French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be flying in a style more becoming the nation’s leader with a recent government decision to acquire an Airbus A330-200 that will be outfitted as the country’s newest head-of-state aircraft.
Recent public attacks on business aviation have sought to portray the industry as exhibiting unwarranted privilege at a time when so many are suffering in the economic crisis.
Lyon Bron Airport, the business aviation field in France’s second largest city, is still betting on mid-term growth and is preparing to break ground on three major construction projects this year, including a restaurant, a 10,000-sq-ft hangar and a new facility for EMS helicopters. All building projects are funded by third-party investors, which apparently are sticking to their plans despite the severe global downturn.
Lyon Bron Airport, the business aviation field in France’s second largest city, is still betting on mid-term growth and is preparing to break ground on three major construction projects this year, airport officials said last week. An 80-seat restaurant with accompanying conference room and two boutique shops will be housed in a €1.7 million ($2.1 million) building.
Dassault Aviation late last month downgraded its 2008 delivery planning for Falcons, citing new FAA “constraints.” The manufacturer said the delivery rate increase that was expected for the fourth quarter will not be met, as some deliveries have been postponed to the first quarter.
Dassault Aviation has entered “exclusive negotiations” with Alcatel-Lucent to take over its 20.8-percent stake in defense electronics specialist Thales. The buyout would boost Dassault’s stake in Thales to 26 percent and mark a strong return to defense electronics for the French airframer at a time when the economic slowdown is threatening sales of business jets.
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.
The French government has selected an area to build what it calls a third airport to serve Paris, but the area is in Chaulnes, a distant 85 mi north of the capital. The new airport, which is expected to be operational in 2015, will ostensibly be served by an already planned high-speed rail link to Paris, and two existing highways.
Compagnie Corse Méditerranée (CCM) Airlines, the French regional airline that specializes in routes between France and Corsica, wants to buck a trend established by small French regional airlines by loosening its relationship with Air France.
France’s prime business aviation gateway is set to pass the next stage in its ongoing redevelopment when a new executive terminal opens at Paris Le Bourget Airport on June 30. A former maintenance facility building has been completely renovated and refurbished in a $8.5 million makeover.