With financing for business aircraft still far from easy to secure, ExecuJet Aviation has stepped up its efforts to help get more people airborne through its SimplyFly Finance program. The plan is to offer fast-access, simplified nonrecourse financing in the shape of five-year loans or leases for up to 70 percent of the value of an aircraft worth at least $20 million and no more than five years old. An initial fund of $400 million provided by ExecuJet’s main shareholder Dermot Desmond is available to support the program.
Private aircraft makeover specialist Flying Colours is embarking on what may well be the company’s most ambitious project. Known for its Execliner renovations, which turn Bombardier’s CRJ family of regional airliners into well-appointed business jets (also known as Challenger 850s), the Canadian cabin completions specialist has begun work on what it describes as its first “fully loaded” CRJ200 conversion.
Business and VIP helicopter sales are recovering, according to Eurocopter. “After the downturn that hit us between late 2008 and early 2010, we are seeing new demand coming from Brazil, Russia, India and China. Moreover, the U.S. is in a healthier position,” Patrice Royer, the manufacturer’s head of business and private aviation sales, told AIN. This segment, however, is deemed fragile, as it is closely tied to the fortunes to those of stock markets, which themselves remain volatile.
Some 10,120 business jets worth $257 billion are expected to be delivered over the next 10 years (2012-2021), according to the third annual industry forecast published late last month by Zenith Jet, a Montreal-based business aviation services company.
Russian engine manufacturer Salut revealed that its backlog for the AL31F series now exceeds 400, thanks largely to orders from China. At the Engines 2000 exhibition in Moscow last month, Salut confirmed that more negotiations with China took place recently, but it declined to provide details. Salut also revealed progress on increased-thrust versions of the AL31F.
Business aircraft flying activity in the U.S. increased slightly last month, with traffic rising 1.3 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released Tuesday by aviation services company Argus. Part 91 flying continued its positive trend, climbing 4.5 percent year over year.
Activity at charter and fractional providers fell 1 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, compared with April last year. This marks the 15th consecutive month loss at Part 135 charter companies, though turboprop flying again rose for the second consecutive month, this time by 3.7 percent.
Bombardier’s first-quarter financial results, released this morning, show a decline of company-wide revenue from $4.7 billion to $3.5 billion year over year for the Canadian manufacturer, while revenues for its aerospace division decreased from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion. “As anticipated, we had lower revenues in the first quarter,” said president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin.
The fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 light jets reached a combined 100,000 flight hours this week, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The notch comes 3.5 years after the aircraft type entered service. “This is a significant milestone achieved in such a short time,” said Embraer Executive Jets program vice president Luciano Castro. “The success of the aircraft, with 240 now in service worldwide, results from its flexibility in being able to meet the needs of diverse customers.”
Gulfstream Aerospace will hold its biennial operators conference from June 11 to 14 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Customers and suppliers attending the conference will receive updates on Gulfstream programs and technical information on the company’s aircraft. The event also serves as a forum for feedback and ideas. “Subject-matter experts at Gulfstream and our suppliers will provide the maintenance, operational and technology updates,” said Gulfstream product support president Mark Burns.
Bad weather forced helicopters to abandon their search for a Sukhoi Superjet 100 reportedly carrying 50 people that disappeared from radar screens during a demonstration flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, on May. The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency has dispatched ground teams in coordination with local police and military units into the mountainous terrain where officials suspect the aircraft crashed.