Airbus- and Boeing-approved completion center Aeria Luxury Interiors of San Antonio, a subsidiary of ST Aerospace, highlighted its recent cabin refurbishment of a Boeing 767-200, and plans for its first BBJ green cabin completion. The BBJ is scheduled to arrive at Aeria from Boeing this December. Its interior will incorporate a humidification and zonal drying system to enhance passenger comfort, said Ron Soret, v-p and general manager for completions. Delivery to the customer is expected in October next year.
Economy of the United States
Mesa Air Group closed its Hawaii-based go! operation on April 1 following some eight years of financial struggles. According to Mesa, the decision stemmed from a desire to concentrate its resources on its now growing mainland operations and minimize its exposure to “at risk” flying. Before the cessation of Hawaiian operations, capacity purchase code-share agreements accounted for 98 percent of the group’s business.
Characterizing the Boeing 777X program as “stable” and the 787-9 as “lighter than projected,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of airplane development Scott Fancher issued an upbeat assessment of virtually all he surveys during press briefings at the company’s Everett, Washington, facilities on Tuesday.
First-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, were up $77 million, to $785 million, thanks to the mid-March acquisition of Beechcraft, higher jet deliveries and higher aftermarket sales but offset by fewer pre-owned sales and falling revenue at CitationAir. The division recorded a profit of $14 million in the quarter versus a loss of $8 million a year ago, helped by firmer pricing and higher jet volumes.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has received STC approval for Boeing 737 (-300 through -900ER) Wi-Fi solutions for the Satcom Direct Router (SDR). The dual-band unit can manage multiple systems such as Swift64, SwiftBroadband, Ku band, Ka band and X band both airborne and on the ground. The SDR also has a 3G cellular service feature for use on the ground. The system can be integrated with existing platforms and systems manufactured by Cobham, Thrane & Thrane, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
For the second time in less than a month, a major Internet-related company has acquired a firm developing a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which could serve as a node to provide Internet connectivity from the stratosphere.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since 2009, was excluded from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Bell Helicopter revealed at the end of March that it has sold three Bell 505 Jet Ranger Xs to China Star Aero Investment. The sale was made at Heli-Expo, held in Anaheim, California, in February, but not announced at the time. The agreement includes an option to purchase an additional seven aircraft.
Bell said that China Star Aero will use the new helicopter as part of the so-called “Beautiful China” tourism campaign. This will involve an aerial sightseeing initiative, which is supported by China’s central government.
Eclipse Aerospace of Albuquerque, N.M., delivered its sixth Eclipse 550 light twinjet this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Purchased by an undisclosed customer in Chicago, the aircraft is on display throughout the show, which closes on Sunday evening. The Eclipse 550 was certified on February 28 and the first copy was delivered on March 12. “We think we can produce, sell and deliver 16 to 20 [550s] this year, and we’d like to do more than that in the future,” said Eclipse CEO Mason Holland.
Part parent company ARC Aerospace Industries recently acquired a majority interest in Maxair Ventures of Tucson, Ariz. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Maxair Ventures will be providing Part with logistical support, along with the remarketing of ARC’s surplus parts inventories. Currently ARC owns parts inventories from Boeing 767s, 757s, 747s and 737s already torn down. This month ARC purchased a Boeing 737-400 and a 767-200 for teardown and parts distribution.