While the business aviation industry greets each morsel of positive economic news with cautious optimism, continuing financial indecision made 2012 another depressed year for turbine aircraft deliveries, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), which released its year-end delivery totals last month. Last year general aviation reached a milestone of sorts, according to GAMA chairman Brad Mottier. For the first time, he noted, shipments to North American buyers in all three airplane segments–jets, turboprops and pistons–dipped to 50 percent.
Beechcraft King Air
Hawker Beechcraft, which is displaying a King Air 350i this week at Aero India in Bangalore, continues to lead the turboprop market segment in India. Citing JetNet data, the company said 82 percent of the new turboprop business aircraft delivered into India from 2002 to 2011 were King Airs, while 83 percent of the total fleet of registered business turboprops in the country are King Airs. It has also cornered the turboprop market for state and federal organizations in India, with these operators flying more than 20 King Airs in the country.
This week at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, Fargo Jet Center announced it will establish a new FBO at Sloulin Field International Airport in Williston, N.D. The Williston Jet Center will offer aircraft fueling, aircraft maintenance, flight instruction, aircraft charter management and aircraft sales. Construction of the new 6,400 sq. ft. passenger facility and a fuel farm is expected to begin in March, and it should be operational by early summer.
To help build sales momentum as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Hawker Beechcraft is offering a free upgrade to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite for customers who purchase a King Air 250 or 350i by February 28. The Fusion system features touchscreen primary and multifunction flight displays, as well as wireless updates of all flight-related databases and wireless downloading of maintenance information. According to Hawker Beechcraft, the upgrade also comes standard with synthetic vision and a graphical flight management system.
Eight European operators have combined to form a new charter alliance called AirClub. The partnership, announced on December 12, brings together ACM Air Charter, Air Alsie, Air Hamburg, Corporatejets, Flyinggroup, GlobeAir, Masterjet and PrivatAir. Among them they operate 106 aircraft, covering a wide spectrum of range and payload capabilities, from the Beechcraft King Air to a Boeing 757.
A Beechcraft King Air E90 crashed 20 miles southeast of Amarillo, Texas, at about 6 p.m. local time on December 14. The aircraft had departed Rick Husband Amarillo International (AMA) Airport about 10 minutes earlier into what were reported as high winds. Both occupants were killed and the aircraft was destroyed after it hit terrain.
Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air twin-turboprops continue to take the lion’s share of the Middle East turboprop business market, accounting for more than 70 percent of sales over the last three years. However, the type’s good endurance, configuration, capacious cabin and attractive operating economics have also made it a natural platform for a wide variety of special tasks, and many hundreds have been converted for special missions during the type’s long career.
AirClub, the world’s first corporate jet charter alliance, was announced yesterday at MEBA 2012 in Dubai. The alliance brings together eight of Europe’s business jet charter operators: ACM Air Charter, Air Alsie, Air Hamburg, Corporatejets, Flyinggroup, GlobeAir, Masterjet and PrivatAir. Between them they operate 106 aircraft, covering a wide spectrum of range and payload capabilities, from the Beechcraft King Air to a VIP Boeing 757.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) has named Horizontal De Aviación at Aeropuerto Internacional el Dorado in Bogotá, Colombia, an authorized service center to support the Beechcraft King Air line. “The Colombian aviation market is one of the fastest growing Beechcraft aviation segments in Latin America,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft senior vice president of Global Customer Support.
New turboprop sales continue their slow, steady climb out of the cellar. For the first six months of this year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports sales of the segment are up 10.5 percent compared with the same period one year ago, with 243 delivered. Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans lead the pack, as usual.