Kurosh Tehranchian, CEO of UK-based Ocean Sky Aviation (Booth No. 1251), announced at EBACE that the company has received from its shareholders $48 million in additional funding, which the company plans to use to acquire other charter operators and FBOs, particularly in Europe.
Satcom Direct (Booth No. 683) now offers services via Inmarsat, Iridium and ViaSat (which provides a Ku-band broadband service called “Yonder” from leased satellite capacity, although it is planning to have its own satellites). The company’s relationship with ViaSat means it will compete with the Arinc SKYLink/Rockwell Collins exchange system, now installed in some 80 business aircraft.
ViaSat today named Satcom Direct a reseller of its new Yonder Ku-band satellite broadband service for business jets. Based on ViaSat’s ArcLight technology and using a lightweight, 12-inch antenna, Yonder is capable of providing download speeds of up to 10 megabits per second in flight. The service is available over North America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, Europe, the North Pacific and the Arabian Gulf.
ViaSat Mobile Broadband Services is at Booth No.
Eckhaus Leasing Group, a sister company of vehicle fleet company Eckhaus Fleet, yesterday placed an order for 250 Millennium Aerospace Foxjet II very light jets. The company expects to take delivery of 50 aircraft per year for five years, beginning in 2010 after planned FAA certification late next year. Millennium says the contract is worth $437.5 million, which would put the price of each Foxjet II at $1.75 million.
Avfuel dealer Threshold Aviation finished renovations of its Chino, Calif. FBO, including plenty of hangar and ramp space. Revenues have increased 35 percent in the last year and should grow by the same amount this year, according to CEO Mark DiLullo. Threshold is also an installation center for the Clifford Development Citation II re-engining program.
Sky Connect at Booth No. 1935 is showcasing its Iridium-based satellite communication capabilities while highlighting its expansion into the marine, land-mobile and indoor markets. Based in part on its success penetrating the rotorcraft market, the company has hired Joel Goron, former Cygnus Business Media publisher and sales director, to oversee expansion of Sky Connect’s distribution network into non-aviation markets.
On the NATPE convention floor there were encouraging signs that aviation-related programming was holding its own in the current, seemingly endless supply of reality-based programs. Billy Campbell, president and CEO of Discovery Networks USA, parent company of the Discovery Wings Channel, served as a panelist on a forum exploring the forecast of programming for this year.
Executive Jet has named former communications and entertainment executive Mark Booth co-chairman of its NetJets Europe fractional aircraft ownership program. Booth, based in London, will help expand NetJets throughout Europe. He joined NetJets from epartners, a subsidiary of News Corp., where he was a general partner. His career has spanned 20 years in the communications and entertainment industries.