Raytheon Aircraft reported an operating loss of $41 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $4 million in the first quarter a year ago. The Wichita-based company also recorded sales of $494 million in the first quarter, down 22 percent from $637 million in the same period a year ago.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to enter a new fleet management program with Pratt & Whitney Canada that would include the sale of “certain assets” related to its Desert Turbine Services unit and spare PT6 engines. The tentative six-year deal covers 58 Beech 1900Ds and 116 engines, valued at some $70 million.
CCAir president Carter Leake last month notified his employees that parent company Mesa Air Group planned to close the money-losing regional airline on July 1. Leake’s memo arrived on the same day as Mesa’s latest contract proposal to CCAir’s pilots. The pilots rejected a previous proposal.
Wichita-based Raytheon Travel Air and Cleveland-based Flight Options on March 20 completed their planned merger, first announced December 20, creating the second-largest fractional aircraft provider. Under the joint venture, Flight Options holds a 50.1-percent stake in the new company, while Raytheon Co. retains a 49.9-percent share.
Hawker Beechcraft reported continued strong sales for its airplane offerings in the first quarter, though snags with the Hawker 4000 resulted in the Wichita aircraft manufacturer posting a $1.5 million loss for the period. “The loss was the consequence of an $18.4 million charge related to early production Hawker 4000 aircraft,” the company said.
Through the end of the month, Raytheon Aircraft Parts Inventory and Distribution Co. (Rapid) is conducting a sale on some 46,000 part and kit numbers for Beechcraft and Hawkers in an effort to reduce $80 million in excess parts inventory, the company said. Customers can use Rapid’s Web site at raytheonaircraftparts.com to conduct a parts search by aircraft type, part number, part description or download the entire parts list.
As one French regional airline bites the dust, another is ready to take its place, operated by the company’s former pilots. R-Lines has been placed into “legal observation,” which means it will almost certainly be declared bankrupt at the beginning of next month following its failure to meet its debt obligations.
If a Beechcraft or Hawker customer identifies the “exact same part at a much lower price elsewhere,” Raytheon Aircraft will “make every effort to lower the price,” according to a parts-price review form now posted on the company’s Web site.
When the going gets tough, marketing departments heat up their branding irons. Or so it seemed at the 55th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Fla., last month. No fewer than three major business aircraft manufacturers announced new or reinvigorated brands for at least one of their offerings (see full stories elsewhere in this issue). The moves were as much a reaction to the wishy-washy U.S.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200, Leonardtown, Md., Oct. 12, 2006–On approach to Runway 29 at St.