The first quarter of 2013 was mixed for used business aircraft sales, according to the latest market update report from Amstat (Booth 931), although the good news is that inventories of used aircraft continue to drop from the 2009 highs.
Hawker Beechcraft emerged from bankruptcy in February, restructured and rebranded as Beechcraft (Booth 7060), and the message it brings to EBACE is that it has refocused on the business of building and selling airplanes, and servicing and supporting what it builds.
Beechcraft has two “significant” elements to its show presence here. The stand in the main hall, said executive v-p of sales and marketing Shawn Vick, “is branded universally as Beechcraft and we are represented there by members of our African, European and Middle East teams.”
“Engineered with Passion” is more than a clever catchphrase. At Dassault Aviation, it effectively summarizes a company-wide culture. Even though the image of engineers doesn’t normally go hand in hand with passion, in this case, the apparent contradiction seems appropriate. Dassault Group has built a world-class family of companies; a strategically balanced portfolio, including design production and support of military and civilian aircraft; and the Group’s signature technology company, Dassault Systèmes.
This year’s early round of business aviation market forecasts–from Bombardier, Embraer and Honeywell–present a mixed picture where a moderately optimistic outlook for the U.S. still fails to outweigh economic uncertainty in Europe and slowing growth in Asia.
Embraer Executive Jets delivered the first of up to 125 “Signature Series” Phenom 300s to NetJets during a ceremony on May 1 at the aircraft manufacturer’s Phenom assembly facility in Melbourne, Florida. In October 2010 NetJets placed a firm order for 50 of the specially outfitted light jets, with options for 75 more. Including all options, the order is worth more than $1 billion.
Dassault Aviation (Booth 7090) comes to EBACE this year with two newly certified business jets: the large-cabin Falcon 2000S and Falcon 2000LXS. Both received EASA and FAA approvals in March. Meanwhile, the new Falcon SMS program is still under wraps, but with the growing prospect of a launch for this long-anticipated development later this year.
“Can we bring back the glory days of flying, like when there was the Pan Am Clipper?”
This is the question that Embraer Executive Jets vice president of interior design, Jay Beever, asked, which led directly to a 32- to 36-seat VIP shuttle concept of the Embraer E-195 regional jet. The Brazilian company’s executive jets division unveiled this concept intended for both airlines and aircraft charter firms early last month.
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.