Russian investment firm Industrial Investors late last month announced it is seeking to sell all or a portion of AAI Acquisitions, the company formed to buy the assets of bankrupt very light jet developer Adam Aircraft Industries last April.
Very light jet
Farnborough, UK-based air-taxi service Blink recently took delivery of three more Cessna Citation Mustangs and now has four of the very light jets in service and another 26 on order, with five more due to arrive by October. Blink’s contract with Cessna calls for a total of 45 Mustangs, which includes firm orders for 30 and options on 15.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and local leaders joined Embraer executives this morning to break ground on the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s $50 million Phenom 100/300 assembly and completions facility at Melbourne International Airport. “Today’s groundbreaking celebrates a milestone for Embraer by launching its first U.S. assembly plant devoted to the executive jet business,” noted Embraer president and CEO Frederico Curado.
The market for very light jets (VLJs) is set to take a significant dip as recession sweeps across Western economies, according to PMI Media. The firm’s latest study–The Very Light Jet Market 2008-17: The impact of the global financial crisis–predicts that 4,610 VLJs worth $9.54 billion will be delivered over this 10-year period.
The first Embraer Phenom 100 customers have received their type ratings in the very light jet after completing training with Embraer CAE Training Services at Alliance Airport, in Fort Worth, Texas. James Frost, a real estate and mineral executive, was the first Phenom 100 customer authorized to fly the aircraft, and his wife, Elizabeth, became the first woman to obtain a Phenom 100 type rating.
Eclipse Aviation founder and former CEO Vern Raburn spoke candidly at last month’s Aviation Week VLJ forum, held November 11 and 12 in West Palm Beach, Fla., about the aviation industry, his departure from Eclipse and his future plans. The following is a transcript of his statements, with minimal editing.
Just days after Eclipse Aviation achieved two key milestones–EASA and Avio NG 1.5 certification–the pioneering VLJ manufacturer this morning filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. At the same time, Eclipse Aviation entered into an agreement to sell “substantially all of its assets” to an affiliate of Etirc Aviation of Luxembourg.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation today received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. The approval is for private flights only, the EASA clarified, and Eclipse expects to receive the EU-OPS 1 certification for commercial operations next year. According to the EASA, the certificate is valid for VFR and IFR operations, including RVSM and flight into known icing.
Cessna Aircraft has bolstered its fast-growing presence in the Middle East by naming long-time sales representative Wallan Aviation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as an authorized service center for 500-series Citation business jets.
Investment research by UBS published this month shows a marked increase in both used business aircraft available for sale and in delivery positions for sale. The investment bank’s conclusion is this: “We believe the deterioration…and decline in flight activity presage what we think will be a significant slowing in new order activity.