The Indian government’s new budget, released on February 28, brought little relief for the country’s ailing air transport sector, although the industry awaits a possible announcement of some reduction in high aviation fuel taxes. In particular, the budget documents made no mention of hoped-for fiscal support for India’s emerging regional airline industry.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in partnership with the Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey christened the first in a series of biofuel-powered flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 8.
While general aviation began to show signs of recovery in 2012, boosted by strong growth in rotorcraft and the agricultural turboprop aircraft segment, the slow economic recovery and economic uncertainties continued to plague business jet and multi-engine piston deliveries. However, “We see growth in business aviation demand over the long term driven by a growing U.S. and world economy, especially in the jet, turboprop and turbine rotorcraft markets,” the FAA said in its “Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2013-2033,” released yesterday.
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft is stepping up the development of its Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ) and is set to install an executive interior into the first example of the Superjet 100-Long Range (SSJ100-LR) airliner, from which its new VIP model is derived.
Inventories of business jets, turboprops and turbine helicopters continued to deflate in January, business aviation market information firm JetNet said today in its latest market update.
According to JetNet, pre-owned business jet inventory in January landed at 13.2 percent of the in-service fleet, down 0.5 points from a year ago. Retail business jet sales, however, fell by 1.8 percent year-over-year, “only the second time since January 2009 that it showed a decline in full retail sale transactions,” JetNet said.
Nextant Aerospace marked the delivery of the first Nextant 400XT into the Swiss market, and its third into Europe. The aircraft will be operated by aircraft maintenance, charter and management firm TAG Aviation. “We are proud to have the Nextant 400XT chosen by TAG Aviation as the latest addition to their fleet,” said Nextant vice president of sales and marketing Jay Heublein. “For over three decades TAG Aviation has been a global leader in the business aircraft industry.”
On Monday, Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland revealed that it has been secretly flying an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstration aircraft powered by twin-electric, direct-drive tiltrotors. The “Project Zero” tiltrotor was designed and built in six months by the company’s advanced concepts group and has been flying since 2011.
India’s Business Aviation Operators Association is disappointed that the government’s new budget does not have anticipated boosts for the industry. In particular, it hoped that tax changes would have stimulated the development of regional airports, which would in turn have created much needed capacity for business aviation traffic. It did contain a change to customs duty rules that gives maintenance providers up to one year to use imported spares and get relief from duties.
Robinson Helicopter revealed its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston-engine helicopters on unleaded fuel this week at Heli-Expo. According to Robinson CEO Kurt Robinson, engine maker Lycoming needs to obtain FAA approval to burn unleaded fuels in its engines while Robinson must perform airframe testing with the fuels on board for each of its relevant helicopter models.
Flexjet appointed Jason Weiss as its new vice president of operations. In his new role, he is responsible for managing the fractional operator’s flight operations, training, technical operations, operations analysis and fleet management, the owner operations center and procurement. Weiss–who replaces David Gross, who is retiring from Flexjet after 13 years–comes from NetJets, where he was the vice president of crew resource planning.