Russia’s seventh annual Jet Expo show opens tomorrow, with more than 100 exhibiting companies from 27 countries and up to around 40 business jets and helicopters at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. According to Jet Expo managing director Nikita Gorchakov, the rapid expansion of the three-day show (September 27-29) reflects strong growth in demand for business aircraft in Russia and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Airbus Corporate Jets expects to achieve double-digit sales of its ACJ aircraft in 2012 and is on course to deliver at least as many as the 10 jets it delivered in 2011. The European airframer told a September 26 press conference in Moscow that it has now sold more than 170 aircraft in the business aviation market, including some 110 A320-family narrowbodies and 60 widebodies (A330s, A340s and A380s).
Dassault is close to reaching agreement with Russia’s Avia Group to establish an authorized service center for its Falcon business jet series at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The facility is set to open in 2013 and will be located near Avia’s new terminal building, which was inaugurated earlier this year.
Avcom, Russia’s oldest dedicated business aviation company, has started establishing badly needed maintenance infrastructure in the Siberian cities of Irkutsk, Omsk and Khabarovsk. The group also has just secured approval from Kazhakstan officials to work on business aircraft registered in the country and now plans to open a technical base there as well.
The Russian market has continued to be a key factor in the recovery that Czech Republic-based ABS Jets has seen in the business aviation sector over the past 12 months. Russians own several of the 13 aircraft that the company has under management contracts, with their insurance companies and banks eager to have these assets in the hands of operators based in the European Union.
Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) says that its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and a pending acquisition by China’s Superior Aviation are not affecting the attitudes of customers and potential customers towards its products, which it believes are ideally suited to the Russian market.
Cessna is hoping that recent sales breakthroughs in Russia with its Grand Caravan turboprop and Skylane 172 piston singles will prove to be a sound foundation for selling more of its Citation business jets there.
JPMorgan downgraded Embraer yesterday from overweight to neutral, in large part due to concerns about Embraer’s airliner business. However, the investment firm noted that “continued weakness” in flight operations and other indicators “are leading us to dial back our business jet delivery forecast,” but it still predicts healthy growth in this segment.
FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta will be a featured speaker during the opening general session at the 65th NBAA Convention, which will be held from October 30 to November 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. “NBAA is honored to include Michael Huerta during the kickoff event to this year’s convention,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “His insights on a variety of issues of importance to the business aviation community will be of great interest to all attendees.”
HondaJet president and CEO Michimasa Fujino was presented the 2012 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aircraft Design Award last week. The AIAA Aircraft Design Award “honors a design engineer or team for the conception, definition or development of an original concept, or career contributions leading to significant advancement in aircraft design or design technology.” According to the AIAA, Fujino is being recognized for pioneering the “unique” over-the-wing engine mount used on the in-development HondaJet.