Accompanied by stage smoke and theme music from the Superman movie, Pilatus Aircraft unveiled its long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24, today at EBACE. “The PC-24 is unique. It’s the only aircraft combining the versatility of a turboprop with the cabin size of a midsize jet and the field performance of a light jet,” said company chairman Oscar Schwenk.
AINalerts » May 21, 2013
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has agreed to suspend possible tax assessments against aircraft management companies now undergoing federal excise tax (FET) audits.
Few punches were pulled as speakers took on the challenges facing business aviation in Europe at today’s EBACE opening session, with government policies and outdated infrastructure the primary targets.
EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba criticized the European airspace system. “We have reached the limits of the air transport system, conceived 70 years ago, when they couldn’t see the diversity and volume of traffic,” he said. “We’re seeing cracks in the system.”
GE Honda Aero Engines has announced that its 2,095-pound-thrust HF120 turbofan intended initially for the HondaJet is nearing completion of certification tests and is on track for delivery of the first entry into service engines before year-end. “We now have a line-of-sight for certification and we are gaining experience on the fleet,” said GE Honda Aero president Terry Sharp.
Eurocopter revealed a mockup of the executive version of its EC175 medium-twin helicopter today at EBACE and is also offering an even more luxurious VIP version. Prices for the new variants are around €17 million ($22 million) and vary with options. The VIP version is some €500,000 ($650,000) more expensive than the executive option.
Signature Flight Support will open a new facility at Changi International Airport in Singapore this summer, the BBA Aviation subsidiary announced today at EBACE. Its offices there will be located at the JetQuay CIP Terminal, which has lounge facilities. Signature will provide “supervisory services” for ground handling and fuel coordination at the Changi location, which will be Signature’s second facility in Asia after the Hong Kong Business Aviation Center at Chek Lap Kok/Hong Kong International Airport.
NetJets Europe plans to operate Embraer Phenom 300s by early 2014, the two companies announced today at EBACE. Holding a firm order for 50 of the specially outfitted “Signature Series” light jets, NetJets took its first delivery on May 1 for its U.S. operations.
VistaJet is enrolling 50 Bombardier Global 5000s and 6000s in Jet Support Services Inc.’s (JSSI) Platinum engine and APU hourly-cost maintenance program. Under the more than $205 million agreement JSSI will support VistaJets’ Rolls-Royce BR710A2-20 engines and Honeywell RE220 APUs on its Bombardier Globals. The Platinum program covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, rental engines, supplemental lift, engine removal and replacement and shipping. Besides driving down maintenance costs, the program also provides budget stability, JSSI said.
XJet, which has been operating an FBO at Denver Centennial Airport since 2007, is opening a second base at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport. Last week, XJet founder and CEO Josh Stewart signed a 10-year lease agreement to establish an exclusive club and FBO service at the airport, which expects to see a doubling of private jet movements within the next five years. XJet has also committed to ultimately moving its headquarters to the UAE as it grows the company’s footprint in the Middle East.
Gulfstream’s G280 sales demonstrator has been blazing trails around the world as it goes out scouting for business. Along the way it has notched up more than 20 city-pair speed records. Entering service in December last year, the G280 demonstrator has now racked up more than 132,000 nm in more than 400 flight hours. To date, it has visited 109 cities in 36 countries, Gulfstream said.