Jet Aviation Basel, one of Europe’s largest completion facilities, has to live with the long lead times unavoidable in its business, but they can be a blessing in recessionary times. The company has a several-year backlog for large airline-sized aircraft and a little less for purpose-built business jets, which should allow it to bridge a possible reduction in new orders.
Is the bizliner immune to the current economic and financial crisis, or have slumping demand and order cancellations simply not yet caught up with that segment of the industry? Some among the narrow- and wide-body manufacturers say that executive segment of the industry remains relatively healthy and take a somewhat optimistic stance.
DAE Capital, the aircraft leasing and financial business arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), yesterday signed an operating lease agreement with Garuda Indonesia covering eight Boeing 737-800s. The signing ceremony, attended by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jakarta during the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).
Ameco Beijing held a grand completion ceremony on March 18 last year for its A380 hangar, the biggest aircraft maintenance building in Asia.
BaySys International won’t say if it’s lobbying to be the first with an interiors contract for an executive version of the Airbus A380, but the Wallops Island,
Va.-based independent completion and refurbishment center is planning a hangar large enough to accommodate the giant.
Should anybody harbor any doubts, two recent events confirmed that the mid-decade airline-order boom has ended: Airbus announced A320 production cutbacks and Ryanair has come looking for bargain-basement prices for single-aisle airplanes. Airbus now plans to cut single-aisle production from 36 to 34 a month starting in October and possibly to a lower rate later.
Having badly burned its fingers with production delays on the A380 program, Airbus is determined not to fall into the fire again with its next large airliner program, the A350XWB. At a January 14 groundbreaking ceremony for the new widebody’s assembly line in Toulouse, France, Airbus COO Fabrice Brégier insisted that the company will achieve its goal of delivering the first airplane in mid-2013.
Boeing today reported that it took orders for 662 commercial airplanes last year, raising its backlog of unfilled commercial deliveries to more than 3,700. The release of the figures officially signaled the end of a three-year boom during which it inked orders for more than 1,000 airplanes each year from 2005 to 2007, when it registered a record tally of 1,413.
GKN Aerospace assumed full ownership of the former Airbus wing component and assemblies factory at Filton, UK, on Monday. The UK group has acquired the facility from Airbus for £136 million ($199 million).
BAA Jet Management last month took delivery of its first managed Airbus, an A318 Elite, making the Hong Kong-based company the first in Asia to operate the executive version of the narrowbody airliner. The 18-passenger Elite is also the first A318 to be registered in the People’s Republic of China and is based in Shenzhen, where it is available for charter.