Calgary-based WestJet Encore signed a firm order for five Bombardier Q400s in late July, raising its order total for the type to 30. The latest deal, valued at $167 million, involved the conversion of five options booked by parent company WestJet with its original order for the type in July 2012. Plans call for the airplanes to help support WestJet’s expansion into the eastern part of Canada, where it currently operates a base out of Toronto.
Economy of Canada
Air BP is acquiring aviation fuel business Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation (SFR Aviation) from Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the company announced yesterday. The deal will add some 73 new airports in the Nordic countries and Northern Europe to Air BP’s global fuel network of more than 600 locations. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by year-end. On completion, around 59 SFR Aviation employees, currently based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are also expected to join Air BP.
Denver-based air charter firm Mountain Aviation was acquired by an unidentified private investment group earlier this week. Rich Bjelkevig, who founded the turboprop and jet charter firm in 1993, will continue to serve as the company’s president. Cam Kenyon, previously the executive vice president of operations at WestJet Airlines and the president of Lynx Aviation in Denver, has been appointed Mountain Aviation’s executive director.
Signature Flight Support has signed a deal with Imperial Oil of Canada that could see the service provider chain add as many as 38 FBOs to its network. The agreement offers all Canadian Esso-branded FBOs the option to become members of the Signature network or to join the service provider’s Signature Select affiliate program. As part of the agreement, Imperial Oil will continue to be the fuel provider and the locations will continue to carry their Esso fuel branding, in addition to any possible Signature badges.
Signature Flight Support signed an agreement today at NBAA 2013 with Imperial Oil of Canada to offer all Canadian Esso aviation dealers the option to be fully licensed Signature locations or to participate in the Signature Select affiliate FBO program. Signature Select affiliates are supported by Signature’s global sales and marketing team and are promoted as part of the Signature network. Additional value for members can be achieved through the purchasing power of the Signature network.
Smartphone maker BlackBerry (née RIM) plans to close its corporate flight department as part of a comprehensive restructuring plan aimed at stemming losses that are set to total as much as $995 million during its second fiscal quarter, which ended last month. New chief executive Thorsten Heins has decided to sell a Bombardier Global Express that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company bought pre-owned as recently as July for an undisclosed price.
Bombardier delivered the first of 20 Q400 turboprops ordered by Calgary-based low-fare carrier WestJet on June 6. Plans called for WestJet’s new regional subsidiary, WestJet Encore, to start flying the airplanes on June 24 on new routes to Fort St. John and Nanaimo, British Columbia. The airline also plans to launch service to Brandon, Manitoba, on September 3, and open several new points in Alberta and Saskatchewan later in the year.
Dubai-based trip support specialist United Aviation Services (UAS, Booth 371) is here giving live demos of its new Trip Management System (TMS). TMS is “a web-based and mobile trip management application” that will give customers real-time access to UAS’s range of business aviation services. For example, customers will be able to track, in real time, the status of their flights and service requests. They will also have access to handling and fuel confirmations.
Bombardier is moving to upgrade its customer product support and training options. To that end, the company announced a major expansion of its service capabilities, including deployment of a fleet of mobile response trucks and three new regional support offices co-located with Bombardier factory-owned maintenance facilities in Tucson, Hartford and Fort Lauderdale.
With more than 25 ExecLiner corporate conversions of Canadair CRJ200 regional jets contracted and an expanding clientele in the Asia Pacific region for work on other Bombardier products, Flying Colours (Booth No. 912) is close to selecting a Far East partner.
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