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.
With its official emergence from the bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft on February 19, the new Beechcraft Corp. returned to the roots planted in Kansas by founders Walter and Olive Ann Beech in 1932.
It has been a long and sometimes rough road since the company was founded, a path marked most recently by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Hawker Beechcraft in May 2012. Now, after nearly 10 months and confirmation of its joint plan of reorganization by the bankruptcy court on February 1, the aircraft manufacturer has exited bankruptcy.
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.
In ruling on a request by Hawker Beechcraft to “reject certain [warranty support] agreements related to the Hawker 4000 and Premier I and IA,” bankruptcy court judge Stuart Bernstein decided last week to grant the motion in part, and deny it in part.
At an omnibus hearing on December 11, the progress of Hawker Beechcraft toward emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection moved ahead with court authorization to enter into the debtor-in-possession (DIP) amendment and to pay certain related fees and expenses.
GippsAero, manufacturer of the GA8 Airvan utility aircraft, appointed three new parts and technical support distributors to its global network. (The company recently appointed Soloy Aviation Solutions to serve the U.S. market.)Hawker Pacific will focus on the Asian region and will exclusively support GippsAero’s existing and new clients across Asian countries. Gipps has appointed Piper Parts to support all countries throughout Europe, and Airvan Africa to cover all of Africa.
JP Morgan is stirring the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy pot, suggesting in its December Aerospace and Defense: Balance of Power report that “acquisition of the company is still possible.” The financial services company named Embraer, Textron (parent of Cessna and Bell Helicopter) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream and Jet Aviation) as entities that might benefit from such a deal.
The analyst added, “We anticipate that other companies may be interested in acquiring Beechcraft if the price is right as we see a good strategic fit in several cases.”