Brazilian business aviation faces a squeeze between official restrictions and unofficial competition, vying with airline traffic for limited slots at the country’s major airports and with illegal “pirate” air taxi services for customers. Hosting the World Cup soccer tournament at 12 host cities around the country in June and July served as a stress test of the country’s aviation infrastructure. Although no major problems occurred, many, including industry group ABAG, feel that business aviation was sacrificed for that apparent success–and that this does not bode well.
The Latin American market in general, and Brazil in particular, continue to be red-hot markets for rotorcraft manufacturers, driven by government sales and the expansion of the regional offshore energy market, especially in Mexico and Brazil. Altogether, the market represents 9.8 percent of global demand–but that number is increasing fast.
Following years of growth, which recently has outpaced the U.S. and Europe in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, 2014 has proven so far to be a bit of a corrective period for business aviation sales throughout Brazil and Latin America. Despite weakening performance in some areas, however, OEMs remain bullish about long-term demand for their business aircraft offerings.
The FAA mandate to equip with ADS-B OUT avionics is coming in fewer than 5.5 years, and many owners and operators are still waiting to upgrade their aircraft, either because they’re hoping prices will drop and technology will improve or they aren’t sure they’ll be keeping their aircraft beyond the deadline.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice to Airmen (Notam) on Friday prohibiting U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace above Iraq because of fighting there between Iraqi security forces and militants associated with the Islamic State. The sweeping prohibition came after the Obama administration began humanitarian air drops to relieve refugees in northern Iraq and warned of air strikes against the advancing militants.
Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways and Alitalia signed an investment agreement on Friday that will see Etihad acquire a 49-percent stake in the troubled Italian flagship airline. The overall “transaction implementation agreement,” which the airlines valued at €1,758 billion ($2.35 billion), will recapitalize Alitalia with the aim of restoring it to profitability by 2017.
Airlines should not expect to see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying regularly in U.S. airspace “anytime soon,” a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots August 7. The assurance came amid continuing reports of unauthorized UAS flights near airliners.
The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
Delta Private Jets (DPJ) said that the guaranteed-income aircraft management program, Ownership Assist, it introduced in early June has been well received by customers. In fact, the company signed agreements for five new aircraft that are entering the fleet through this program, two of which have just been added to the managed fleet. Meanwhile, DPJ also continues to see increased demand, especially for its jet card.
Airbus Defence & Space announced a repeat order from Egypt for eight more C295 transports, and one from Brazil for three C295s configured for search-and-rescue. The company will be offering C295s with a winglet option beginning next year, although it did not say whether the newly ordered aircraft would be so configured. Airbus has received orders from 19 countries for more than 140 C295s.