NetJets Europe is betting on large-cabin, long-range operations as demand for light to midsize jets remains flat and is preparing to receive its first Bombardier Global 6000. Delivery is scheduled to take place by year-end, with commercial operations starting February 1.
The story of Castle & Cooke Aviation starts like that of many FBOs, with a small flight department needing more space to grow. Craig Walker, Castle & Cooke vice president of operations and development and Dole Food director of aviation, started flying for David Murdock in 1980. Murdock is the chairman, CEO and president of Castle & Cooke, a trading, shipping and agricultural company that originated as a general store in Hawaii in 1864 and eventually ended up owning Dole Food.
Demand for business aviation in Russia and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States is continuing to excite aircraft manufacturers and service providers alike, especially with the nearby markets of Western Europe remaining largely stagnant. Russia was not untouched by fallout from the financial crisis that started in 2008, but for most of the past 10 years has sustained strong business aviation growth.
Based on its most recent statistics and industry member surveys, aviation data provider Jetnet continues to forecast an upturn in the market. “If you liked the industry over the last 10 or 20 years, we believe it’s going to get even better,” said JetNet iQ director Rolland Vincent at the company’s “state of the market” briefing this week at the NBAA Convention.
NetJets’ aircraft charter and management arm, Executive Jet Management, launched a new program that provides flight departments and aircraft owners with a suite of services that offer cost savings on fuel and crew training and VIP access to FBOs. Dubbed Support Services, the program also offers benefits that include preferred rates for crew recruiting, crew training classes, aircraft brokerage, aircraft quality evaluations and maintenance at EJM’s repair station at Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field.
Phillips 66 Aviation announced a new corporate credit card program featuring Avcard, a co-branded card with Phillips 66. The new Phillips 66 Aviation Wings Card will provide acceptance at more than 7,200 locations globally, along with double WingPoints at participating FBOs. The card can also be used for a variety of services beyond fuel, lubrication and maintenance, including aircraft cleaning, landing fees, oxygen, transportation, ground power, hangar rental, flight training, hotel reservations and catering, among others.
The Lindbergh Foundation chose the first day of the 2012 NBAA Convention to award its prestigious Corporate Award for Balance to Aviation Partners Boeing, a joint venture between Aviation Partners (API) and Boeing created in 1999 to equip Boeing aircraft with API’s blended winglet technology. The winglets have saved billions of gallons of jet fuel and significantly improved the performance specifications of Boeing jetliners.
Safe Flight Instrument introduced its AutoPower Citation X autothrottle system during the NBAA Convention. The system can operate in speed dominate or power dominate mode. It also has a retard mode for landing. “Passenger comfort is just one of the advantages of this system,” said Ken Bannon, manager of corporate marketing for the company. “The system reduces crew workload, stabilizes approaches, limits airspeed overshoots and contributes to fuel savings.”
Although it has long been a well known name in helicopter circles, Kaman Aerospace made its debut as an NBAA Convention exhibitor this year. A manufacturer with facilities throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, the UK, Germany and India, Kaman exhibited a carbon monolithic lightweight door structure, a winglet, an aileron for new business jets, and the company’s flight-control bearing products.
Calgary, Alberta-based FlyHT Aerospace Solutions has received STC approval for its automated flight information reporting system (Afirs) 228 on several business aircraft types, including the Bombardier Challenger 870/890 and Hawker 750/800XP/850XP/900XP. STC approvals are in progress for the Boeing Business Jets BBJ1 and BBJ2, as well as the Airbus ACJ319/320/321.