On one thing Boeing and Airbus agree: the Asia/Pacific region will generate enough demand for their products to keep them busy building lots of airplanes over the next two decades. Both companies say they expect to see the vast area spanning from northeast Asia to New Zealand and across to India account for nearly as many aircraft deliveries as North America or Europe, and both expect China to lead the way.
High-end, Geneva-based cabin refurbishing specialist Burnet Interiors is boosting its skilled workforce from 18 to 25 to meet rising customer demand. Simultaneously, its 7,500-sq-ft facility on the northwest side of Geneva International Airport is growing by 15 percent, although the company would like to expand that as well.
Pieced together from many companies in an evolution that commenced in 1999, the Swiss Ruag group is progressing at its cruising speed. The goal of the company’s founders was to move the defense supplier away from the exclusive dependence on the Swiss armed forces and to create an independent enterprise with a diversified customer base. Business aviation is a key part of this strategy.
Airbus has found a ready market for its latest corporate jet, and exclusive cabin outfitter Lufthansa Technik (Booth No. 744) is happily reaping the benefit of what appears to be a particularly promising new market niche for fast-turnaround completions using standardized components and cabin layouts.
Airbus has made Lufthansa Technik’s Mobile Access Router (MAR) a standard option on the A380. The equipment is described as a fully integrated flying office solution that supports telephone, fax, video conferencing, Web browsing, e-mail, wireless local area network and moving-map functions.
Lufthansa Technik is celebrating the arrival at its Hamburg base of the fifth Challenger 850 executive jet. Another dozen are due in the coming months as the result of Bombardier’s initial order for 17, and demand is so brisk that Midcoast Aviation will be completing additional airframes to the LHT design.
B/E Aerospace (Booth No. 528), a leading manufacturer of cabin interior products for both airliners and business jets, is highlighting its lightweight Stratas passenger seat and new flex-arm LED reading light, along with other products, here at EBACE.
PrivatAir, the Geneva-based specialist for large executive aircraft charter, announced that it was at an advanced stage of evaluation of additional large aircraft for executive charter. Included on its possible shopping list are the new Airbus 350 and Boeing 787 airliners, which are expected to be on the market at the beginning of next decade.
Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) has been sending out initial proposals for “green” corporate versions of the proposed 747-8 jetliner, for which parent company Boeing still seeks a launch customer. Here at EBACE 2006 yesterday, BBJ president Steve Hill said that a first buyer could be identified within about two months.
Business aviation devotees are increasingly tapping into the expertise of other industries catering to the high-end marketplace to find news ways to improve their products. One of the latest examples of this is here at the EBACE show, in the form of 1:25-scale mockups of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus 350 cabin interiors at Jet Aviation’s exhibit.