Qatar Airways’s colorful CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has made a name for himself at the helm of one of the Arabian Gulf region’s trio of fast-growing airlines. But alongside his United Arab Emirates rivals Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways he can claim an additional string to his bow that the other two have so far overlooked: the creation of an executive jet division.
Pilatus Aircraft will arrive in Geneva, Switzerland for EBACE 2012, after just announcing an “excellent set of results for 2011,” thanks to solid deliveries of its PC-21 military trainer. The Swiss manufacturer’s business aviation division, however, had a “difficult year.”
Some 10,120 business jets worth $257 billion are expected to be delivered over the next 10 years (2012-2021), according to the third annual industry forecast published late last month by Zenith Jet, a Montreal-based business aviation services company.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is tackling the headaches facing those trying to secure funding for new and preowned aircraft with the recent formation of a finance and leasing working group to report to its associate members advisory committee (AMAC). The group will be chaired by Aoife O’Sullivan, a partner with London-based aviation law firm Gates and Partners.
Aerion Corp. is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet (SBJ). A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15B aircraft in either June or July.
Jordan’s Arab Wings has become the first Middle East operator to fly Bombardier’s Global 5000 aircraft with its new Vision flight deck suite.
Business aviation in Europe has been around a while, but it still has some growing up to do, according to Fabio Gamba, new chief executive of EBAA. Gamba, a former airline lobbyist who joined the association less than a year ago.
Schiebel reported trials of its Camcopter S-100 on a frigate of the Italian Navy, equipped with a Wescam MX-10 high-definition camera. The small unmanned helicopter “has successfully proved its maritime capability on 14 different classes of vessel in three oceans,” the company claims. A trial with the French navy is ongoing.
Business aircraft flying activity in the U.S. increased slightly last month, with traffic rising 1.3 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released Tuesday by aviation services company Argus. Part 91 flying continued its positive trend, climbing 4.5 percent year over year.
Activity at charter and fractional providers fell 1 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, compared with April last year. This marks the 15th consecutive month loss at Part 135 charter companies, though turboprop flying again rose for the second consecutive month, this time by 3.7 percent.
Bombardier’s first-quarter financial results, released this morning, show a decline of company-wide revenue from $4.7 billion to $3.5 billion year over year for the Canadian manufacturer, while revenues for its aerospace division decreased from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion. “As anticipated, we had lower revenues in the first quarter,” said president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin.