Business jet makers continued to build on their delivery momentum from last year, while total industry billings increased by 9 percent year-over-year, according to first-quarter delivery statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Delta Private Jets launched a new aircraft management program designed to help owners cover the cost of purchasing a business jet by providing a guaranteed monthly income stream over a five-year fixed term. Called Ownership Assist, the new program is designed for owners who require only occasional use of their jet and are looking for guaranteed monthly income that covers 80- to 100 percent of their monthly payments, according to Delta Private Jets. Under the program, aircraft owners are allotted 30 flight hours per year over 20 flight days at no cost.
The Legacy 500 that Embraer brought to EBACE last week is one of four flight-test aircraft that have racked up more than 1,500 hours of testing as the type approaches certification, slated for the middle of this year. Embraer Executive Jets president Mario Túlio Pellegrini said that function and reliability testing is the last remaining item to be completed, followed by paperwork. “We are confident we can conclude the certification by mid-year,” he added.
Cessna Aircraft received an FAA Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) certificate for the Citation Latitude, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced this week at EBACE. The TIA allows Cessna to begin accumulating flight hours that will apply toward certification.
Hourly-cost maintenance provider Jet Support Services (JSSI) launched a new check-to-check airframe maintenance program this week at EBACE. Coverage is available for a range of business jets, including all Falcons, Globals and Challengers; the Citation Sovereign+; and the G450 and G550. It enhances the company’s standard airframe product by adding customizable contract terms to provide coverage through the remaining length of the next major scheduled airframe inspection. The program’s coverage is transferable.
Data research firm WingX’s business aviation monitor, released quarterly to EBAA members, is showing a contrasting picture in Europe, with a slight 1.6 percent, unevenly spread growth in flights in the first quarter. Several major Western markets enjoyed noticeable growth in charter and private flights, including France, Belgium and Germany. The upward trend was even stronger in Greece and Poland. The statistics also include Russia, with 1.7-percent growth compared to the first quarter of 2013.
Iraq Gate, the first business jet operator based in Iraq, is celebrating its first anniversary. Operating five aircraft–one Bombardier CRJ-200, three Hawker 800XPs and one Beechcraft King Air B200–for charter services, it also offers flight planning and ground handling. Abu Ghazaleh is the CEO and general manager of the holding company, Jordan-based International Wings Group.
In July Qatar Executive (Booth 415) will add a second Bombardier Global 5000 Vision to its fleet. The corporate jet division of Qatar Airways will get the new aircraft just in time to meet the increased demand of the summer season. The operator received its first Global 5000 Vision in late 2013, having earlier bought two Global 5000s. The wholly-owned eight-aircraft fleet also includes three Challenger 605s and a Global XRS.
Geneva-based Global Jet reports receiving several business jets for charter recently as well as it gaining a Chinese air operator certificate (AOC) from the China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC). The AOC allows operations in China by Global Jet in partnership with Hangzhou-based Jinggong Business Aircraft. Global Jet is exhibiting here at EBACE 2014 in Booth 5555.
“The European business aviation market recovery is lagging that of the U.S. market by 12 to 18 months,” Chad Anderson, president of business jet broker Jetcraft (static display), told AIN here at EBACE 2014. “Many European operators are rightsizing their fleets, which makes this a stronger recovery. However, there is still a lot of price fragility in the pre-owned business jet market.”