“Up slightly.” That’s the hopeful phrase often on the lips of those in business aviation these days when describing the health of the industry. Up slightly–ever so slightly in some cases–and in too many cases, not at all.
Economy of the United States
The Hiller Group is rebranding FBOs in 12 central states as Phillips 66 fuel dealers under a new agreement with Conoco-Phillips. Hiller was distributing Chevron fuel in that region, but Chevron Global Aviation and Hiller “mutually agreed to discontinue Chevron’s supply in this region,” according to Chevron.
Republic Airlines injected another $2.5 million into its partnership with Hawaii’s Mokulele Airlines on May 1 and this month plans to send a fourth Embraer E170 to the islands as it stages a more serious effort to raise its profile in the market. This past March Republic demoted former Mokulele CEO Bill Boyer to head of sales and marketing and installed its own vice president for strategic alliances, Scott Durgin, as interim CEO.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) has so far shed about 40 percent of the 4,500 jobs it plans to cut this year, BCA president and CEO Scott Carson told attendees of the company’s annual investors’ conference on May 21.
On Thursday, the board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) authorized a $500 million direct-loan facility to provide the funds to assist Textron in financing exports from subsidiaries Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter. The available capital will enable Textron to continue to provide financing to international customers that take delivery of new Cessna and Bell aircraft by December next year.
Jet Support Services (JSSI) has named Lou Seno its new president. He has three decades of aircraft financing experience and previously was a senior manager at Boeing Capital’s and GE Capital Solutions’ business aviation units.
Indices used by airframe manufacturers to adjust the prices of airplanes on order have proved unhelpful lately to the OEMs, as the global recession suppresses commodity and retail prices along with wages. In Boeing’s case, margins dropped 7 points, to 4.9 percent in the first quarter, largely due to the unfavorable movement within the economic indices it uses to set increases in prices for its airplanes, according to Boeing CFO James Bell.
Delta Air Lines will ground at least 30 Delta Connection Bombardier CRJs this year as it moves to execute “synergies” associated with its merger with Northwest Airlines.
Revenues at Berkshire Hathaway’s services group–which includes fractional provider NetJets and flight-training provider FlightSafety International–were $8.435 billion last year, an increase of $643 million over 2007. While FlightSafety helped contribute to increased earnings in the division, lower earnings at NetJets offset those increases.
Demonstrating a degree of public humility many feel has been all too absent among the bankers collectively responsible for the global financial crisis, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Scott Carson offered no further excuses for the delays that have plagued the 787 and 747-8 this month during the J.P. Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference in New York. “The stumbles we have made have been embarrassing for us,” Carson said.