In 2004, the entire Embraer business jet fleet consisted of a single airplane, the Legacy 600. A year later it rolled out the Lineage 1000, an executive version of the E190 airliner, and that same year unveiled plans for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 and announced its goal of becoming a major player in the business aviation market.
Qatar Airways and fractional jet ownership provider Flexjet announced plans today at EBACE to form an alliance that will offer the Middle East airline’s passengers a seamless charter service throughout North America. The agreement also provides Flexjet fractional ownership customers with access to Qatar Airways flights in North America and to the all-Bombardier fleet operated by the airline’s private aviation arm, Qatar Executive.
Following a year of planning, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) marked its official launch yesterday at EBACE, with the goal of “establishing business aviation as an asset that is recognized, valued and supported by governments, their respective civil aviation authorities and enterprises throughout Africa,” according to Tarek Ragheb, chairman of the new organization.
Greenwich AeroGroup and its affiliates have agreed to sell, support and install the Iridium OpenPort-Aero broadband aviation communications platform on business aviation aircraft. LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways that introduced the system to airline passengers several years ago, signed a distribution agreement with Greenwich to branch out into business aviation today at EBACE. Iridium OpenPort-Aero works across the planet, including over oceans and the poles. Greenwich AeroGroup expects to begin installations in the third quarter.
Signature Flight Support today at EBACE signed an agreement with Berlin Schönefeld Airport to provide supervisory handling at the airport’s general aviation terminal, beginning next month. The FBO will offer private crew and passenger lounge areas, as well as on-site customs and immigration. The airport is due to be renamed Berlin Brandenburg International in a few weeks.
Signature also said its Frankfurt facility is now providing fueling services through Rheinland Air Service, in a joint endeavor to enhance the customer experience there.
British business aviation catering firm Royalblue has acquired Cuisine Air to form Royalblue Cuisine, a new company to serve operators flying in and out of the UK. In addition to its range of European and Asian cuisine, Royalblue serves freshly made sushi and Middle Eastern dishes. The company now serves all major London airports, as well as regional airports such as Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and Southampton.
The Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) is stepping up efforts to offer the latest in TV, on-board Internet and telecommunications technology, as customers are consistently asking for electronics in their aircraft that have become commonplace on the ground. The Toulouse-based VIP completion facility (Stand 7070) has reached its target production rate of around four new cabins per year.
The Jet Business, the new London showroom where would-be business aircraft buyers can evaluate options, is about to add helicopters to its portfolio. The company is working on the purpose-developed software it uses to help buyers select their preferences so it can also incorporate full details of all available rotorcraft.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show will be staged for the first time at Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport later this year (December 11-13). Organizers say the new location at what is also known as Dubai World Central will allow plenty of space for growth at a show that in 2010 attracted 338 exhibitors, 55 aircraft and 6,200 trade visitors.
When the Embraer announced the launch of its Embraer Executive Jets division in 2005 and its intent to become “a major player” in the crowded world of business jet manufacturing, eyebrows were raised and there was a certain amount of skepticism. After all, the ambitious Brazilian airframer had just unveiled its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 entry-level and light jets, and its only business jet in service at the time was the Legacy 600, a 16-passenger aircraft derived from its ERJ 135 regional airliner.