According to ARG/US TRAQPak data, business aircraft flight activity increased 28.55 percent in February over the previous month, possibly indicating early signs of recovery. ARG/US’s data covers all turbine business aircraft on IFR flight plans in the U.S., including international flights departing from or arriving in the U.S.
Aviation International News » April 2009
UBS Market Research’s latest snapshot of the business jet market shows continued incremental deterioration in market conditions in February, although at a slower pace than in the November-to-January time frame. The depressed market conditions are being caused by “way too much” pre-owned inventory for sale, falling pricing and tight financing, the firm said.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options on March 18 announced a corporate restructuring “to deal with the unprecedented economic forces driving the global economy.” The restructuring will result in a furlough of about 105 employees at all levels of the company, including pilots, operations personnel and management.
Business aviation investor consultant Brian Foley Associates is seeing signs that the pre-owned business jet market could bottom out as early as this summer. “That’s not to say there’ll be an immediate decrease, just that [pre-owned inventory] won’t get much higher,” noted company president Brian Foley.
The six individuals who were arrested and charged earlier this year in connection with the Platinum Jet Management Challenger 600 crash at Teterboro Airport in February 2005– Andrew Budhan, Michael Brassington, Paul Brassington, Brien McKenzie, Joseph Singh and Francis Vieira–last month entered pleas of not guilty and posted bail. Their trial is scheduled to begin on May 12 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J.
After months of attempting to stave off layoffs by reducing employee hours and implementing wage cuts, Duncan Aviation has been forced to lay off employees for the first time in the company’s 53-year history. The reduction affects 304 positions– 170 at the Lincoln, Neb. facility; 122 at Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Mich.; and 12 in the company’s network of smaller satellite avionics and engine locations throughout the U.S.
In December last year, aircraft manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace laid off “a number of contract employees” and advised that at the end of the first quarter 2009 it would consider the possibility of full-time employee layoffs. Two months into this year, parent company General Dynamics announced a reduction in force that comprises 1,200 workers, including approximately 600 contract personnel.
Fractional provider NetJets Europe launched the “Summer Card” for Middle Eastern customers who are planning to spend their vacations in Europe this summer. The jet card is valid from May until the end of October and is touted as providing “the flexibility and convenience required by Middle Eastern customers who visit numerous cities around Europe during their annual summer break.” The cards are available in 12.5-hour increments.
Embraer has appointed the Al Saif Group its authorized sales representative for its business jet family in Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh-based company is a diversified group active in sectors including automobiles, heavy equipment, healthcare, defense, security and real estate. It will be handling sales of the Lineage, Legacy and Phenom series of aircraft.
After issuing a letter of interpretation reminding the maintenance community of the meaning of the word “current” in FAR 91.409(f)(3), the FAA has received widespread criticism.