European charter operators are the least efficient in the world due to a higher rate of empty-leg flights, Avinode managing director Oliver King said here at the EBACE show. On average, the online charter broker said that approximately one out of every three flights (33 percent) conducted by European operators is an empty leg, versus a global average of 29 percent.
Maintenance, repair and overhaul group SR Technics (SRT) is stepping up its push into the aircraft completions business, but is in no hurry to grab market share at any price. “We want to be the best and reliable rather than jumping for every dollar,” SRT president Andre Wall told AIN yesterday. “We’re so big…we want to make sure we’re not under pressure…[because] if the customer is not happy, they will never come back,” he added.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) is looking to go local from next year. Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the organization, confirmed here at the EBACE show that the association has chosen Beirut, Lebanon, as the site for the organization’s first forum, in 2013.
While the number of business jet deliveries and overall industry billings continued to slide in the first quarter of 2012, there was a minor retrenchment for the turboprop segment, according to numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Turbomeca subsidiary Microturbo (Stand 1543) has completed the first flight tests of its new auxiliary power unit (APU) for the AgustaWestland AW189 helicopter. In-flight start has been demonstrated already, and the test unit has also successfully restarted one of the main engines in flight. “The e-APU60 is performing accordingly with our ambitious goals,” said Pierre-Yves Morvan, Microturbo’s CEO.
Now that its 11,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest turbofan has a launch application–the Cessna Citation Longitude–Snecma can get serious about engine certification efforts. Flight testing of the engine is due to start in the first half of 2013 using a Gulfstream GII as a testbed, with engine certification pegged for 2015, the French company said yesterday at EBACE.
NetJets Europe announced this week at EBACE that it is diversifying into aircraft management services. According to NJE sales director Marine Eugene, NetJets Aircraft Management has been established as a separate operation and will soon have its own air operator’s certificate. It will focus on large-cabin and long-range business jets, from the size of the Dassault Falcon 2000 upwards.
Mumbai-based charter start-up Invision Air, which has started to take delivery of 12 Phenom 100s and 300s it ordered from Brazil’s Embraer, has launched its Jet Card membership program, one of the first such offerings in India. While the program offers flexibility and a price advantage to regular fliers, it will benefit owners of private aircraft while their own aircraft undergo maintenance, according to company co-founder Vinit Phatak.
Aurora Aviation yesterday at EBACE signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership agreement to run the first full-service FBO at Fujairah International Airport in the UAE. “We are looking to make Fujairah our hub,” Aurora CEO Ammar Kutait told AIN. With slots easily available and holding time less, Aurora will promote the airport for technical stops. While Aurora is not interested in another FBO in the region, Kutait did hint at plans for the company to get into the fuel supply business at another undisclosed airport.
Jet Aviation has restructured operations at its Basel, Switzerland completions facility after contract losses and a decline in completions orders led to financial charges. “Those issues are behind us now,” said Daniel Clare, Jet Aviation president in an interview with AIN.