The 2008 Product Support Survey conducted by Aviation International News revealed some interesting changes from last year, but once again Gulfstream rated highest overall, snagging the top spot in the survey for the sixth time in a row. In second place this year was Cessna, followed by Dassault Falcon in third place.
Germany’s DC Aviation, in a bid to become Europe’s largest operator of private jets, last month took delivery of a new Gulfstream G450, bringing its fleet to 31 business jets, ranging from the Learjet to the Airbus A319 ACJ. Delivery of the G450 follows the Stuttgart-based company’s May announcement that three Airbus A319 ACJs will join the fleet within 12 months. A total of 12 new aircraft will be added to the fleet this year.
Global Aviation of Hillsboro, Ore., is now a Bombardier Business Aircraft-authorized AOG/line maintenance facility, strengthening service center coverage on the West Coast. Bombardier’s selection of Global Aviation authorizes the company to offer line maintenance on the Learjet 40, 45 and 60; the Challenger 604 and 605; and the Global series.
After experiencing a meteoric rise lasting almost a full decade, business jet production this year is anticipated to decline for the third year in a row. Those looking for a silver lining will be disappointed to learn that next year isn’t expected to be much better–nor is the year after that.
Three separate forecasts released last month indicate a steady increase in demand for and deliveries of business jets over the next two decades.
The 2008 Singapore Airshow was staged at an impressive new purpose-built site from February 19 to 24, and business aviation had a strong presence both on the static display and on the Singapore news agenda. Some 35,000 trade visitors were expected to stream through the gates to visit more than 800 exhibitors located in an impressive 430,000-sq-ft hall.
United Arab Emirates-based Prestige Jet has signed an agreement to provide EMS flights for Flight Ambulance International (FAI). The company will operate a fleet of Bombardier Learjet 55s from bases in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. FAI is based in Nuremberg, Germany, and provides evacuation flights out of Africa. The Middle East is a growing part of its business, already accounting for 8 percent of operations.
As we embark on the final and historically most active quarter of the year, buyer activity by most accounts seems to be building steam. While the worldwide inventory of jets is holding relatively steady right now, in May it dipped to 1,810 aircraft, a level not experienced since July 2001.
Rising oil prices and Europe’s ban on Soviet-era airliners have created a new market for western business jets in Russia. Russian businessmen have purchased a considerable number of western aircraft in the past two years.
Business aviation in Asia–particularly in China–was the focus of this year’s Asian Aerospace, held in Hong Kong from September 3 through 6. This year’s event also marked the show’s debut at a new venue– Asia World Expo at Hong Kong International Airport–as show organizer Reed Exhibitions moved the event from Singapore after its joint venture with that government ended. Singapore will hold its own show on a new site at Changi next February.