French regional airline Air Bretagne has gone into financial observation after filing for bankruptcy. The company’s operations are being overseen by a court-appointed administrator until liquidation has been finalized. The administrator must report back by the end of this month.
International handling company Feras (Booth No. 1187), which has more than 100 of its own locations and operations in 23 countries, is seeing rapid growth in areas that a few years ago rarely ever saw business aircraft traffic. The growth is a combination of U.S. travelers seeking new business opportunities and aircraft operators now based in those countries, said Otto Wright, director of sales and marketing.
During today’s EBACE opening session, European Commission director for air transport Daniel Calleja pledged more “proportionate” rules for business aviation in the future, acknowledging that this segment of air transport has “too often been neglected in the past.” According to Calleja, “The EC this year is launching key initiatives to make aviation more efficient, safer and environmentally sustainable.” He recognized the importance of general
Honda Aircraft made a big splash in its first official presence at EBACE today, announcing the appointment of three European HondaJet dealers to provide sales and service support to customers in the region, as well as revealing Formula 1 driver Jenson Button as the European launch customer for the compact twinjet.
Value Added Tax (VAT) and import duties for aircraft currently stand at zero percent in Denmark. This allows international operators to escape tax by basing their aircraft in Denmark. However, zero-rated VAT is in contradiction with European law and pressure is mounting on Danish legislators to adjust their taxes upward.
For the upcoming European football championship, jointly hosted by Switzerland and Austria, the Zurich police department has decided to supplement its crowd control systems using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) supplied and operated by the Swiss air force as observation platforms. Light drones are cheaper to fly than manned aircraft and will free helicopters for other tasks such as carrying personnel.
After years of talks, meetings, competitions, flyoffs, and negotiations, the Irish government has decided to terminate a deal to buy three Sikorsky S-92 helicopters. The news is an especially telling blow to Sikorsky because the Irish deal had been supposedly the only firm, cash-on-the-barrelhead business it had signed for its medium-lift helicopter.
The annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) is set to continue its seemingly relentless growth when it reconvenes in Geneva’s Palais d’Expositions (Palexpo) from May 20 to 22. High on the 2008 conference agenda are serious concerns about access to airports and to the U.S. generally, as well as pending new security requirements and possible environmental restrictions.
The families of nine people killed in a February 2004 Super King Air crash cannot sue the manufacturer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District has ruled. The court upheld a lower court’s decision, which stated that the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 precluded the lawsuit. The act states that manufacturers cannot be held liable if the aircraft is more than 18 years old. The King Air in question was built in 1980.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy reached some significant–though little noticed–defense arrangements when they met in London late last month. The two countries agreed to seek a single joint contract for the in-service support of the Airbus A400M airlifters that both have ordered. If achieved, this will be the first such arrangement ever concluded.