Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (SMBC) beat more than 30 other bidders to complete the acquisition of RBS Aviation Capital on October 15, demonstrating the growing importance of leasing in new-airliner acquisitions. The bank’s new SMBC Aviation division intends to merge two other leasing companies owned by its shareholders to challenge for the number-three position in the leasing sector, controlling some 331 aircraft.
Airbus might have to seriously consider alternative means of financing development of the A350 if the German government withholds loans of €600 million ($787 million) for the project, as reported in the German press. Airbus won’t comment, nor will German government officials, but any such development would force parent company EADS to defer to its plan to use its own funds rather than accept political influence over its decisions on work share or production locations.
Honeywell Aerospace (Booth No. N4100) has recently signed new partnerships that will enhance the flight planning capabilities available to business aviation pilots and operators through its Global Data Center (GDC), including new runway analysis data, expanded international trip support and added weather radar capabilities.
After four months of intense negotiation, a deal for the sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing collapsed October 18 with an announcement by HBC that the parties could not come to terms and it would proceed with the stand-alone plan of reorganization.
The arrest of 11 members of an alleged Russian military procurement ring in Houston earlier this month was an exceptional but not isolated example of foreign interests attempting to acquire advanced technologies by skirting U.S. export control laws. “This is exceptional in the sense of the scale and scope. But these types of procurement networks are very common,” said Douglas Jacobson, an international trade attorney who specializes in export controls. “Efforts to procure a variety of U.S.[products] are common from Iran, from China, from other countries,” he added.
Fuel efficiency and its effect on the useful life of aging aircraft is a dominant factor in the thinking of aircraft leasing companies, which are increasingly helping credit-squeezed carriers to refresh their fleets. Their presence in the market for airliner acquisition has continued to grow in the last two decades, with operating leases now thought to account for almost 40 percent of total deals today.
The $1.79 billion deal for Superior Aviation Beijing to acquire bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft has been scrapped, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced this morning. As a result, Hawker Beechcraft now plans to emerge from bankruptcy protection in the spring as a standalone company focusing on its turboprop, piston, special-mission and trainer/attack aircraft, as well as parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses. The company’s Hawker business jet lines will likely be sold–in whole or individually–or shut down, it added.
Third-quarter earnings at Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron rose 6.6 percent year-over-year, to $3 billion, though its manufacturing segment profits slid by $6 million to $254 million. Half of that decrease was attributable to Cessna, which showed a pre-tax profit of $30 million in the quarter versus $33 million last year. But pre-tax quarterly profits at Bell soared by $22 million, to $165 million.
The Indian government looks set to reform complex rules that have made it hard for charter operators to expand services. The country’s Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA) is in talks with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to permit nonscheduled operators to enter into codeshares with scheduled airlines to provide feeder services to remote destinations with short and unpaved runways.
Donated items for the live auction at the NBAA/Corporate Angel Network (CAN) Soiree, to be held on October 31 during the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., have reached spectacular levels. Aircell has donated the biggest-ticket auction item ever–an ATG 5000 high-speed Internet equipment package for business aircraft worth $91,500–to the organization, which coordinates free transportation for cancer patients on corporate aircraft.