Rizon Jet, the Arabian Gulf-based aircraft charter and management group, is looking to bridge the European and Middle Eastern markets by establishing new bases at the Qatari capital Doha and London’s Biggin Hill Airport. The company, which originally aspired to a low-cost, light jet business model, is focusing on the higher end of the charter sector.
Hawker Beechcraft this morning reported $537.6 million in net sales in the first quarter, a decrease of $38.9 million from the year-ago time frame, but net after-tax income increased to $66.9 million, compared with a net after-tax loss of $31.3 million in the first three months of last year.
Hawker Beechcraft reported net sales of $3.5 billion and operating income of $135.5 million last year, though it also posted a net after-tax loss of $139.9 million. Net bookings for the year were $4.8 billion and year-end backlog was $7.6 billion.
Acknowledging the reality of today’s economic situation, aircraft manufacturers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft have announced workforce reductions and revised delivery schedules. Avionics maker Rockwell Collins has also announced layoffs.
Despite Hawker Beechcraft announcement earlier this month that it is to lay off 5 percent of its workforce in the face of the global economic slowdown, executives with the U.S. manufacturer here at the MEBA show say the Middle East remains one of the few remaining bright spots for airplane sales. This is why it recently opened a new sales office in Dubai.
Hawker Beechcraft announced the upgraded Hawker 450XP, featuring new engines, fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535Ds that are 10 percent more fuel efficient than the 400XP’s JT15Ds and offer a 5,000-hour TBO. Avionics are Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21, and the cabin features Rockwell’s Venue entertainment/management system.
Marking one of the few large orders announced at NBAA’08, Brazil-based Lider Signatures, a Hawker Beechcraft dealer and authorized service center since 1996, has placed an order with the Wichita OEM for 23 aircraft worth approximately $200 million. Lider CEO Eduardo de Pereira Vaz signed and sealed the contract here yesterday with Brad Hatt, president of commercial sales for Hawker Beech.
The ISIS Group has ordered 10 copies of the Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 400XP light jet, worth more than $70 million with options, to be leased from ISIS by Indian charter operator Aviators India in Bangalore. Half of the order will be delivered next year with the remaining five of the 400XPs due in 2010. Hawker Beechcraft’s sales partner in Delhi, InterGlobe General Aviation, helped Hawker win the order and will maintain the fleet.
It was just a few short years ago that Embraer, with only one business jet in its stable and the market for 50-seat regional jets maturing, made the decision to suit-up for the business jet game. Now, at NBAA 2008, nobody doubts that this Brazilian manufacturer is pursuing its campaign as fiercely, and successfully, as it fought Bombardier et al for RJ sales.
PremiAir is set to complete the relocation of its Hawker Beechcraft authorized service center to Oxford from Blackbushe Airport near Farnborough early this month. The business aircraft services group has leased a former CSE Aviation hangar, with Oxford Airport investing almost $2 million to overhaul and expand the facility.