Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling said the company is basking “in an exploding market with a booming turnover,” but he sounded a cautious tone with respect to the challenge of delivering its helicopters on time.
It’s really, really big, and as an executive transport, the giant Airbus A380–unveiled in Toulouse, France, last month– will be the biggest and most complex challenge ever to roll into an independent completion center hangar to be outfitted for executive or personal use.
Germany’s DaimlerChrysler AG has sold DaimlerChrysler Aviation, the group’s wholly owned Stuttgart-based corporate aviation subsidiary, to Fulda, Germany-based ATON, a family-owned group that makes long-term investments in innovative companies specializing in raw materials, services and applied technology. The deal marks ATON’s first foray into business aviation.
Jet Aviation, which recently delivered an executive A320-200 to the Saad Group in Saudi Arabia, is now making room at its Basel, Switzerland, facilities for a much larger airplane–an A340-600–for the same company. The four-engine Airbus (longer than any 747 or 777) is scheduled to arrive in Basel next month, with delivery set for mid-2009. Calling the project “major” would be understating the job.
The Airbus business aircraft juggernaut keeps rolling, and independent completion centers are happily enjoying the result.
Sabena Technics, the TAT Group subsidiary specializing in civil and military aircraft maintenance, has acquired EADS Barfield, an aviation support, service and component repair and maintenance operation. The acquisition is a strategic move to further penetrate the American market.
Introduction of the TBM 850 “very fast turboprop” single to meet the challenge of the VLJ has firmly lifted Socata’s fortunes out of the stagnation that the company endured in 2003 and 2004. The EADS subsidiary delivered 42 TBM 850s last year, a 35-percent improvement on the 31 TBM 700s delivered the previous year. The company also delivered one TBM 700C2, all of which contributed to a revenue increase of 21 percent.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in record highs in billings and in business jet deliveries.
The recent Middle East Business Aviation conference (MEBA) in Dubai on January 31 and February 1 and the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) in Hong Kong on February 6 and 7 pulled in an estimated 5,200 combined attendees. This was the inaugural show for MEBA, which is held by the new Middle East Business Aviation Association. The event drew 90 exhibitors and more than 30 aircraft on static display.
Large transport airplanes operated under Parts 91, 121 and 125 are the subject of an extensive proposal that realigns the design, installation and maintenance requirements of fuel tank system electrical wiring with already-adopted new regulations covering maintenance and inspections of fuel tanks themselves.