Aircraft charter provider VistaJet plans to step up its expansion of operations across Russia, Asia, Africa and South America, the company revealed in a presentation to financial analysts in London today. By 2015, the Switzerland-based group also intends to double the size of its fleet to more than 60 jets, it said. VistaJet is currently in talks with prospective partners in China and expects to have an established operation there by year-end.
Bell Helicopter received Transport Canada approval today for a 500-pound increase for its Model 429, bringing the medium twin’s maximum takeoff weight to 7,500 pounds. The raised limit is an exemption to the Part 27 certification limit of 7,000 pounds and will enable the 429 to carry additional fuel reserves, increasing both range and loiter times, and enhance its IFR utility, the company said. According to Bell vice president Larry Roberts, this enhancement is especially useful for EMS and law-enforcement customers.
Embraer delivered 50 business jets during the fourth quarter, a figure that includes the first Phenom 100 assembled at its new facility in Melbourne, Fla. For the entire year, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer shipped 99 executive jets (83 light jets and 16 large jets), down from the 115 jets it delivered in 2010. Embraer’s firm order backlog, which includes both airliners and executive jets, currently stands at $15.4 billion.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron is reportedly conducting a “strategic review” that could result in the divestiture of some of its businesses, according to Reuters. Similar speculation surfaced about two years ago, with no spin-offs resulting. However, analysts believe that the outcome might be different this time, as Textron’s defense businesses encounter declining military spending. Bell Helicopter was specifically named in the story as being a candidate for divestiture.
Aircraft charter booking portal Victor is seeking to raise almost $2.3 million to fund expansion of its web-based business into German-speaking parts of Europe. According to founder Clive Jackson, membership has tripled to around 670 individuals since Victor’s launch in August. FlyVictor.com allows members to book available aircraft and resell individual seats to spread flight costs with other members.
AirAsia X, long-haul subsidiary of Malaysia’s AirAsia, the largest Asian budget carrier, plans to withdraw 11 weekly services to Mumbai and Delhi in India and 10 weeklies to its only European destinations—Paris and London—from its Kuala Lumpur hub.
Questions have arisen over Aeroflot’s decision to sell its 51-percent stake in regional subsidiary Saratov Airlines (SarAvia) due to what it called “discrepancies in Aeroflot group development strategy and the local status of this airline.”
GA Telesis Component Repair Group Southeast has received a 2011 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. GA Telesis maintained a gold composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period for the second consecutive year. It is one of 122 suppliers to receive the Gold Performance Excellence Award among the 529 Boeing-recognized suppliers that achieved either a Gold or Silver level of recognition. The company supplies Boeing with maintenance, repair and overhaul services for hydraulic, pneumatic and power generation components.
Boeing has achieved a production rate of 35 Next-Generation 737s a month at its factory in Renton, Wash., the company announced today.
Wichita’s future as an aircraft manufacturing hub has appeared less than rosy of late, but the outlook took a turn for the better with news today that Bombardier plans further expansion of its Learjet facilities there. This morning, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi announced the expansion of the company’s flight-test center in Wichita, in addition to establishing a center of excellence for engineering and information technology, adding new facilities for paint and production flight-testing and building a new aircraft delivery center in the self-appointed Air Capital of the World.