Since it exited a 10-month restructuring process and Chapter 11 protection in February, the rebranded Beechcraft (formerly Hawker Beechcraft) has performed well and is even looking at possible new models to bolster its turboprop line-up.
Nextant Aerospace has chosen EBACE to launch the 400XTi (the ‘i’ stands for innovation), the latest evolution of the remanufactured light business jet. Compared to the 400XT, the new version introduces a number of improvements, including an all-new cabin that offers more space and reduced noise.
Hawker Beechcraft emerged from bankruptcy in February, restructured and rebranded as Beechcraft (Booth 7060), and the message it brings to EBACE is that it has refocused on the business of building and selling airplanes, and servicing and supporting what it builds.
Beechcraft has two “significant” elements to its show presence here. The stand in the main hall, said executive v-p of sales and marketing Shawn Vick, “is branded universally as Beechcraft and we are represented there by members of our African, European and Middle East teams.”
Beechcraft, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is now focused on its piston and turboprop products, expects to sell its mothballed jet division in the coming months. According to CEO Bill Boisture, the company has already completed disposition of its remaining inventory of approximately 20 new and pre-owned Hawker 4000 and Premier IA jets, a move he said went “better than planned,” though he declined to offer details about the revenue derived from their sale.
Worldwide business jet deliveries rose by 4 percent, to 129 units, in the first quarter, according to statistics released today by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Pressurized turboprops, meanwhile, saw an increase of nearly 53 percent year-over-year.
Newly restructured Beechcraft logged 65 deliveries–including six Hawker 4000s–in the first quarter, compared with 41 deliveries a year ago. According to Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture, the upgrade programs for the Hawker 400XPR and 800XPR are also “attracting a strong positive response,” with slots in 2013 sold out for the 400XPR program as it completes its final certification phase. “Our plan throughout last year’s restructuring was to emerge as a stronger, more agile organization,” said Boisture.
The Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center (SHPBASC), which is hosting ABACE this week here at Hongqiao International Airport, has made a lot of progress since the 2012 show. According to general manager Carey Matthews, the amount of traffic it has received since 2009 has grown by as much as 12 percent each year. This trend has continued so far in 2013 and by year-end the facility expects to have exceeded 4,000 movements for the first time in its history.
The emergence from bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft last week not only marked the beginning of the new Beechcraft Corp., but also signaled the end of the Hawker business jet line. Choosing to focus instead on its turboprop products, government contracts and aircraft service, the Wichita-based manufacturer has shut down all jet production and sold its remaining inventory of new and in-production Hawker 4000s and Premier IAs.
Pre-owned Hawker 700/800/900s are currently “significantly undervalued,” Brian Proctor of business jet broker and consultancy Mente Group said today at the NBAA Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal conference in Bonita Springs, Fla. He contends that prices of these aircraft could potentially double (from current values, depending on the specific model) soon after Hawker Beechcraft exits bankruptcy later this month.
The downsized Beechcraft that is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection at the end of this month will retain and expand its services division, two senior Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) executives told AIN. There are no plans at this time to spin off Hawker Beechcraft Services into a separately owned company.