Hawker Beechcraft has broken ground on a 48,000-sq-ft company-owned factory service center at General Mariano Escobedo International Airport in Monterrey, Mexico. The facility is scheduled to open next spring. Construction of this new facility follows the previously announced addition of a Hawker Beechcraft Services facility in Wilmington, Del.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) announced yesterday at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas that, together with Rockwell Collins, it has launched an aftermarket program to offer new upgrade Pro Line Fusion displays avionics for to all fielded Pro Line 21-equipped Hawker and Beechcraft airplanes. The Fusion upgrade features large-format, landscape-oriented, touchscreen displays that come standard with the synthetic vision and visual flight management system, with a target price of less than $300,000 installed. Hawker Beechcraft GCS will initially offer upgrades to the King Air fleet, followed by Hawkers and Premiers. Certification is expected before the end of 2013.
Asked recently how Hawker Beechcraft is doing, company chairman and CEO Bill Boisture’s answer of, “We’re doing all right,” was abbreviated at best. The long answer is more enlightening. “The progress we’re making in transformation of the company through Project Challenge is very significant,” Boisture said, answering more at length.
The business aviation industry, as well as the associated companies, grow when confidence is high and retract when it’s low. As the economy slogs along for the third year in a row, with matching weak confidence, the time is now for the business aircraft manufacturers to announce bold plans for new models at the 2011 NBAA Convention next week in Las Vegas.
Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) has opened a new regional headquarters office in Beijing to cover the North Asia region, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. According to the company it has also added local employees and strengthened its sales and marketing network in the region. The office will support all HBC operations, including maintenance.
The first six months of the year proved disheartening for those who hoped for an uptick in aircraft deliveries. According to first-half numbers provided by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), total industry billings were down 22.3 percent compared with the first half of last year, to $7.3 billion, from $9.4 billion, while total shipments were off 15.5 percent in that span.
The final feature of Hawker Beechcraft’s upgrade and enhancement program for the Hawker 4000 received FAA certification Tuesday–the “Load 20” package for the super-midsize jet’s Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite. Load 20 is a significant modification–part of a major upgrade program that all Hawker 4000s are receiving at no charge to owners–and adds long-awaited functionality to the 4000’s cockpit.
In its first-half earnings conference call this morning, Hawker Beechcraft announced its $487 million in new orders exceeded its cancellations of $80 million, marking the airframer’s ninth consecutive quarter of gain. However, the Wichita manufacturer noted its revenues in the business and general aviation segment decreased by 17.4 percent in the second quarter over the same period in the previous year.
Six of ExecuJet Aviation Group’s MROs have been designated Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) authorized service centers. They include ExecuJet Aviation facilities in Lanseria and Cape Town, South Africa; Dubai, UAE; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; and Lagos, Nigeria. A spokesman for ExecuJet, which has a total of eight maintenance facilities worldwide, said the other locations will be considered based on demand.
If the business aviation industry is experiencing a recovery, it is by most indications a stumbling affair, with new markets leading the way.
In early May, JPMorgan described business aviation’s progress toward a recovery as “uneven.” In its May Business Jet Monthly report, the firm took note of a “post-recession low” in the inventory of used jets for sale, but also an overall drop in used aircraft prices.