Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) wants to see small-aircraft commercial operators equip their fleets with lightweight data recorders, and the agency is pressing Transport Canada to work with industry to make it happen. The new TSB recommendation was part of a recently released accident report that was unable to pin down the reason a de Havilland Canada Twin Otter broke up in flight over the Yukon in March 2011.
Dassault is still waiting for a recovery of the U.S. business aircraft market–a market that has “no reason not to be back,” company officials said at EBACE on Monday. As are most industry executives, the Dassault officials appeared perplexed by worldwide sales trends.
“In 2013, we had a good early start in January and February but then things went disappointing,” said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet (Booth 7090). Net sales in the first quarter reached 14, a better performance than the 10 sales during last year’s first quarter.
Gulfstream Aerospace announced yesterday at EBACE that it is bolstering its sales, marketing and aircraft support presence in Europe as the Gulfstream fleet continues to expand, apparently unabated by any lingering economic uncertainty. In fact, there are now 246 Gulfstreams based in Europe–182 in Western Europe and 64 in Eastern Europe–more than double the number as recently as 2006, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer said.
Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft, said here at EBACE yesterday that, “The [HondaJet] program is steadily progressing toward certification and first delivery.” He now expects FAA type certification of the light jet in the fourth quarter of 2014, with EASA certification to follow within six months.
Bombardier Aerospace took the wraps off the Challenger 350–an upgraded Challenger 300 with a new wing, more powerful engines, larger windows and redesigned interior–yesterday on the EBACE show floor. NetJets was also announced as the launch customer for the new $25.8 million twinjet, which is $1 million more than its fraternal twin, which Bombardier will continue to offer. First deliveries of the new Challenger are scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Boeing’s recent assertion that the appetite of capital markets to fund airliner orders has increased comes as especially welcome news to manufacturers and their customers at a time when other sources of funding seem under pressure. Export credit, in particular, now comes generally at higher interest rates and with tougher equity requirements. At the same time, such government-backed capital has become a hostage to global politics, according to Kostya Zolotusky, managing director for capital markets development and leasing at Boeing Capital.
Although business has been tough for UK helicopter charter companies in recent times, Capital Air Services is in the process of increasing its managed fleet with the addition of two Sikorsky S-76++ helicopters. This will bring the S-76 fleet to three, to operate alongside a Eurocopter EC155 and a pair of EC135s.
A pair of major new suppliers for Embraer’s next-generation E-Jets identified themselves last week in a sign that program advancement continues apace despite the airframer’s reservations about communicating any details about its plans for an industrial launch or even performance specifications.
U.S. airlines have managed to stay profitable during a period of recession and spiking fuel prices, but small- and medium-sized airports have paid the price in reduced domestic air service, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study.
A major restructuring at Air India has cut loss-making routes to 25 percent of its network in the fiscal year ending March 2013, down from 69 percent in the previous year. The airline attributes the improvement to a series of steps taken to cut costs, restructure loans, strengthen management and liquidate assets, including the spin-off of engineering and ground handling as independent profit centers.