saw better times last year, when its revenues increased to Real 105 million ($39.4 million)–up 15 percent from the previous year–with help from a recovery in the local economy. The increase in revenues was a result of growing demand on all fronts, including maintenance, aircraft sales and executive charter.
With two straight years of 8-percent economic growth, Argentina appears to be on the road to recovery, as does the country’s flag carrier airline, Aerolíneas Argentinas. After several difficult years, Aerolíneas, which recently made its final payment to creditors to exit bankruptcy protection, is preparing an aggressive expansion plan that includes adding two new aircraft to its executive charter fleet by the middle of next year.
While last year was a positive turning point for many of Brazil’s business aviation firms, some companies have been mostly unaffected by the rolling economic crises that have tormented the nation for the past five years. One such company is Uberlândia-based ABC Táxi Aéreo, which attributes its financial stability to the fact that many of its clients come from the booming agribusiness sector.
Nearly six years after the creation of a civilian-run aviation agency was first proposed, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), has yet to become reality. But observers expect the nation will move away from full military control of civil aviation this year.
The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) returns to São Paulo, Brazil, for the third annual staging of this groundbreaking event (March 31 to April 2). The show is organized jointly by ABAG, Brazil’s business aviation association, and the U.S. National Business Aviation Association.
Embraer’s corporate aviation division is preparing to present the business case for one or more new aircraft programs, with the hope of getting a development green light from the Brazilian group’s top management before the end of June.