The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) conference and exhibition emphatically imposed itself on the international airshow calendar with a strong debut at Dubai’s Airport Expo Center. The event attracted 2,401 visitors, as well as some 90 exhibitors from 20 countries and 31 aircraft. It also generated $907 million in new aircraft orders.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options yesterday announced three new buyer-incentive programs. Until December 16, buyers of a 3/32nd share (75 hours of annual usage) in a new Hawker 400XP will get an extra 25 occupied hours per year (a total of 100 hours) with no additional capital outlay. According to Flight Options, this equates to a savings of nearly $200,000.
Raytheon Aircraft’s Hawker Vision 2003, a program to completely revamp the production line for the Hawker 800XP, won the Kansas Team Quality award and will be one of two teams representing Kansas at the national competition in Seattle in May. The team reduced the Hawker production line from 12 to seven stations, cut cycle time from 60 days to 40 days and achieved a $19 million inventory reduction.
NetJets Europe (NJE) sold shares in 18 complete aircraft last year, representing an 80-percent increase in sales over 2003. By the end of last year the European fractional ownership program’s fleet consisted of 58 aircraft. That number is set to grow to 91, with 33 deliveries scheduled for this year.
Values among many pre-owned aircraft began to stabilize this year, with some even appreciating while others sought traction amid slipping prices. This year will close having sustained a trend toward lowering inventory, and the impetus for continued tightening remains in place. Though interest rates are rising, they are low by historical standards, enabling buyers to secure attractive financing rates.
Raytheon Aircraft will conduct six regional maintenance and operations sessions for Beechcraft and Hawker owners. The dates and locations are: February 18, Houston; February 19, Tampa, Fla.; February 20, Atlanta; March 3, Tarrytown, N.Y.; March 4, Rosemont, Ill.; and March 19, Las Vegas. In addition, the annual Hawker Jet Operators Conference will be held in Little Rock, Ark., from April 26 to 28.
The FAA has certified Cutter Aviation’s Phoenix facility to perform full-service maintenance on the Hawker 800XP, 800 and 700. Cutter has long been a Beechcraft maintenance provider, with emphasis on the King Air line. Cutter is also an authorized service center for Pratt & Whitney Canada, Williams International and Cessna models 500 through 560XL. Cutter has operations at major airports in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Three months after receiving certification for its winglets on the Hawker 800, Aviation Partners has received FAA approval for installing winglets on the Hawker 800XP.
Aviation Partners said last month it received Transport Canada certification of its Hawker 800 blended winglet modification. The approval allows operators of the approximately 20 Canadian-registered Hawker 800s to consider the upgrade.
Four Embraer Legacy Executive twinjets have joined Cleveland-based fractional operator Flight Options to provide owners with a large-cabin aircraft to supplement the company’s Challenger 601 and Gulfstream IV fleets, as well as allowing Hawker 800XP owners to upgrade. The Legacy Executive is an eight- to 13-passenger business jet version of the Brazilian manufacturer’s ERJ-135 regional jet.