Reactions have been heavily mixed in the wake of Monday night’s announcement that Superior Aviation of Beijing, China, has agreed to acquire financially troubled Hawker Beechcraft, minus its Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC) division, for $1.79 billion. The majority of business aviation analysts contacted by AIN believe the Chinese firm is overpaying for the Wichita, Kansas-based aircraft manufacturer, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Reactions have been mixed in the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Superior Aviation of Beijing, China, has agreed to acquire financially troubled Hawker Beechcraft, minus Hawker Beechcraft Defense Co. (HBDC) for $1.79 billion. “I have no idea why Hawker Beechcraft would be worth $1.8 billion without its defense side,” Teal Group vice president of aerospace analysis Richard Aboulafia told AIN. “Given the money needed to reorganize, that’s a very high price.”
Spearheading a rally of more than 2,000 general aviation workers in Wichita in March, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lauded the importance of general aviation manufacturing to the state of Kansas and the U.S. industrial base, and promised a visit to “the air capital of the world” from the President next year.
Two Kansas lawmakers have asked the chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee to request that the U.S. International Trade Commission investigate the global competitiveness of the U.S. business jet industry.
“Even in a down cycle [the general aviation industry] still creates $4.9 billion in exports. That’s extraordinary,” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood told more than 2,000 general aviation workers, elected officials and industry leaders gathered in Wichita yesterday for a GA rally hosted at Cessna Aircraft’s campus.
With analysts predicting that Embraer could equal or even surpass Cessna as the world’s largest business jet maker by volume in the next few years, some are wondering how the market newcomer could have achieved such stunning success so swiftly without the assistance of its government. Among the most vocal is Sen.
The two Republican senators from Kansas joined a growing chorus in support of business aviation when they took President Obama to task for “misguided and reckless statements and policy suggestions” affecting the general aviation industry.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen last week commended Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) for outlining the value of business aviation in remarks he made on the Senate floor. “Some federal officials have recently been making the use of business aviation a matter of derision,” the senator told his colleagues.