With scheduled airline traffic, holiday charter and business flying growing at euphoric rates, airport capacity shortage lurks at many of Europe’s conurbations. This evolution makes it essential for the business aviation community to contribute to keeping smaller airports open, because they may soon be the only places where executive jets can land.
EBACE Convention News » May 22, 2008
Although a gloomy sky hung over Geneva Palexpo Center, the view could hardly have been better yesterday morning for a group of aviation journalists invited by Gulfstream on a breakfast flight over the Alps in a G200.
Noticing that aircraft finance companies were more prominent here this year, EBACE Convention News did a quick walkabout to see when they first had booths at the show and what their impressions were.
Ask former Bombardier Aerospace senior vice president for worldwide sales Jahid Fazal-Karim about the current state of the business aviation market and you’re likely to get a lesson in geography as well. Fazal-Karim, who this week became the managing director of aircraft sales and acquisition company Jetcraft Trading, said the business is increasingly becoming less U.S.-centric.
Aero Toy Store is well known for its available inventory of private jets, including the exclusive Pininfarina Edition aircraft with boutique cabins for the discerning client. Now the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company is going to sea, purchasing and selling luxury yachts.
In keeping with its name, online charter tracker Avinode (Booth No. 723) is gathering momentum as a connection point for the aviation charter industry after barely four years in business. According to marketing director Nina Bertilsdotter, Avinode has nearly 900 members worldwide and has been adding more at the rate of about 20 per month. “Actually,” she said, “we signed 26 new members in April.”
Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 463) now has two major new business aircraft powerplant programs underway, with Bombardier having just selected it to provide the PW308B turbofan for its new Learjet 85 model. Meanwhile, detailed design work has begun for the PW810 engine that will drive Cessna’s new Citation Columbus large cabin aircraft.
In a move aimed at winning back market share from Iridium, EMS Satcom (Booth No. 709) Tuesday introduced two new SwiftBroadband satcom systems intended for midsize and larger jets that offer per-minute voice calling pricing that can’t be beat. That’s because phone calls placed through the system are free.
France’s prime business aviation gateway is set to pass the next stage in its ongoing redevelopment when a new executive terminal opens at Paris Le Bourget Airport on June 30. A former maintenance facility building has been completely renovated and refurbished in a $8.5 million makeover.
The prolific growth of the Middle East market for business aviation is expected to be very evident at the second Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference and exhibition later this year. Organizers predict the three-day event, to be staged at Dubai’s Airport Expo Center November 16 to 18, will represent a more than 60-percent increase on the scale of the first MEBA conference, held in January 2007.