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.
Piper Aircraft appointed James Funk as vice president of operations today, a position where he will be responsible for aircraft manufacturing operations, production engineering, logistics and quality. He brings nearly 30 years of operations management, manufacturing engineering and program leadership experience to Piper. Before joining Piper, Funk was Bombardier Learjet’s general manager of operations for the Learjet 85 program. Before that, he was vice president of operations for Hawker Beechcraft and its predecessor, Raytheon Aircraft.
Smyrna Air Center has added Mather Aviation in Rancho Cordova, Calif., to its network of authorized installation centers for the Power 90 engine conversion program. The MRO offers inspection, repair, component overhaul and modification for Bombardier, Learjet, Hawker, Falcon, Gulfstream and Cessna jets and Beech King Air turboprops. Power 90 is a conversion program for owners of King Air 90s that replaces the installed PT6s with more powerful 705-shp GE M601E-11As.
Bombardier Learjet 55, Casper, Wyo., March 17, 2009–The Learjet 55, registered to Sunwest Aviation of Calgary, Alberta, aborted its takeoff from Natrona County International Airport when the tower controller said he thought he saw smoke coming from the left engine. The flight crew taxied to a taxiway, did a runup with no problem and was cleared for a second takeoff.
The latest fleet data from UK-based consultancy Ascend clearly charts the impressive growth in Middle Eastern business aviation over the past few years. The number of business jets registered in Middle East countries has increased by almost 71 percent in the 10 years since October 1998, rising from 120 to 205 (see Fleet Growth chart below).
As a result of the expertise Mayo Aviation has gained by operating and maintaining its own fleet of Beech King Airs, it has added the King Air 90 and 200 series to its Part 145 repair station certificate. The company also operates and works on the Learjet 31/35/55, Cessna Citation 560 and Challenger 300/600.
NAC Aviation, Raytheon’s UK distributor for both Hawker and Beechcraft aircraft, is relocating to Oxford Airport in central England from Farnborough Airport, southwest of London. According to the company, the move will give it the space to offer turnkey aircraft-management packages to business aviation clients, as well as executive charter.
Barcelona-based Executive Airlines this year has added five business jets to its charter fleet, and it is preparing to add two more. At the start of this year the company positioned a Hawker 700 in Madrid, followed by a pair of Citation CJ1s, a Learjet 45 and a Citation Bravo. One of the CJ1s is now operating out of Palma de Mallorca, and the company is set to open a base at Malaga with a managed Dassault Falcon 100 and a 200.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) staged a successful regional forum at the UK’s Farnborough Airport on September 13. The event, hosted jointly by TAG Aviation and FlightSafety International, drew more than 200 visitors and about 20 exhibitors.