Jet Services, a company active in the French business aviation industry since 2009, has taken control of Darta, a 40-year-old executive air charter operator based at Paris Le Bourget Airport. The firm, belonging to the Ségur private equity group, bought 90 percent of Darta’s shares in late December, according to Jet Services and Ségur president Marie-Antoinette Dain. The move was announced this week. Dain told AIN that Darta’s current fleet of 10 business aircraft will soon expand.
Houston-based fuel provider Phillips 66 has added 85 former Exxon dealers to its network, bringing its total number of branded FBOs to 866 nationwide. The new locations, situated mainly on the West Coast, will be served by distributor World Fuel Services and participate in the Phillips 66 WingPoints rewards program.
Air charter firm XOJet announced today that it achieved more than a 30-percent year-over-year growth in flight hours last year. The company said its continued growth has been limited only by fleet size, since it claims demand has consistently exceeded capacity. To drive continued growth this year, XOJet is focused on expanding its fleet. In fact, the company placed an order for 12 Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800XPr twinjets in October and introduced seven of these aircraft into its fleet this month.
Toulouse, France-based regional turboprop manufacturer ATR is pressing ahead with plans to increase its production rate progressively over the next three years while preparing to add a larger, 90-seat model to its product line, which now consists of the 50-seat ATR 42-600 and 74-seat ATR 72-600.
Airline passenger, freight and traffic numbers softened toward the end of 2011, reflecting the ongoing weak global economy. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects the slow growth to continue this year.
The economy is getting better, which means some things may be getting worse. That’s how it appears as the business aviation industry slowly and haltingly starts to emerge from a long and deep recession and a search begins for skilled labor to fill the growing number of openings.
Manufacturers are offering stepped-up support for visitors traveling by business aircraft to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., February 5. Bombardier is positioning field service representatives at local Indianapolis FBOs to help Learjet, Challenger and Global operators with any last-minute problems. Bombardier’s North American customer services team will be standing by, including parts logistics representatives and mobile repair engineers.
Eurocopter recognized its U.S. affiliate American Eurocopter as the regional hub for MRO for the Eurocopter EC135 and EC145 for North American and Latin American customers. American Eurocopter can provide up to D-level MRO for EC135 and EC145 airframes, blades and dynamic components. The company also provides full service and support for the AS350, EC120, EC130, EC155 and AS365. “This designation reflects our substantial investment in support and services in recent years and our close cooperation with Eurocopter,” said Marc Paganini, president and CEO of American Eurocopter.
General Electric has named West Star Aviation’s East Alton, Ill., facility a member of the GE authorized service center network. The West Star facility is capable of servicing and supporting the GE CF34 engine, including related parts and products. The CF34 powers Bombardier’s Challenger jets. West Star’s Grand Junction, Colo., base has been a GE authorized facility for more than six years. West Star East Alton added nine employees recently to expand its Bombardier service program.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has agreed to sell RBS Aviation Capital to Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) for some $7.3 billion, RBS announced today.