The World Economic Forum, held annually in Davos, Switzerland, traditionally attracts a large number of business aircraft, and this year was no exception, with hundreds of government and business leaders heading to the area. Jet Aviation Zurich this year handled 726 movements and nearly 2,000 passengers during the course of the conference (January 22 to 25), while tallying fuel sales of more than 1.1 million liters (290,000 gallons). The FBO noted larger aircraft carrying more passengers this year.
Ruag Aviation has plans to open a helicopter facility at Sion Airport in western Switzerland. Initially the facility will focus on the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Sikorsky S-76s, with planned growth to include more types in the future.
The 13th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) opens at the Palexpo center in Geneva next Tuesday. Intelligence gathering ahead of this year’s three-day show suggests that as many as four new jet models could be launched.
Gama Aviation has announced plans to open a new base in Switzerland at Geneva Airport. The aircraft management operation is expected to be up and running by July, with the intention of getting its Swiss air operators certificate by year-end. It will be led by general manager Hamish Ross.
Swiss aerospace firm Ruag has agreed to partner with E Aviation on the management of its FBO at Lugano Airport. Ruag’s strong aircraft maintenance background and its experience with its FBO in Geneva will allow the Lugano FBO to offer products from passenger and crew services to technical assistance and line maintenance. The two companies believe that Lugano will become the business aviation hub for northern Italy and Italian-speaking Switzerland.
Jet Aviation Zurich said it handled the majority of aircraft and passengers attending the 42nd annual World Economic Forum meeting, which was held late last week in Davos, Switzerland. From Wednesday through Sunday, the FBO handled 726 aircraft movements and 1,600 passengers, the same number as it did last year’s economic forum. “We welcomed and assisted most heads of state attending the World Economic Forum,” said Jet Aviation Zurich director Robert Whitehead.
Ruag Aviation is expanding its FBO activities to Switzerland’s Lugano Airport by partnering with E Aviation Lugano, the local FBO provider. With Ruag’s strong footprint in maintenance and aircraft, the two companies now offer an array of services at Lugano, ranging from passenger and crew services to technical assistance and line maintenance services. The companies believe that Lugano Airport will be the business aviation hub for northern Italy. Ruag also has an FBO at Geneva Airport.
The 11th edition of the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (Ebace) is set to open on Tuesday in Geneva. Joint organizers EBAA and NBAA expect the event to be 16 percent larger than last year’s and, in terms of the area of booked exhibit space, it could even be the biggest yet with almost 500 exhibitors signed to set up shop at Geneva’s Palexpo center.
Ruag may have to close its Zurich-Kloten site “due to unfavorable cost structures,” according to a spokesman for the company’s Aircraft Services Network, which maintains business and executive jets. He said the civil aircraft maintenance business is strategically important to the company, but cost pressure and lower margins are forcing management to revise its strategy.
Rega, the Swiss not-for-profit air rescue organization, last year for the first time surpassed 10,000 annual helicopter missions, at 10,425. This equates
to an average of 29 missions per day. The 4.8-percent increase was attributed to good weather, which favored outdoor leisure activities in Switzerland last year, according to Rega. The organization was funded by 2.14 million donors in 2008.
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