Based on relatively good news from manufacturers and analysts, many in the business aviation industry are on board the recovery boat. But amid indications of a recovery, there are also signs the boat is still leaking and more bailing is required.
Very light jet
Is the business aviation industry out of the bog, or is it still slogging through the mire toward higher economic ground? Judging by the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (Ebace) last month (see report on page 28), a recovery is already on firmer terrain.
How much of that interest will translate into money changing hands? Many at the show were hopeful, and in a few cases the bottom line was being fed.
An uneasy pall has settled over the aviation industry. Clouds of volcanic ash form impenetrable barriers, forcing constantly altered flight paths, while first-quarter aircraft deliveries dropped to a worrisome low.
This week’s gathering here in Geneva is the tenth staging of the annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). Yesterday’s edition of EBACE Convention News explained how the show quickly captured the industry’s imagination in its first four years. Today, AIN picks up the story in 2005 and runs through the highlights of shows from the second half of the last decade.
Today it’s hard to believe but in 2001 when the new European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) was launched not everyone was convinced it would be a success. Now, with the 10th annual event being held this week, EBACE has established itself as the undisputed gathering place for Europe’s business aviation community and indeed for the wider global industry. Here AIN reflects on
The UK’s Oxford Airport (Booth No. 1359) is achieving recession-busting traffic figures. For the period from April 2009 to March 2010 there was a 31.6-percent increase in the numbers of all visiting aircraft (including scheduled airline services) and a 12-percent increase in all business aviation movements.
Cessna Aircraft has brought 10 of the company’s current in-production fleet to the EBACE 2010 static display, including eight Citation jets (Mustang, CJ1+, CJ2+, CJ3, the newly certified CJ4, XLS+, Sovereign and X), a Grand Caravan single-engine turboprop and a piston-engine 400 Corvalis TT.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) flight testing to include turbine-powered airplanes with an mtow of less than 6,000 pounds. The requirement adds significant costs to certification of new airplanes and is a threshold that the Eclipse 500 VLJ was able to remain under when it was certified.
With accumulated flight time approaching 10,000 hours, some 350 pilots have been trained to fly Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet, more than 100 of which have been delivered, including around 30 to Europe. The Brazilian airframer’s backlog includes 600-plus Phenom 100s and the larger Phenom 300 light jets.
Embraer plans to appoint five more European authorized service centers (ASCs) for the new Phenom 100 very light jet. The region’s market is “very dynamic and changing quickly,” said Antonio Martini, the Brazilian airframer’s vice president for executive jet customer support and services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).