Airbus Group announced yesterday that it is “pursuing disposal options for its investment in Dassault Aviation.” Airbus’s 46-percent share gives it no power in decision making and is only a legacy of the share the French state used to have in Dassault. The Dassault family, via the GIMD holding company, owns slightly more than 50 percent of the manufacturer of the Rafale fighter and the Falcon business jets. Investor activist group TCI estimates that Airbus’s share in Dassault is worth €5 billion.
Bombardier Aerospace today reported second-quarter revenues of $2.5 billion, up from $2.3 billion a year ago, thanks to “higher deliveries of regional airliners but offset by lower business jet shipments due to the Challenger 350 transition,” noted Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin. The division reported a pre-tax profit of $141 million in the quarter, some $3 million more than in the same period last year.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member and pilot Dr. Earl Weener told attendees at an EAA AirVenture 2014 forum on Wednesday that the safety of corporate aviation is “very good and getting better.” He said personal general aviation flights continue to account for the majority of aviation accidents, and most of those are caused by a loss of aircraft control in the air and on the ground.
Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin now will exercise more direct oversight of the three units that comprise the company’s Aerospace division, after years of what he considers substandard performance, the Canadian executive conceded during Bombardier’s second-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday.
Bombardier confirmed on Thursday that it is engaged in discussions with Chinese interests over possible production of the Q400 turboprop regional airliner in that country, presenting it with another option for advancing the program’s geographical presence while political disturbances threaten to disrupt a planned partnership in Russia.
Engine modification firm Blackhawk announced a deal with maintenance program provider Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) at EAA AirVenture 2014 yesterday that will give customers the option of upgrading to new Blackhawk conversions in place of standard overhauls. Under the deal, JSSI will contribute to the value of the overhaul while customers would make up the difference in price.
Although the Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations of alleged wrongdoings in the sale of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to India for VVIP transport, the fate of the aircraft remains unclear. AgustaWestland has agreed to pay a “negligible fine (which)…is not in any way an admission of any wrongdoing or liability,” said a statement from Finmeccanica, which further noted that the Prosecutor had “specifically acknowledged the non-involvement” of the parent company.
[Updated July 30 with new information]
Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders told investment analysts on Wednesday that he doesn’t see an impending end to the upward cycle in demand for airliners despite the spate of order cancellations Airbus’s civil division suffered during the first half of the year.
Rotorcraft manufacturer Enstrom received FAA certification to install the Garmin G1000H glass cockpit in its 480B helicopter, which will be known as the 480B-G.