NetJets Europe’s order for 24 Dassault Falcon 7Xs reflects a powerful declaration of intent for both companies. For Dassault, the deal–valued at $1 billion–is its largest single business jet sale ever and a vital fillip for the 7X program, which now has an order book for 116 copies of the fly-by-wire trijet.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has moved to ease restrictions on access to U.S. skies for foreign charter operators. It will increase to 12 (from six) the number of flights any one operator can make per year into the country before having to apply for a Part 129 foreign carrier certificate, and address applications on an ad hoc basis pending a permanent rule change that could take another two years to implement.
Certification of Dassault’s 69,000-pound (maximum takeoff weight) 7X remains on track for early next year. Although the 7X has yet to be certified, more than 40 of the $39.2 million long-range trijets are already in various stages of production.
Demand for aircraft charter is rising worldwide, with more businesses and private individuals willing and able to start taking this increasingly attractive alternative to scheduled airline services.
European charter operators are expressing increasing frustration about what they have come to regard as anti-competitive restrictions on their ability to fly in and out of the U.S.
Scara, a French association of leisure and executive air charter operators, is urging CRPN, the French crew retirement fund that collects contributions from all French-employed pilots, to file a lawsuit against fractional operator NetJets Europe for allegedly violating French labor laws.
It was always going to be a close race, but in the end Cessna became the first manufacturer to obtain full FAA certification of a very light jet (VLJ), the new breed of compact business airplane that holds the promise of changing the industry forever.
Raytheon has announced that it is broadening its Hawker product line by introducing the Hawker 900XP and the Hawker 750, both derivatives of the Hawker 850XP. The models will replace the Hawker 850XP when they begin entering service next year.
After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
Assuming the next six months or so do not see a deterioration in trading conditions, the NetJets Europe fractional-ownership program should finally achieve an operating profit in the second half of this year.