NetJets’ joint venture in the People’s Republic of China is making headway since announcing its entry into the country’s private aviation market during last year’s ABACE. “We are continuing to make great progress in gaining approval from the Chinese government to establish operations in China,” NetJets told AIN. “We are on target now to have approval in the first quarter of 2014.”
NetJets says that it has made good progress with its joint venture in the People’s Republic of China since announcing its entry into the country’s private aviation market during last year’s ABACE. It will begin by managing and chartering aircraft that are wholly owned by customers, rather than launching into fractional ownership as it did several years ago in the U.S. and Europe. However, fractional aircraft and card services may be added later as the market for private aviation services in China continues to develop, it noted.
A new Embraer Legacy 650 level-D flight simulator at FlightSafety International’s St. Louis learning center has received approval from the FAA, EASA and Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil. Legacy 650 training will start at this location in the second quarter. FlightSafety serves Embraer as its factory-authorized training provider for the E-Jets line of commercial jets, as well as the Lineage and Legacy executive jets.
Flexjet appointed Jason Weiss as its new vice president of operations. In his new role, he is responsible for managing the fractional operator’s flight operations, training, technical operations, operations analysis and fleet management, the owner operations center and procurement. Weiss–who replaces David Gross, who is retiring from Flexjet after 13 years–comes from NetJets, where he was the vice president of crew resource planning.
FlightSafety International has begun training pilots in its new Pilatus PC-12NG simulator, located at the Dallas learning center. The FAA and Transport Canada have qualified the new full-motion simulator to Level D. EASA Level-D qualification is expected within months. The Dallas center also offers PC-12 maintenance training.
Global helicopter lessor Milestone Aviation Group of Columbus, Ohio, and Eurocopter announced at Heli-Expo ‘13 this morning purchase orders with options for up to 15 EC225 Super Puma and five EC175 helicopters, contracts worth as much as $540 million (€415 million). The valuation is based on a price of €22.5 million each for the EC225 and €14 million each for the EC175s.
Business aircraft flying got off to a good–if not spectacular–start this year, increasing by 1.7 percent last month year-over-year, according to TraqPak data released late last week by aviation services company Argus.
Part 135 activity rebounded by 13.5 percent from a year ago, marking its fourth consecutive monthly increase after nearly two years of turbulence in this market segment. Part 91 flying slipped last month by 2.4 percent from last January, while activity at the fractional providers dipped 6.3 percent.
Charter firms XOJet and Travel Management Co. (TMC) announced a new alliance yesterday to integrate the latter’s fleet into XOJet’s operations. The two companies have a combined fleet of more than 100 jets, though they will remain separate entities.
Elkhart, Ind.-based TMC operates a fleet of 24 Hawker 400XPs and 30 Hawker 800XPs, while XOJet operates Bombardier Challenger 300s, Cessna Citation Xs and Hawker 800XPs. Under terms of the deal, XOJet will sell all seven of its 800XPs to TMC and concentrate on expanding its fleet of super-midsize aircraft.
Eric Hinson has been named president of flight training provider SimCom. Most recently he served as executive v-p of FlightSafety International.
Two years ago, FlightSafety International nearly doubled the size of its Dallas Learning Center at DFW. The company’s largest campus, founded in 2000, has grown to 210,000 sq ft and now features 24 simulator pads, more classrooms and an engine shop, allowing FlightSafety to add several new programs. The Dallas center has 250 employees (125 of them instructors) and graduates 10,500 students annually. One-third of those students are from outside the U.S.“Dallas is just a great place to get to with direct flights, and that helps a lot,” said center manager Dan McClellan.