If parts of northern Europe were overshadowed yesterday by large numbers of aircraft flying east, it was not the much-vaunted arrival of very-light jets but merely private and chartered business-jets flying well-heeled soccer enthusiasts to Moscow for the European Champions League soccer final.
Some would have us believe that for business aviation the age of “big is beautiful” has arrived. The NetJets fractional-ownership program now dwarfs many airlines, and major U.S. carrier United Airlines has declared its intent to grab a potentially big slice of the fractional pie.
Bombardier’s Skyjet International executive aircraft charter program will be in safe hands with proposed new Swiss owner VistaJet, according to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer. Bob Horner, Bombardier’s senior v-p for sales, told EBACE Convention News that the proposed sale would provide a solid base for VistaJet and for operators of the aircraft involved.
Having revealed plans for fleet expansion and a southeast Asia office at EBACE yesterday, local operator VistaJet completed the picture today with an announced firm order for 35 Bombardier business jets. In a purchase plan potentially worth a claimed $1.2 billion, the Swiss company is to buy 11 Challengers 605s, 13 Learjet 60XRs and 11 Learjet 85s.
For the first time Europe has its own simulator capacity for the Global Express, now that CAE and Bombardier have begun offering pilot and technical training on the big business jets at CAE’s Burgess Hill facility in the UK. The program marks the first operational milestone of the 20-year Authorized Training Provider agreement signed by CAE and Bombardier last June.
Skylliance, the charter jet program of Jet Aviation, announced here that it will add JetNetherlands and Elite Jets of Dubai, effective June 1. Together with two new Jet Aviation managed aircraft, a Falcon 900EX and Gulfstream 550, the Skylliance fleet now totals 30 aircraft available for charter services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Bombardier Aerospace marked EBACE eve with its second annual day-long European Safety Standdown, and made it clear that the program in Europe will continue.
The number of deliveries of new business aircraft is expected to increase substantially in the next 10 years, but this will be accompanied by a reduction in orders, especially in the short term, according to new Bombardier Aerospace statistics.
Bombardier’s new Flexjet Asia executive charter program began operations on February 22 in a bid to make business aviation more readily available to visiting Westerners and the continent’s indigenous business community.
Among all the factors that influence a buyer’s decision to purchase one business jet over another, brand loyalty is well recognized as one of the strongest. Citation owners, looking to replace or add another steed to their stables, usually buy another Citation. Falcon owners, for the most part, buy another Falcon. And Gulfstream owners generally buy Gulfstreams.