The U.S. Congress has passed legislation that delays the threatened automatic cuts in federal government spending by two months until March 1, sparing for now a $55 billion reduction in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget for the current fiscal year. That budget currently stands at $552 billion, after the Congress authorized the Fiscal Year 2013 spending bill late last month. The President signed the defense authorization bill on January 3.
The nation’s third-largest fractional jet program will continue to pursue a “stealth wealth” clientele while offering them customized solutions to their private aircraft travel needs beyond traditional fractional sales, and that may mean bringing more capital into the company, according to Flexjex president Deanna White.
Erickson Air-Crane has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to acquire 14 helicopters and associated personnel and assets from HRT Participacoes em Petroleo (HRT). The deal requires Erickson Air-Crane to provide operational services, including both cargo and passenger transport, to HRT in the Amazon under a three-year renewable contract. Erickson traditionally had focused its efforts on building, selling, servicing and operating heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes. Erickson CEO Udo Rieder said the agreement provides “an excellent path to diversification and growth.”
Satcom Direct recently launched the FlightDeck 360 iPad app, which provides pilots access to airborne datalink communications and real-time flight data. A key benefit of FlightDeck 360 is that operators can use their satcom Internet connections to gain datalink functionality, without needing or having to install a flight management system.
Online booking portal Victor is aiming to dramatically increase available charter capacity almost ten-fold. As of the end of 2012, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time, and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter. Victor allows members to book aircraft directly for what it guarantees are fixed, all-inclusive rates and then offers individual seats for sale to other members.
European aircraft operators should brace for a harsh winter, according to de-icing specialist Kilfrost. The supplier said it anticipates strong demand for its products this year based on long-range forecasts that call for a winter as severe as the one seen two years ago. Based on its predicted demand and the delivery lag, the company has already ramped up production at its manufacturing plant in northern England to ensure a steady supply of de-icing fluid at dozens of airports across the region.
The supersonic business jet development program continues at Gulfstream Aerospace, but until the FAA decides to define “quiet” as it relates to the so-called sonic boom, “We just don’t see a business case,” said a spokesman.
In a series of patent filings last summer, Gulfstream emphasized mitigating the noise produced by the sonic boom, pointing out that regulations currently prohibit supersonic flight over populated areas.
Eric Hinson, most recently executive vice president of training provider FlightSafety International, has been named president of SimCom. The Fla.-based privately owned company has 56 simulators at its training centers in Glendale and Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dallas; and its Orlando, Fla. headquarters. SimCom is a factory-authorized training provider for various business aircraft, among them Cessna Citations, Hawkers, the Eclipse EA-500, Pilatus PC-12, Daher-Socata TBM, Mitsubishi MU-2 and Piper Meridian.
Pinnacle Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiaries have entered into a series of agreements that would provide a path forward for the company to emerge from bankruptcy under the ownership of Delta Air Lines or an affiliate, the company announced Thursday.
At an omnibus hearing on December 11, the progress of Hawker Beechcraft toward emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection moved ahead with court authorization to enter into the debtor-in-possession (DIP) amendment and to pay certain related fees and expenses.