Among business aviation’s service providers, TAG Aviation is arguably the most understated and least prone to high-profile self-promotion. But the Swiss-based aircraft management and support company has quietly expanded its customer base by emphasizing a highly personalized level of service and an insistence on taking the long-term view, rather than precipitously shifting tack to exploit what all too often can prove to be fleeting opportunities.
Beechcraft, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is now focused on its piston and turboprop products, expects to sell its mothballed jet division in the coming months. According to CEO Bill Boisture, the company has already completed disposition of its remaining inventory of approximately 20 new and pre-owned Hawker 4000 and Premier IA jets, a move he said went “better than planned,” though he declined to offer details about the revenue derived from their sale.
Business aircraft flying in Europe contracted by 3.6 percent year-over-year in the March and April period, according to recent data from business aviation information provider WingX Advance, based in Hamburg, Germany. “Activity [in Europe] remains in the trough it entered in the fourth quarter of 2012, with no recovery in sight,” the company said.
The FAA presented Embraer Executive Jets with a production certificate to assemble the Phenom 300 at its Melbourne, Fla. facility yesterday. Embraer has delivered three U.S.-assembled Phenom 300s since the first one came off the line in March. The Phenom 300s are assembled on the same production line as Phenom 100s, which have been coming off the line at the Florida plant since December 2011. Embraer’s light jets are now being assembled in Florida at a rate of three aircraft per month, less than half of the full capacity of eight a month.
Worldwide business jet deliveries rose by 4 percent, to 129 units, in the first quarter, according to statistics released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Pressurized turboprops, meanwhile, saw an increase of nearly 53 percent year-over-year.
The business jet market remains highly mixed as it continues on its recovery path, according to the latest business jet monthly report from J.P.Morgan North American Equity Research. Large-cabin jets and an improving pre-owned market are helping the recovery, while light jets and lower flight activity are acting as drags.
Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) and tier-one cabin components supplier OHS Aviation Services have delivered their largest-ever single aircraft maintenance and refurbishment project.
The job, for an unidentified Asian client, included the first installation of Honeywell’s new Ovation Select cabin management system on a Bombardier airplane outside North America, according to LBAS parent company Lufthansa Technik.
Richmor Aviation is preparing to build a $1.2 million hangar at its facility at Schenectady County Airport in New York’s capital region. According to company president Mahlon Richards, the 20,000-sq-ft hangar will be divided into four bays (the inner two to accommodate aircraft up to Challenger 600-series size, while the outer pair can shelter aircraft up to Learjet 60 size) and is intended to attract more business jet tenants to join the six turbine aircraft already based there. Richmor expects to break ground on the new structure this summer and complete it before year-end.
The first quarter proved a mixed bag for Bell and Cessna, according to numbers released last month by parent company Textron.
Bell delivered 40 commercial helicopters in the first quarter, compared with 30 during the same period last year. Sales were also strong, with signing of orders for 50 new commercial helicopters, including an agreement with Air Medical Group to deliver 30 helicopters over the next several years.
Seven winners emerged from the Crystal Cabin Awards judging last month, and some of them stand to find a market in business aviation.
The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Hamburg, Germany, on the eve of the opening of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo.
Candidates with winning entries included Boeing, Diehl Aircabin, Dornier Technologie Systems, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Meru, Thales and Zodiac Aerospace.