Attendance at EBACE 2010 reached 11,106 registered visitors by the time the halls closed yesterday. With new visitors expected today, this is set to be the show’s second-most-attended year if it passes the 11,267 total achieved in 2007. Last year’s event had the highest attendance to date, with 13,692 showgoers. Aircraft manufacturers have been logging business aircraft sales during the show, though not at the pace of two years ago.
Austrian politician Jörg Leichtfried cut the ceremonial ribbon for the official opening of EBACE yesterday, and industry leaders speculated, with good reason, that the event could mark the start of a gradual economic recovery after two years of severe difficulties.
The new Central Europe Private Aviation industry association has launched plans for a new business aviation trade show focused on central and eastern Europe. The first Cepa Expo will be held in the Czech Republic at Prague’s Vodochody Airport from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2011. The first two days of the event will be for trade visitors only, followed by a public day on Saturday, October 1.
The new Central Europe Private Aviation Association (Cepa) will hold its inaugural conference in the Czech capital Prague on April 22 and 23. The group has been formed to represent and coordinate the interests of business aviation companies in new European Union states, including the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.
One of the few public scheduled helicopter routes in the world, linking Helsinki, Finland to Tallin, Estonia, has been discontinued. Finnish operator Copterline has ceased flying over the Baltic Sea between the two capital cities. In April, it contracted UK-based International Bureau of Aviation (IBA) for the remarketing of two AgustaWestland AW139s. Last month, IBA announced the medium twins had been sold to U.S.-based operator PHI.
“In February 2009 we were forced to implement a 15-percent reduction in staff company-wide,” Lou Seno, president and CEO of Jet Support Services (JSSI), told AIN. “That reduction included a few of our European administrative personnel in Luxembourg; however, we are as committed as ever to our presence in Europe.” Seno said about one third of JSSI’s business is in Europe.
EuroAirport, which serves the cities of Basel, Switzerland; Mulhouse, France; and Freiburg, Germany; is home to a considerable maintenance and completion industry, with companies such as Jet Aviation, Lufthansa Technik and Amac specializing in large aircraft. Last month Air Service Basel officially opened a new facility at the airport to serve owners of small and midsize executive jets.
Aircraft as its new dealership for southeastern Europe. The company will handle sales, marketing and service of the single-engine PC-12 NG turboprop in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.
On the shoulders of what it describes as a healthy order book with multiple new completion contracts and signed letters of intent, AMAC Aerospace of Basel, Switzerland, has embarked on the second phase of a major expansion project.
Phase-two construction began in July on a 90,000-sq-ft widebody bizliner hangar that will include backshops and offices. The total investment for the second phase is approximately $21.6 million.
European business aviation has endured a steep downturn in activity for the best part of a year, and many in the industry are resigned to a slow recovery. But for some the proverbial glass remains half full and some of these people are now eyeing growth opportunities.