Hawker Beechcraft yesterday secured more time to solve its debt problems through a restructuring plan, with lenders granting a 90-day forbearance agreement. The move staves off the immediate threat of a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection–a move that has been widely expected by industry analysts. The U.S. manufacturer announced it had “reached an agreement with certain lenders that will provide the company with approximately $120 million of additional liquidity.”
Last month’s Singapore Airshow confirmed a trend that has been brewing for some time: that Indonesia is emerging as a business aviation hotspot in the Asia Pacific region. Last year the country’s economy grew at its fastest speed since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, with gross domestic product expanding by 6.5 percent.
ABACE show host Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center (SHPBASC) has been approved by China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) to perform maintenance on Bombardier’s Global 5000 and ultra-long-range Global Express/XRS series of business jets. Shanghai Hawker Pacific is the first approved Part 145 facility in China.
FlightSafety International has promoted John Brasfield to manager of the Cessna Aircraft Maintenance Learning Center in Wichita. Brasfield has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility since joining FlightSafety in 1999 at its Hawker Beechcraft Learning Center in Wichita. He joined the company as an instructor, served as program manager for training on the Beechjet, Hawker 800XP and Hawker Horizon and then as director of programs. He most recently served as assistant manager of the Wichita Cessna Learning Center.
“The business aviation market is just starting to recover,” Teal Group vice president for aerospace analysis Richard Aboulafia said this morning during an aerospace and defense outlook teleconference hosted by Desjardins Capital Markets. “Companies are making record profits and are literally stuffing about 7 percent of this cash under their mattresses,” meaning many have available capital that could be readily deployed to purchase business jets. He is also encouraged by the declining inventories of pre-owned business aircraft.
“We expect a bounce in 2012, though we believe the [business jet] recovery will start slowly and we forecast delivery growth of 8 percent,” JPMorgan Investment Research said in its latest monthly business jet market report, released today. However, evidence of a recovery on the low end is still “not compelling,” it noted.
Hawker Beechcraft announced yesterday that it “is implementing a furlough of its supply chain and final-assembly Premier IA and Hawker 4000 line in Wichita to synchronize its production line with availability of composite material from a key supplier.” While Hawker Beechcraft would not confirm the identity of this supplier, industry sources told AIN that the problem stems from epoxy resin supplier Cytec Engineering. At press time, Cytec had not responded to AIN’s inquiries seeking comment.
On February 7, Hawker Beechcraft Inc. announced it had appointed Robert S. “Steve” Miller, 70, CEO and that former Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture “will remain as chairman of its operating subsidiary, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.” Miller said he plans to remain chairman of American International Group and a director at Symantec, although he left his job as chairman of MidOcean Partners.
Following its recent Civil Aviation Administration of China approval as a Part 145 maintenance organization, Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC) has completed its first (and China’s first by an authorized service center and independent MRO) scheduled maintenance inspection on a Chinese-registered corporate aircraft. The MRO completed the work on an unspecified Chinese-owned and -operated midsize business jet last month.
In a surprise move, the U.S. Air Force revealed today that it will take “corrective action” on the light air support (LAS) aircraft contract. The Air Force had earlier announced the contract would be awarded to Sierra Nevada, a U.S. company that partnered with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to offer the E-314 Super Tucano.