World Fuel Services announced today at EBACE that Harrods Aviation, located at Stansted and Luton airports, is joining its Air Elite FBO network, becoming the first facility in the UK to do so. The deal brings the total number of FBOs in the network, established by World Fuel in late 2011, to 29 worldwide. Both of Harrods’ FBOs provide convenient access to London.
The 13th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) opens at the Palexpo center in Geneva next Tuesday. Intelligence gathering ahead of this year’s three-day show suggests that as many as four new jet models could be launched.
Inventories of pre-owned business jets and turboprops continued to edge downward in March, according to the latest figures from business aviation market information firm JetNet. While turboprops are a seller’s market, for business jets “it’s still a buyer’s market, with ample inventory at near-low average asking prices,” the company said.
Beechcraft, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection and is now focused on its piston and turboprop products, expects to sell its mothballed jet division in the coming months. According to CEO Bill Boisture, the company has already completed disposition of its remaining inventory of approximately 20 new and pre-owned Hawker 4000 and Premier IA jets, a move he said went “better than planned,” though he declined to offer details about the revenue derived from their sale.
Business aircraft flying in Europe contracted by 3.6 percent year-over-year in the March and April period, according to recent data from business aviation information provider WingX Advance, based in Hamburg, Germany. “Activity [in Europe] remains in the trough it entered in the fourth quarter of 2012, with no recovery in sight,” the company said.
The FAA approved an automated rig approach for offshore operators on the Sikorsky S-92, offering new functionality for the medium-twin helicopter. The system is said to “reduce cockpit workload by 60 percent” and allow safer operations under challenging weather and operating conditions. Sikorsky has been developing the “rig approach” system since 2007 in cooperation with operator PHI.
The FAA presented Embraer Executive Jets with a production certificate to assemble the Phenom 300 at its Melbourne, Fla. facility yesterday. Embraer has delivered three U.S.-assembled Phenom 300s since the first one came off the line in March. The Phenom 300s are assembled on the same production line as Phenom 100s, which have been coming off the line at the Florida plant since December 2011. Embraer’s light jets are now being assembled in Florida at a rate of three aircraft per month, less than half of the full capacity of eight a month.
A Gulfstream G650 set a city-pair speed record last month on a flight between Shanghai and Newark, N.J., flying the 6,855-nm route in 13 hours and 32 minutes, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The jet took off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on April 18 carrying five passengers and four crewmembers. ATC restrictions kept the G650 below FL310 for the first hour before it was cleared to climb to its normal cruising altitude of FL410 to FL510.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenue at Eurocopter fell by 13 percent, to €1.04 billion ($1.35 billion), with deliveries of 58 helicopters during the three-month period. Parent company EADS attributed the downward performance to the ongoing “technical problems with the Super Puma/EC225 fleet.” Affected have been both deliveries and the service revenue generated by helicopter operations. In the first three months, Eurocopter booked net orders for 51 helicopters, the company said.
Rockwell Collins has surpassed 250 deliveries of its Venue cabin management and entertainment system for business aircraft. Unveiled in 2007, Venue is an open-architecture design that “accommodates future technologies,” such as the company’s new Skybox solution that allows content to be shared and viewed on Apple devices inside the cabin. According to Collins, Venue can easily be scaled for business aircraft ranging from King Airs to bizliners.