Very light jet. Super-midsize. Ultra-long-range. These are just some of the names that manufacturers, analysts and aviation journalists use to try to pigeonhole business jets into an increasing number of market niches. But with so much fragmentation in the field and a blurring of traditional lines, such attempts at classification are becoming harder than ever.
Last month, when rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs released a video on YouTube saying he was swearing off his jet because of the high cost of fuel, many non-fliers saw his complaint as another bit of over-the-top silliness from a world full of self-indulgent vanity. After all, the average person contending with high automotive gas prices could hardly feel sympathy for a rapper who can’t fly in a private jet.
The Cutter Aviation (Booth No. 1225) FBO chain will be integrating its maintenance, avionics, warranty service and support into a single business unit. The company’s goal is to “create an enhanced and more consistent customer experience at all Cutter service facilities, including its Hawker Beechcraft, Piper and Socata authorized service centers,” said company president Will Cutter.
How concerned are you, in light of the turmoil on Wall Street, that what started with a housing bubble could snowball and become a business jet bubble?Obviously we’re concerned, and we’re carefully monitoring the situation. Historically, when the aircraft industry has gone into a downturn there has always been something in the world that caused it. Before this it was 9/11 and the tech bubble.
The Cutter Aviation FBO chain will be integrating its maintenance, avionics, warranty service and support into a single business unit. The company’s goal is to “create an enhanced and more consistent customer experience at all Cutter service facilities, including its Hawker Beechcraft, Piper and Socata authorized service centers,” said Cutter president Will Cutter.
Unionized aircraft assembly workers returned to work September 2 at Hawker Beechcraft plants in Wichita and Salina, Kan., after a four-week strike. Seventy-seven percent of the 5,200 workers voted for a contract offer that increased wages, maintained previous health-care benefits and raised pension contributions.
Universal Avionics has landed a deal with Hawker Beechcraft to provide flat-panel glass display and flight management system upgrades in the Hawker 700B. The retrofit package will replace existing flight and engine analog instruments with Universal’s UNS-1Fw FMS units, EFI-890R flat-panel displays and application server units (ASU) linked to UCDT-III electronic-flight-bag displays.
Historically the individual properties of the 80-year-old Cutter Aviation FBO chain have operated semi-autonomously under the guidance of local general managers, but with an increasing demand for maintenance the company is changing the way it does business.
Hawker Beechcraft last month reported increased orders, improved sales and higher earnings during the second quarter versus the same period last year. Net bookings for the quarter totaled $1.7 billion, resulting in a new record backlog of $7.4 billion, and second-quarter revenues increased by $327.6 million year-over-year to $1.02 billion.
Jet Works Air Center has started building a 43,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar at its 66,000-sq-ft facility in Denton, Texas. Most of the new hangar will be used for maintenance, inspections and avionics installations. The company services Hawker Beechcraft 400/400As, Cessna Citations and Learjets, among others. The new hangar will also accommodate long-range business jets, including the Bombardier Global Express and large-cabin Gulfstreams.