Embraer’s backlog for commercial airliners fell to its lowest level in more than five years, following a first quarter in which it delivered 21 E-Jets but sold only 12. As of March 31, its firm backlog stood at $14.7 billion, compared with $15.4 billion at the end of last year. The value of its backlog has fallen from a high of $21.6 billion in the third quarter of 2008.
US Airways has signed agreements with the three unions that represent nearly 55,000 American Airlines employees calling for all the parties to work collaboratively toward labor contracts should the two airlines merge.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron reported first-quarter revenues of $2.9 billion yesterday, up 15.2 percent from a year ago, and $247 million in manufacturing profits, an $80 million increase attributable largely to Bell. While quarterly revenues at Cessna increased by $113 million year-over-year, to $669 million, the division still recorded a loss of $6 million, though the red ink was shallower than the $38 million loss in last year’s first quarter.
Bell Helicopter opened a new office in New Delhi today for all of its operations in India. The company has had a presence in India for nearly 20 years, opening a liaison office in 1995. There are currently more than 100 Bell helicopters operating throughout India, it noted.
“We believe there are tremendous growth opportunities in terms of sales and manufacturing [in India],” said Bell president and CEO John Garrison. “This is an important day for Bell Helicopter as we celebrate our continued commitment and partnership with our customers in India.”
Los Angeles-based aircraft charter and management firm Jet Edge was named “Private Jet Services Company 2012” yesterday by the Institute of Transport Management. Bill Papariella–a business aviation industry veteran with experience at Sentient, Marquis Jet and NetJets–founded Jet Edge last July with the help of Bard Capital Group CEO Richard Bard, Western Jet Aviation CEO Jim Hansen and four other former NetJets senior sales executives. The company has five large-cabin Gulfstreams among its fleet.
Hong Kong-based Metrojet was presented with the Flight Safety Foundation Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award yesterday at the 57th Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in San Antonio. According to Metrojet, it is the first business aviation company in Asia to earn recogntion for its commitment to safety and service excellence. Roger Lee, Metrojet’s director of corporate safety and quality, accepted the award for the aircraft charter and management firm.
Royal Jet president and CEO Shane O’Hare is predicting that the Middle East market for private jet travel could grow at 6 to 8 percent this year and next, with Royal Jet itself forecasting 15-percent growth this year. He also said the growth of the private jet market could spawn the development of global alliances among operators, along similar lines to those in the airline sector. The Abu Dhabi-based flight services company reported a 15-percent increase in first-quarter revenue from a year ago.
Aviation Partners promoted Gary Dunn to vice president of sales and marketing. He joined the company in the mid-1990s to support the Gulfstream II blended winglet program and moved to the sales team in 2001. “Over the years he has been responsible for the sales, marketing and product introduction of virtually all our new products,” said company founder and CEO Joe Clark. “In the last two years he has taken over the marketing and advertising duties once performed by the legendary Dick Friel. He has filled those shoes well.”
Current Pinnacle Airlines COO John Spanjers will replace Sean Menke as chief executive of the Memphis, Tennessee-based regional airline group on June 1, Pinnacle said in a statement issued Thursday. Menke, who, according to Pinnacle, has chosen to resign from the company, has agreed to help with the leadership transition over the next five weeks.
“It’s true we may have been a bit complacent; we were maybe arrogant,” Eric Martel, president of Bombardier customer services and specialized and amphibious aircraft, said of his company’s past attitude to business-jet product support on Monday at the 2012 Bombardier Maintenance & Operations (M&O) Conference for the Learjet, Challenger and Global in Montréal, Québec.