While the realignment of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ management structure last week might have marked something less than a revolution in its approach to program development, it certainly signaled a recognition that something fundamental needed to change. Over the next 18 months Boeing expects to increase output across its commercial product lines by 25 percent while it manages no fewer than five development programs.
The U.S. aerospace industry’s sales tally grew by 3.4 percent this year, to $218 billion, led by a strong performance in the civil sector, according to preliminary estimates released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) on December 5. The figure marks the industry’s ninth consecutive year of growth.
Doha-based Rizon Jet has become a founding member of The Luxury Network Qatar, which brings together a select group of companies and high-end service providers. The Luxury Network Qatar will be launched officially early next year in Rizon Jet’s VIP terminal at Doha.
Beirut’s main FBO, Cedar Jet Center, is promoting its full-service offering at Lebanon’s main gateway, Rafic Hariri International Airport, this week at MEBA. CJC was established in 2005 by Middle East Airlines (MEA) Group to coincide with the opening of the airport’s general aviation terminal. In 2008, the company joined forces with group affiliate Masco to offer line maintenance services for a range of business aircraft. The partnership now offers aircraft hangarage and full maintenance services for the Airbus ACJ319, Boeing BBJ, Cessna Mustang and Hawker 800/850/900XP.
Qatar Airways underscored its endorsement of the largest variant of Airbus’s new A350 XWB last week by raising its firm order count for the A350-1000 to 37 from 20. The contract amendment also added three A350-900s to its previous order for 17, but it effectively scrapped Qatar’s firm order for 20 A350-800s.
The Middle East market appears to be picking up as part of a gradual recovery from the downturn, but the turnaround is “generally slower than we would have liked,” according to Mike Berry managing director of ExecuJet Middle East.
Policy-making paralysis over much-needed reforms and liquidity concerns raised by the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines has deterred investors, vendors, lessors and suppliers from doing business in India’s air transport sector, according to delegates attending last month’s Asia-Pacific Airlines Association Assembly of Presidents in Kuala Lumpur. Association calculations show that average profits among Indian airlines amount to just $1 per passenger.
Qatar’s Rizon Jet (Stand 340) is eyeing business from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, expanding its aircraft maintenance services and building up its aircraft trading and management offering, while preparing the ground for a move to the new Doha Airport and the establishment of an FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport.
Vision Systems (Stand 200) is here at MEBA with two new cabin products: a tablet support arm called Smart Up, and VisiConnect, a system providing in-flight Internet connectivity. Both are available for all types of business jets.
Smart Up is a motorized-deployment arm that is integrated in the passenger’s armrest. The 3.3-pound device can accommodate any type of tablet in portrait or landscape position, and its orientation can be changed easily. Lyon, France-based Vision Systems said Embraer has already adopted it for its Phenom 300 light business jet.
Saudi Arabia’s NasJet claims it is poised to grow revenues by 20 percent next year, after a healthy 6 percent gain during 2012. The increase, according to CEO Ghassan Hamdan, is due to growing aircraft management and operations support and more local charter agreements and charter business. In the first quarter of 2013, NasJet will open a new FBO at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in conjunction with Switzerland’s ExecuJet.