Jet Aviation Geneva received EASA Part 145 approval for line and base maintenance on the Gulfstream G650 in December. The Geneva facility, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, is now authorized for all Gulfstream models through the G650. The facility also holds authorizations to maintain Globals, BBJs, Hawkers, Falcon 50/900/2000s and the Citation 550/560XL/XLS. In addition to EASA and FAA Part 145, Jet Aviation Geneva also holds approvals for Aruba, Bermuda, Brazil, Cayman, Qatar, South Africa and the UAE.
Boeing Business Jet
Lufthansa Technik (Stand 335) is preparing to receive a second Boeing 747-8 for VIP conversion by the company’s VIP & Executive Jet Solutions division at its Hamburg plant. The first 747-8 arrived at the end of August and is now into its completion program while the second aircraft is scheduled to arrive later this month, following contract signature at the Dubai Air Show last year.
Royal Jet will celebrate its tenth anniversary next May, and the company is reporting significant growth and its busiest year so far. Last year Royal Jet operated 3,135 flights to 370 cities in 136 countries, and this year already is set to exceed this figure. Revenues in the first quarter of 2012 were up 15 percent, while the company’s summer performance saw a 19-percent increase in flying hours over the same period in 2011.
The Hyundai Motor Co. has selected Iacobucci HF to provide seating for its new Boeing BBJ, just a few months after Iacobucci launched its new VIP seat business. With the support of Avjet, Comlux America will outfit the BBJ, the second of the type in Iacobucci’s orderbook. Boeing will deliver the bizliner to Comlux in the second quarter of next year and it should be completed within the year.
Honeywell (Stand 625) has received EASA certification of its Ovation Select cabin management system (CMS) for the Boeing BBJ and, in partnership with Jet Aviation, delivered the first system to a BBJ3 customer in the Middle East. Jet Aviation Basel (Stand 590) did the completion project on the BBJ3, including installation of a Honeywell MCS-7200 satellite communications system.
Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor chose a unique venue for yesterday’s BBJ press briefing: Comlux’s head-of-state-outfitted BBJ 767-200, which is here at the MEBA show static display on a break from its normally busy charter schedule. The Comlux BBJ 767, which is based in Bahrain, can fly up to 6,400 nm with a full load of 60 passengers and 10 tons of freight.
At MEBA 2012 (Stand 588), OnAir announced that it has selected PATS Aircraft Systems of Georgetown, Del., as an OnAir completion center. PATS specializes in Boeing BBJ completions and auxiliary fuel tank installations and is installing Mobile OnAir in a 737-900ER BBJ. “We are seeing a high demand from VIP jet operators for in-flight connectivity,” said John Eichten, PATS senior vice president of sales and marketing. “PATS prides itself on finding innovative and industry-leading ways to satisfy our customers’ requirements, and our partnership with OnAir is a good example of that.”
Sabena Technics (Stand 619) is promoting its capabilities in VIP aircraft completion and refurbishment, as company officials see the Middle East as a fertile region for its business. The company, whose parent TAT Group is based in Tours, France, also is engaged in aircraft leasing and real estate businesses. It plans to open a showroom in Bordeaux, France, where customers can plan their interiors.
The Jet Services Group is here at MEBA 2012 (Stand 345) promoting its Advanced Air Support (AAS) FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport, claiming it is particularly well suited to Middle Eastern VIP aircraft visiting Europe. Jet Services president Marie-Antoinette Dain told AIN that AAS has adapted to the growing clientele from the region: “We have private lounges, one of them with a full en suite bathroom, a prayer room and dedicated catering.
The Middle East continues to be a key market for business aviation services group Comlux, with Bahrain being its main base in the region and home to three of its largest managed aircraft: a Boeing 767, an Airbus ACJ320 and an ACJ319. The Swiss-based company is seeing increased flying activity in Saudi Arabia, but group president and CEO Richard Gaona indicated to AIN ahead of this week’s MEBA show that increased competition, some of it from so-called “gray” (that is, probably illegal) charter operations, is inhibiting growth in the region.