Cessna Aircraft marked an early New Year celebration yesterday with the first deliveries of both the Citation M2 and the Citation Sovereign+. The $4.395 million M2 is a derivative of Cessna’s CJ1 and retains the same C525 type designation as the aircraft from which it is derived. Featured are such major upgrades as winglets, the new Intrinzic cockpit powered by Garmin G3000 touchscreen avionics, a restyled cabin and cockpit and new Williams International FJ44-1AP-21 engines.
Cessna Aircraft celebrated Christmas two days early with first deliveries today of both the new Citation M2 and the Citation Sovereign+ models. Deliveries began immediately following certifications by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the first M2 going to best-selling author, pilot and former Citation Mustang owner Stuart Woods.
Bombardier closed the sale of Flexjet to Flexjet LLC, a newly created company funded by Directional Aviation Capital, last week, though aircraft are still being transferred to the new owner. When the deal was announced on September 5, the acquisition price was $185 million; following “purchase price adjustments,” it is now estimated at $195 million, including the “assumption of an estimated $70 million of customer advances” by Directional’s Flexjet LLC.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s founding chairman, Ali Al Naqbi, is calling on UAE-based business aircraft operators to support the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority’s push to move business aviation operations from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Al Maktoum Airport/Dubai World Central (DWC). He cited slot shortages and timing restrictions that make life increasingly untenable at DXB, a situation that will be exacerbated in May when the airfield partially closes for a three-month-long runway rehabilitation project.
Asian Sky Group completed a regional survey to gauge Chinese aircraft operators’ interest in a new, but unspecified, business jet that is in currently in development. As part of its research, the company conducted face-to-face interviews with large-cabin business jet operators in Greater China, focusing on senior leaders involved in business jet procurement decisions. Interviewees were asked about aircraft price, range, cabin dimensions, speed and branding as well as about public perception and environmental, regulatory, and airport issues.
FlightSafety International has partnered with Gulfstream to provide an online course for FBOs on the proper ground handling for the Savannah OEM’s large-cabin business jets. The course covers all facets of handling and servicing, such as towing, parking, fueling, aircraft safety walk-around, lavatory servicing, window cleaning and snow and ice removal. “This course, which has been updated to include the G650, is a thorough review of how to keep our business jets–and the people who service them–safe,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream product support.
While the U.S. and Europe remain the largest markets for business aviation, since 2008 the growth of business aircraft fleets in Africa, Latin America and Asia has been intense. “Malaysia, which has been experiencing a strong growth in demand for business travel for several years now, is trying to attract new MRO-related investments and the conditions for that seem to be more than favorable,” said Kestutis Volungevicius, head of FL Technics.
September’s JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport once again provided a fascinating snapshot of how Russia’s business aviation market is continuing to develop. The overall impression from this eighth annual event is that, after a powerful growth surge, the market may be leveling off somewhat, but with every prospect of further expansion.
The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (Serial Number 28-001) cruised at 50,000 feet somewhere between Allentown, Pa., and Mattoon, Ill., when the thought hit me. The late Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, had flown this same airplane and here I was riding in the cabin.
Yesterday’s tax auction by the Brazilian government of a Bombardier Challenger 300 and Dassault Falcon 900 at Viracopos Airport in Campinas, Brazil, failed to garner the minimum bids of $12.85 million and $5.05 million, respectively. Another auction will be scheduled, possibly by year-end, with lower minimums that have not yet been determined.