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Demand for charter flights picked up during April, with the demand index generated by online charter portal Avinode standing at 117.86 on April 30, some 40 points up from the end of March, when the index stood at 77.21. The April 30 index was also almost 30 points up from the same day last year when it stood at 88.57. Charter rates have also shown some increases.
Hawker Beechcraft had a busy start to EBACE 2010 yesterday, packing its massive static display here in Geneva with new customers. Then, while the delivery presentation was under way, it finally received European certification for its flagship Hawker 4000 before announcing both a new derivative product and a European partnership.
Hawker Beechcraft has brought examples of its entire commercial product range to EBACE for the first time, 10 aircraft forming its “global demonstrator fleet.” Its static park display includes a recently certified King Air 350i and C90GTx; a Hawker 4000, 900XP, 750 and 400XP; a Premier IA twinjet; a Baron G58 piston twin; and a Bonanza piston single.
Hawker Beechcraft Services today at EBACE unveiled the aftermarket Hawker 800XPR package for the Hawker 800XP. The upgrade replaces the aircraft’s original TFE731-5BR engines with Honeywell TFE731-50R turbofans and adds Hawker Beechcraft-designed winglets to improve performance. The company is offering a special introductory price for the upgrade as it awaits certification, which is expected this year.
TAG Aviation (Booth No. 651) is substantially upgrading its operation here at Geneva Airport. The expansion includes a new hangar built around the existing workshops, and topped by a four-story office building. The new facility, scheduled to open this summer, will include 61,500 sq ft of hangar space, one third more than the previous surface area, and 9,700 sq ft of new offices.
Hawker Beechcraft on Tuesday reported an operating loss of $712 million on sales of $3.2 billion last year, compared with an operating profit of $140.3 million on $3.5 billion in sales in 2008. Besides lower sales last year, the company was affected by non-cash impairment and other charges totaling $726.4 million in the third quarter.
A new 44,000-sq-ft maintenance training center has opened near the Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) Wichita facility and is offering a full schedule of technical training courses. It is a joint effort between Hawker Beechcraft and FlightSafety International. According to Christi Tannahill, vice president for Hawker Beechcraft global customer service and support, the first course offered is MxPro.
Hawker Beechcraft late last week took the wraps off a new program designed to charge owners and operators of older aircraft a fee for technical support services.