Embraer is looking back at a relatively successful 2009. The Brazilian manufacturer delivered a total of 244 airplanes, two more than its goal for the year, and 115 of them were business jets, 79 more than were delivered in 2008.
Very light jet
Eclipse 500 air-taxi operator Linear Air and High Performance Aircraft Training (HPAT) yesterday announced that they have partnered to provide Eclipse 500 pilot training under Linear Air’s FAA-approved Eclipse training program. Linear Air will continue to offer pilot training at its facility at Hanscom Airport in Bedford, Mass., either in an owner/operator’s airplane or in one of Linear Air’s.
The UK’s Oxford Airport has been granted customs-designated status, allowing it to be used as a point of entry for operators importing aircraft into the European Union. The new designation was first used for the recent delivery of a second Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet to new air taxi firm FlairJet, which is based at the airport.
Research firm Frost & Sullivan said recently that the Middle East is one of the few world regions where the business jet market has registered growth, adding that the air-taxi segment is expected to be a major driver for this market. According to the company’s data, the Middle East logged 93,000 business jet movements in 2008, and that number was projected to reach 103,000 last year.
JPMorgan Global Equity Research yesterday issued its December Business Jet Monthly report, which notes that November’s used business jet inventory saw a modest decline, marking the fourth consecutive month of shrinkage in the number of active aircraft available for sale. The midsize class saw the biggest inventory decrease, while the number of available light jets remained relatively unchanged from the previous month.
Europe’s JetBird has once again delayed the launch of its air-taxi network, this time on the grounds that it needs to raise fresh capital to support the new operation using Embraer Phenom 100 very light jets. It had been due to start flights from a base in Cologne, Germany, in September and said that initial delivery delays were caused by production hold-ups at Embraer and associated capacity shortages in the pilot training process.
The third-quarter airplane shipment numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) starkly demonstrate the effect the economic downturn has had on the OEMs so far this year, following last year’s record deliveries.
Air Partner is expanding its 25-hour prepaid JetCard by adding two new aircraft categories–very light jet and super-midsize–within its European service area. The categories are also included in the company’s new 10-hour Winter JetCard, which is aimed primarily at the ski market. Air Partner deems a VLJ ideal for short flights from the UK to Dublin, Dusseldorf and Geneva, among others.
The Middle East could lead the troubled business aviation industry out of its lingering downturn. This was one of the headline projections from the latest edition of Honeywell Aerospace’s (Stand A470) annual market forecast published last month at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in the U.S.
The marketing hype surrounding very light jets (VLJs) has “largely subsided,” according to Brian Foley, president of business aviation consulting firm Brian Foley Associates, and the VLJ “has yet to prove that it’s anything more than a subcompact business jet.