Turboprop-single business aircraft manufacturers Pilatus and Daher-Socata seem to be having trouble defining time frames for producing larger, twin-engine airplanes–respectively the PC-24 and NTX–both companies told AIN this week at EBACE.
AINalerts » May 16, 2012
Participation in the next-generation European airspace system will require business aircraft operators to invest in new equipment–to the tune of some $3.45 billion between now and 2024–as the concept of “first-come, first-served” is gradually retired, Patrick Ky, executive director of the Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) Joint Undertaking, told EBACE attendees yesterday.
Some statistics indicate as much as 35 percent of flights in Europe are illegal charter flights–although EBAA puts this number at about 12 percent–but “the truth is nobody knows,” Aoife O’Sullivan, partner at law firm Gates and Partners, said yesterday at EBACE during a panel discussion about the problem.
Daher-Socata exhibited its TBM 850 Elite, the latest version of its single-turboprop business/utility aircraft, at EBACE this week in Geneva. Its main feature is the “quick-change” capability from the conventional six-seat arrangement to a configuration with four forward-facing seats, with the rest of the volume being made available for more baggage.
European charter operators are the least efficient in the world due to a higher rate of empty-leg flights, Avinode managing director Oliver King said this week at EBACE. On average, the online charter broker calculates that approximately one out of every three flights (33 percent) conducted by European operators is an empty leg, versus a global average of 29 percent.
Charter operators in Russia/CIS are the most efficient, with only a 25-percent empty-leg rate, followed closely by the U.S. and Canada at 27 percent. Middle East operators have a 31-percent empty-leg rate.
Hawker Beechcraft inked an order for six Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops from Hawker Pacific yesterday at EBACE. The deal with Hawker Pacific, a business aircraft sales and support firm in the Asia Pacific region, will support Hawker Beechcraft’s growing commercial and special missions operations across Australia and Southeast Asia. The six deliveries will be phased over the next three years, with the first delivery taking place later this year, three deliveries in 2013 and the final two aircraft being delivered in 2014.
Eurocontrol director general David McMillan and International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) director general Don Spruston received 2012 European Business Aviation Awards from EBAA and NBAA on Monday at EBACE.
Galmena, a joint venture formed between Canada’s Gal Aviation and Bahrain-based Mena Aerospace Enterprises, signed a new service agreement with global business aircraft organization ExecuJet Middle East this week at EBACE. Under the agreement, the two companies are joining forces to deliver an all-inclusive cabin interiors service to major OEMs’ aircraft platforms, and their existing client bases.
Bell Helicopter announced at EBACE that it completed deliveries of six of its newest helicopters in Europe over the past month. Three Bell 407GXs, the first of its kind in Europe, were delivered in Belgium, Denmark and, most recently, Iceland. Bell also shipped three Bell 429s in Russia and Ukraine. Bell showcased a Bell 429 medium twin outfitted for corporate missions at the European show. The helicopter on display is midway through a European demo tour, with upcoming stops in Belgium, Czech Republic the UK and Serbia.
UK-based ConnectJets this week at EBACE announced a loyalty program for jet-card customers who expect to fly a total of 25 hours or more in a year. Jet Card Europe starts at $6,006 per hour for very light jets, and ranges up to $7,458 for light jets and $9,900 for midsize jets. The card comes with several benefits, including guaranteed availability, no peak-day restrictions, no positioning costs, no monthly management fees, no extra fuel or airport surcharges and discounts on same-day return trips.