For one week at least, the gloom of the global recession seemed to lift along with the storm clouds gathered over the grounds of the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France. An unexpected flurry of sales activity gave the air transport market in particular a welcome boost, as contracts for firm orders, options, letters of intent and memoranda of understanding totalled close to $17 billion.
U.S. aerospace consultancy Teal Group has forecast demand for 2,909 regional aircraft worth $65.9 billion over the next 10 years. The projection includes 1,732 regional jets worth $46.9 billion and 1,177 turboprops worth $19 billion (2009 dollars).
Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) has quietly launched an executive version of its ATR 42 and 72 regional airliners. In fact, there are already seven corporate or VIP ATR operators.
German operator DC Aviation yesterday launched a frequent-flier program in part of an industry-wide scramble to offer better value for money in a still-weak executive charter sector. For an initial period running from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, the new DC Aviation Loyalty Club will give customers a range of benefits, including flight prices on a sliding scale and guaranteed availability in the midsize jet segment.
Future fuel prices will determine the markets for regional turboprop and jet aircraft, according to Saab Aircraft Leasing president and chief executive Michael Magnusson. The Swedish manufacturer maintains a sizeable fleet of its Saab 340 and 2000 regional turboprop designs for lease and expects to benefit from industry moves to reduce costs by making greater use of such equipment rather than regional jets.
The Egyptian actor and martial arts professional Yousef Mansour is expected at MEBA today to sign a contract at the Action Aviation Outdoor Stand 5 for a Project Phoenix CRJ aircraft. The 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional airliner has been extensively converted to a long-range executive jet role. It seats up to 12 passengers in VIP configuration and will be based in Cairo.
Project Phoenix, which is offering Bombardier CRJs reconfigured as business jets, has concluded an agreement with MedAire that will see aircraft owners being offered a complimentary medical package, including a one-year subscription to the 24/7 MedLink global response center.
Seven years after BAE Systems canceled the ill-fated Avro RJX program, closing the hangar door on indigenous UK airliner production, the company’s regional aircraft division believes its BAe 146 and Avro RJ offerings remain competitive.
With a three-foot wider interior than the Bombardier Challenger 604, the Avro 146/RJ is claimed to offer “an airliner-size cabin for the price of a small business jet.”
Here at the NBAA Convention, BAe Regional Aircraft (Booth No. 1881) hopes to renew interest in the Avro Business Jet (ABJ) version of the venerable quadjet, which was produced from 1983 to 2002.
In a welcome development for operators who are flying VIP-converted Jetstream J31/J32s, UK-based Saywell International (Booth No. 1805) became the sole spares distribution center for the BAE Systems-built airplanes this year and is rapidly increasing its support capabilities.