Aircraft charter provider VistaJet plans to step up its expansion of operations across Russia, Asia, Africa and South America, the company revealed in a presentation to financial analysts in London today. By 2015, the Switzerland-based group also intends to double the size of its fleet to more than 60 jets, it said. VistaJet is currently in talks with prospective partners in China and expects to have an established operation there by year-end.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is now emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen some fall-out from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
After a period that has seen rapid growth of its fleet in the Middle East, Bombardier Aerospace is emphasizing at the Dubai Air Show this week the support that its Business Aircraft division is providing for local owners and operators of Global, Challenger and Learjet aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace is unveiling a new flight-deck demonstrator at its Dubai Air Show pavilion on Sunday. Located near its chalet, adjacent to the Airport Expo’s East Hall, the interactive dome pavilion also houses the Canadian aircraft manufacturer’s most recent CSeries cabin demonstrator.
The demands of four new jet aircraft development programs, coupled with anemic sales of its Learjet business jet brand and regional jets, fueled a cash burn pyre that persuaded analysts to issue a fresh round of stock downgrades for Bombardier in September. In the last quarter, the OEM drew down $1 billion of cash reserves against $211 of net income, double for the same period a year ago. Its market capitalization is $7 billion and the cash burn rate set off caution lights for stock analysts. The news is not cataclysmic; most now rate the company as “market perform,” but from early July through the end of September, Bombardier stock lost 43 percent of its value.
National Jets, which is based at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, has added a Learjet 45XR to its fleet. The family-owned and -operated business, which dates from the 1940s, now offers executive charter, aircraft management and the National Jets Air Center, an FBO.
The conclusion of delegates at the Business Aviation Europe event at Biggin Hill Airport near London last month (September 14-15) seemed to be that things can only get better. But there was little hard evidence that this sentiment will be enough to push back against strong economic tides that threaten to pull the industry under once more.
Flexjet, Bombardier’s Texas-based fractional ownership operation, launched a Learjet 85 program. President Fred Reid told AIN that his company will take seven aircraft initially, and eventually “a couple of dozen,” with deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013. He noted that Flexjet’s Learjet 85 prices will be 5 percent below those of the Cessna Sovereign in fractional service.
Flexjet, Bombardier’s Texas-based fractional ownership program, launched a Learjet 85 program yesterday. In an interview with AIN today, Flexjet president Fred Reid said the company will take seven aircraft initially, and eventually “a couple of dozen,” with deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter of 2013. He noted that Flexjet’s Learjet 85 prices will be 5 percent below those of the Cessna Sovereign in fractional service.
The northern hemisphere’s busy summer period for private charter flights has yet to take off, but demand levels are already ahead of 2010 figures, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. As of yesterday, the company’s forward-looking demand index stood at 146.47, more than four points down from a month earlier, but almost four points up on where it had stood exactly 12 months ago.