FltPlan.com said that there have been no glitches with general aviation pilots using its new pre-departure clearance (PDC) delivery system, which was rolled out in May, despite early concerns they would have difficulty interpreting PDCs. “There haven’t been any instances of pilot deviations based on general aviation pilots using our system,” said FltPlan.com president Ken Wilson.
Hong Kong-based Asian Sky Group recently closed four “high-level contracts to provide corporate sales and service work for important Asian-based clients,” it announced today. The transactions included the outfitting acceptance on schedule for a new ACJ318 completed by Lufthansa Technik for a Japanese client; an agreement to oversee and manage an ACJ319 from green delivery through to its redelivery from the Airbus Corporate Jet Center for a Chinese client; the sale of a pre-owned ACJ319 to a Chinese client; and the green delivery of a new BBJ1 from Boeing for a Chinese client.
ATR has reached an agreement to place as many as 35 ATR 72-600s with Garuda Indonesia, the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer announced Tuesday. The deal involves firm orders for 25 airplanes, some of which will come via lease through Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital. The parties expect deliveries to start in November and extend over a period of three years.
In ceremonies at the Seville factory and at Orleans airbase on September 30, Airbus Military and the French Air Force celebrated the entry into service of the A400M airlifter. No new aircraft were handed over, but delivery of the second aircraft for France and the first for Turkey will occur by the end of October.
While the charter industry has seen some changes this year, the fractional-share business is undergoing a wrenching transition, with the shutdown of Avantair and the announced sale of Bombardier’s Flexjet to Flight Options parent Directional Capital.
The Bombardier CSeries took to the air for the first time on September 16 from Montreal Mirabel Airport, marking the start of a planned year-long flight-test program involving five CS100 prototypes.
The aircraft took off at about 10 a.m. on a brisk, crystal-clear day in Mirabel following a week of less-than-ideal weather conditions for flying. The milestone comes some eight-and-a-half months after the date specified by the original program schedule and follows two more recent missed targets, one at the end of June and the other at the end of July.
Bankruptcy hearings for Avantair held last month in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis who are hoping to return their aircraft to the sky. During one of the hearings, the Italian aircraft manufacturer unveiled a Service Bulletin (SB) that provides a path for owners of these Avantis to regain their airworthiness certificates, which were revoked by the FAA in late July and August.
Directional Aviation Capital (DAC)–the Kenn Ricci-led company that owns Flight Options, Sentient Jet, Nextant Aerospace and Constant Aviation, among others–announced last month that it is buying fractional provider Flexjet from Bombardier for $185 million. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, pending U.S. government approvals. All Flexjet employees, including president Deanna White, will remain in place, Ricci said.
VistaJet’s audacious deal with Bombardier to buy up to 142 new aircraft raised some industry eyebrows last year, in part because it seemed to signal a massive escalation of a fleet that currently consists of just 37 jets. But fleet replacement is a big part of a company business plan founded on operating only young aircraft still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The average age of its aircraft now stands at less than two years.
VistaJet is moving into the U.S. private lift market with a new alliance with Jet Aviation Flight Services, which is to operate a fleet of 12 Bombardier Globals on its behalf. The Europe-based group has made clear its intention to target former and current fractional ownership clients in building its North American client base. Under the terms of an agreement announced on September 6 in New York City, the Europe-based private flight provider also is teaming with start-up membership-based program Wheels Up to market VistaJet’s Flight Solutions Program (FSP) to customers in the U.S.