Giuseppe Airaudi, 52, and his passenger died in the crash of an Agusta Bell AB412 on November 27 in the Italian Alps. Airaudi cofounded Turin-based Airgreen with his brother Mauro in the early 1980s. Airgreen now operates 15 helicopters for rescue, aerial work and transport to mountain shelters.
This past year independent Italian business aviation service companies made inroads against government-backed airport handling providers that have long blocked competitors in the battle for market access.
Piaggio Aero Industries is preparing to launch a new jet program before the end of this year and is debating which of two designs to develop. On April 19, the Italian firm laid the financial foundations for the anticipated product launch when it announced that Mubadala Development, an investment company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, is purchasing a 35-percent stake in its business.
During a recent visit to Piaggio’s Italian home, EBACE Convention News got a first-hand demonstration of how the P180 Avanti can enable business people to make trips that would have been infeasible by other means. Having briefed journalists at its Genoa headquarters on the northwest coast of Italy, Piaggio wanted them to visit the famous Ferrari sports car factory in Maranello near Modena in the center of the country.
Giving “club class” a new meaning, Italian carrier Eurofly is about to begin charter operations with an Airbus A319LR “business liner” on static display here at the EBACE show. Eurofly acquired the aircraft new about a year ago and holds an option on a second example.
Independent FBO groups are at last challenging cozy ground handling monopolies in Italy. But the new market entrants have encountered resistance at every turn as authorities try to dodge European Union competition rules.
Italian carrier Eurofly has been operating its all-business-class Airbus A319 service between Milan and New York since May, but the start-up has been marred by a political row over traffic rights. The U.S. Department of Transportation refused to allow the service to operate to and from Milan’s near-downtown Linate Airport because U.S. airlines are obliged to use the less convenient Malpensa Airport.
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