Gulfstream Aerospace parent General Dynamics today finalized its purchase of Zurich, Switzerland-based Jet Aviation for approximately $2.18 billion, significantly expanding the General Dynamics aftermarket service footprint around the world. The move not only increases General Dynamics’s maintenance and completions/refurb capability worldwide but also adds 15 FBOs to its portfolio, including five in the U.S. At Gulfstream’s Savannah, Ga.
Bombardier Global Express
Savannah Air Center (Booth No. 3997) has doubled its capacity since opening a new hangar last spring and has expanded its ability to accommodate additional large-cabin business aircraft.
Given the world economic slowdown and signs that flying by business
operators is down, how concerned are you about a falloff in sales?
Bombardier is obviously following the broader market situation very closely. So far, growth and need are so strong that we’ve had a record first half; the value proposition that business aviation brings has surpassed the economic drag.
If there are any tears being shed by those in the completion and refurbishment industry these days, they’re most likely tears of joy. And the reason is simple: a backlog for new business jets is stretching well into the next decade. And based on the latest delivery numbers from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the trend isn’t expected to change dramatically anytime soon.
Aziz Ojjeh, vice president and one of the owners of Luxembourg-based TAG Group Holdings, is planning to set a new record for an around-the-world flight over the poles in the company’s Bombardier Global Express (HB-JEX). Planned for November so that airfields in Antarctica are available for emergency use, the flight will depart from and return to Farnborough Airport in England, and make five refueling stops.
According to Jeff Zacharius, president of Savannah Air Center, the new 101,000-sq-ft completion hangar that opened in February is already at near capacity with a mix of 10 aircraft–Challenger 850s, Global 5000s and Global Express XRSes. All are part of green cabin completion work that now makes up a major portion of Savannah Air’s work.
For airplanes–some airplanes at least–30 years is just another birthday to precede many more, a time when the manufacturers will hopefully hear comments such as “better, not older,” or “significantly improved.” That is true of the Bombardier Challenger 605.
Marshall Aerospace, in response to what it described as “the changing nature of the corporate market,” has restructured its corporate aviation activity by “ceasing work on Gulfstream and Bombardier aircraft types to concentrate fully on Cessna Citation maintenance and support.” The UK-based facility had been a partner with Bombardier in doing green aircraft interior completion work on the Canadian company’s Global Express.
During the current economic climate, when many completion and refurbishment centers are struggling–some merely to survive–Savannah Air Center appears to be doing quite well. In fact, the Savannah, Ga. center is doing well enough to embark on construction of a new 12,500-sq-ft cabinetry shop and begin planning for an additional 70,000-sq-ft hangar.
With a fresh coat of paint and 60 hours of logged time under its wing since it started flying on March 7, the first of two flight-test versions of Bombardier’s new Global 5000 made its public debut at the week-long Paris Air Show last month.