Several completion and refurbishment centers are preparing infrastructure enhancements and consolidation to meet shifting demand for services. Spirit Aeronautics of Columbus, Ohio, is adding a 17,860-sq-ft hangar to its Port Columbus International Airport campus to support the expansion of its refurbishment services.
Following its first full year of independent operations, the UK’s BMI Regional reported a so-called trading update and 2014 outlook in late January, under which it announced the launch of new intra-Scandinavia services involving several new destinations, a doubling of capacity on its Aberdeen-Oslo route and this month’s launch of Newcastle-Brussels service.
Japan’s expansion of the international terminal at Haneda Airport in the Tokyo metropolitan area bolsters route expansion plans by its two major carriers, ANA and Japan Airlines (JAL).
Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) granted Norwegian Air International an air operator certificate (AOC) on February 13 for its long-haul carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle, for routes between Europe, Asia and the U.S. The European Cockpit Association said it is worried the IAA will not be able to provide adequate oversight of what it calls a “complex new” airline structure.
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive [AD 2014-03-11] on February 19 for Bell 204B helicopters requiring an inspection of the tail-rotor cable assembly for an incorrectly machined body. This AD was prompted by a report from Bell that a defective body on the cable prevents the barrel assembly from fully engaging in the body cavity. The AD, which becomes effective on March 26, is intended to prevent disengagement of the cable from the barrel, failure of the tail-rotor pitch control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Every year since the start of the great economic downturn of 2008, the business aviation industry has watched business jet deliveries dwindle and searched for signs that the market might have finally hit bottom. The downward slide was finally arrested last year, according to year-end numbers released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. For the first time since 2008, worldwide deliveries of business jets were higher than the previous year, with manufacturers handing over 678 jets last year, six aircraft (1 percent) more than in 2012.
Aeria Luxury Interiors, the private jet business that ST Aerospace launched at the Singapore Airshow two years ago, is up and running in San Antonio, Texas, and has secured its first order for full completion of a green aircraft.
For the third successive year in recent times, the Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE)–which is organized by NBAA in conjunction with the Shanghai Airport Authority, the Asian Business Aviation Association and the Shanghai Exhibition Center–will return to Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport. It will run from April 14 to 17 at Shanghai Hawker Pacific’s Business Aviation Centre FBO, and will feature a 43,000-sq-ft (4,000-sq-m) hangar, a 52,000-sq-ft (4,800-sq-m) exhibitor pavilion and extensive ramp area for the static display.
“Yuan Fang, what do you think?” goes the catchphrase from Chinese TV’s equivalent to Sherlock Holmes. Amazing sleuth Di Renjie depends on his assistant, Yuan Fang, for sound counsel, since he never knows the answer himself.
It’s an apt way to approach what is happening in the business aviation market in the greater China region today. The sector remains elusive for the big manufacturers and has yet to deliver the huge prizes promised a few short years ago.