When Boeing introduced its iconic Boeing Business Jet, the company emphasized the aircraft’s 6,000-mile range. The airplanes, derivatives of the Boeing 737 airliner, were sold “green,” meaning without a finished interior or final exterior paint scheme. From the production line, they went to a cabin completion center, where Boeing estimated that buyers would spend around $5- to $7 million for customized cabins.
Last year the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai was reborn on a wave of growing confidence in China as an emerging market for business aviation goods and services. It drew 156 companies to the 43,000-sq-foot exhibit floor.
Singapore Airlines has completed a firm order for 25 more widebody aircraft from Airbus, comprising five A380 superjumbos and 20 A350-900s. The parties signed the firm order in December, some two months after Singapore announced its intention to enter into the contract.
Airbus Corporate Jets is launching its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 wide-bodies here at MEBA 2012. The choice of Dubai for the announcement should come as no surprise: the Middle East represents the most important market in the world for wide-body business and VIP aircraft.
Virgin Australia said it has reached an agreement in principle to buy a 100-percent stake in Perth, Australia-based Skywest Airlines. Announced on October 30 and still subject to approvals from regulatory authorities and Skywest shareholders, the deal would see the Western Australian regional assume the Virgin Australia brand and, according to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, benefit from further investment by the would-be parent company.
More evidence of capacity constraint among U.S. airlines appeared in a recent quarterly earnings report from one of the fastest-growing carriers in the country. Virgin America, which has seen annual available seat mile (ASM) growth average 28 percent for the past three years, has reconsidered its fleet expansion strategy and said it would move to cut the number of airplanes it plans to add over the rest of the decade.
Tough economic times are resulting in innovations by carriers in the Asia Pacific region looking beyond traditional business models through strategic realignments and new product offerings. Recent ground-breaking deals include Virgin Australia selling a 10-percent stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and buying 60 percent of Tiger Airways; the new partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas; and Etihad Airways purchasing a 10-percent stake in Virgin Australia.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has agreed to place a $7.5 billion order with Airbus for another five A380s and 20 A350-900s, the carrier announced on Wednesday. Delivery schedules call for the first airplane to arrive in Singapore in 2017.
Emirates and Qantas took the wraps off a proposed global aviation partnership today that would result in the Australian flag carrier moving its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai starting next April.
As highly taxed fuel, mounting debt and aggressive ticket pricing stifle the fledgling airline industry in India, the government seems ready to renege on its promise to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country’s carriers. Current rules do not permit foreign airlines to invest in domestic carriers, although non-aviation-related investors can hold up to a 49-percent stake.