Demand for business aviation in Russia and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States is continuing to excite aircraft manufacturers and service providers alike, especially with the nearby markets of Western Europe remaining largely stagnant. Russia was not untouched by fallout from the financial crisis that started in 2008, but for most of the past 10 years has sustained strong business aviation growth.
Aviation International News » November 2012
Between now and 2030, Bombardier estimates that China will need 2,300 business jets, or roughly 20 percent of the current U.S. market. Boeing estimates that Chinese airlines will need an additional 5,000 aircraft during the same period.
There is no question that charter and fractional providers remain a key part of the world’s general aviation infrastructure, accounting for a significant amount of flying activity. Charter operators worldwide, especially in the U.S., are enabling owners to earn some revenue to offset costs, thus extending the useful life of older aircraft.
AIN asked NetJets Europe to comment on the market conditions that have led it to seek further cuts among its pilot workforce. The company responded with the following written answers:
Demand for private aviation is clearly proving slow to recover. What is your current projection for demand levels going into 2013 and 2014?
Retaining current members, recruiting more carriers and developing a longer-term strategy are three key focus points for European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director-general (DG) designate Simon McNamara. Currently the deputy DG, at the end of this year he will replace incumbent Mike Ambrose, who is retiring after a quarter century leading an aviation lobby group that was something of a fledgling organization when he was appointed in 1986.
Regional-airline managers in Europe have moved promptly this year to offset lower traveler numbers by deploying smaller aircraft or reducing service frequency in a successful effort to increase passenger load factors by 2.9 percentage points. In the first six months of 2012 operators provided 6.4-percent fewer seats (compared with last year’s equivalent period) as passenger numbers fell by 2.9 percent.
AgustaWestland is teaming with Northrop Grumman on the latest Marine One competition.
Since 2002 the Navy has spent $3.4 billion researching the alternatives for a new fleet of helicopters for Marine Squadron HMX-1 to transport the President and other government VIPs. Now, as it starts the process anew (VXX), AgustaWestland announced that it will again enter the fray with its medium lift three-engine AW101, this time partnered with Northrop Grumman.
The FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) aimed at reducing noise generated by new helicopters and supplemental type certificate (STC) modifications for new helicopters certified under Part 36 (noise standards) of the federal aviation regulations (FARs).
Anticipating several more years of suppressed demand for private aviation, NetJets Europe is seeking further voluntary redundancies from its pilot workforce. The fractional ownership and jet card provider is in consultation with its flight crews in the hope of avoiding compulsory layoffs, with some of the temporary payroll reduction measures it took in 2009 set to expire by the end of next year.
FlightSafety International is moving to expand and upgrade its helicopter training portfolio substantially, according to David Davenport, vice president of operations.
“Helicopter training has been a high-growth business for FlightSafety for many years. We have always been the factory-authorized training provider for Bell and Sikorsky. We’ve also tried to branch out into highly successful helicopters such as the [Eurocopter] EC135 and [AgustaWestland] AW139,” Davenport said.