“A few years ago NetJets was my number-one worry–its costs were far out of line with revenues, and cash was hemorrhaging,” Warren Buffett, chairman of NetJets and FlightSafety International parent company Berkshire Hathaway, wrote in his latest annual letter to shareholders, released on Saturday. “These problems are now behind us,” with NetJets delivering $227 million in pre-tax earnings last year, up $20 million from 2010.
AINalerts » February 28, 2012
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.
Bipartisan members of the House of Representatives are circulating a letter to President Obama “expressing our strong opposition” to the proposed $100-per-flight fee on commercial and general aviation operators of turbine aircraft contained in his 2013 budget proposal. The letter was signed by the leaders of the House aviation subcommittee and the chairmen of the General Aviation Caucus, as well as more than 60 other members of Congress.
With the House of Representatives scheduled to vote this week on H.R.7, a Federal Highway Administration reauthorization bill, NATA is lobbying to get a provision included in the bill that would repeal the “onerous fuel fraud tax.” The fuel fraud provision, which was included in a 2005 FHA bill, changed the collection of taxes for noncommercial aviation jet fuel and required the funds to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
The FAA issued a proposed rule yesterday that would require first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines to hold an ATP certificate, thereby requiring new-hires to have at least 1,500 hours TT. Under the proposal, first officers would also need an aircraft type rating.
Bob Munton, founder and former owner of the biennial Helitech show, thinks the rotorcraft industry still needs another event. Planned for September 26 to 27 in Silverstone, England, The Helicopter Show already has commitments from the UK distributor of Robinson Helicopter, Marenco SwissHelicopter, Helicopters Guimbal of France and Quest Helicopters of the UAE.
Dassault Aviation released consolidated financial results for 2011 today, reporting €3.3 billion ($4.4 billion) in overall revenues for both its military and civil segments. This was 21 percent below revenues in 2010. While it didn’t release separate civil and military revenues, data released last week by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association shows that Dassault delivered 63 Falcon business jets worth $2.7 billion last year, down from 95 Falcons worth $3.9 billion in 2010. This indicates that civil aircraft revenues dropped by some 30 percent last year.
Business aircraft sales, acquisitions, trading and brokerage services firm Jetcraft opened a new office in Hong Kong today under the Jetcraft Asia banner. This establishes a permanent base in Asia for the company, which has been active in the region despite not having a “formal presence” there. Jetcraft co-owner and board member Jahid Fazal-Karim predicts a growing market for pre-owned business aircraft in Asia, particularly in China, within the next five years.
Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) Administrator Li Jiaxiang will be a featured speaker at the opening session at ABACE, which will be held late next month in Shanghai. CAAC Deputy Administrator Xia Xinghua will accompany Li to the conference. The two Chinese officials will be joined at the session by U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari. “To have these important officials playing leadership roles at the conference clearly demonstrates their support for business aviation,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Startup manufacturer Marenco Swisshelicopter said it booked orders for 23 SKYe SH09 helicopters at Heli-Expo 2012, which was held earlier this month in Dallas. This brings the Swiss company’s backlog to 34 helicopters. The first SH09 prototype is currently being assembled near Zurich, Switzerland, and the company aims to fly it by year-end. Certification is slated for 2014, with deliveries of the eight-place, $3 million SH09 slated to start in 2015.
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