The first flight of Embraer’s new Legacy 500 has been delayed until the third quarter of this year, due to software problems with its fly-by-wire controls. Nonetheless, the 500 and its shorter-haul, smaller sibling, the Legacy 450, are set to shine as the latest entries in the Brazilian manufacturer’s burgeoning book of business jet offerings, which range from the entry-level Phenom 100 to the uber barge Lineage 1000.
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) will establish a completions center in Asia “sooner rather than later,” the company said yesterday at Abace. “In the medium term the Chinese market is interesting,” noted LHT senior marketing and sales vice president Walter Heerdt. “We have to be here, otherwise we will not get the best share we can out of this market.” Heerdt remained tight-lipped as to where the company’s new Asian facility will be located. LHT has three joint ventures in Southeast Asia, including two in China, that provide maintenance services for airliners.
Castle & Cooke Aviation’s FBO at Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii now has the capability to refuel larger airliners and cargo airplanes.
With Chinese customers having expressed a clear preference for larger private aircraft, it is little wonder that Boeing Business Jets has proved popular in greater China. Of the 10 BBJs sold so far, four are already in service–two with DeerJet in mainland China, one with MetroJet in Hong Kong and another with a private owner in Taiwan.
Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners finalized its acquisition of ground support equipment manufacturer Tronair yesterday. The Holland, Ohio-based company makes more than 1,000 products–including towbars, electric tugs, tripod jacks, de-icer carts, lavatory servicing equipment, potable water carts and engine inlet covers–for more than 300 business aircraft, military aircraft and airliners.
Aircraft window shade manufacturer Aerospace Technology Group (ATG) officially opened its new 65,000-sq-ft headquarters and production facility in Boca Raton, Fla., yesterday. Founded in 1998, ATG designs and manufactures electronic window shade systems for airliners and corporate aircraft. Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream, Cessna and Dassault install ATG’s products on their business jets. Meanwhile, Emirates, Lufthansa and Qantas, among others, have installed ATG’s electronic shades in their business-class and first-class cabins.
Southeast Asia, rather than the behemoth economies of China and India, provided the bulk of the sales impetus for the 2012 Singapore Airshow. More specifically, it was from Singapore’s neighbor Indonesia that the latest wave of airline fleet modernization came when Lion Air confirmed a massive order for 201 of Boeing’s new 737Max-9 narrowbodies, plus 29 of the existing 737-900ERs.
A “Program for Development of the Aircraft Industry by 2025,” drafted by Russia’s Ministry for Industry and Trade, calls for investment of 1.7 trillion roubles ($56 billion) in various national aviation projects.
ST Aerospace has begun construction on an expansion to its facility at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park. It will include a general aviation hangar, simulator center for pilot training, facilities for aviation technical training and a VIP facility for air charter customers. ST Aerospace expects to complete the project by year-end. The 42,600-sq-ft hangar will double current capacity to service business jets, helicopters and light aircraft.
Fokker Services Asia has agreed to join ATR’s maintenance, repair and overhaul network. The company has just opened a new facility in Singapore and will use this to support Southeast Asian operators of ATR’s twin turboprop regional airliners.
ATR has some 250 aircraft operating in the Asia Pacific region and another 80 on order. It is expected to announce more new business from the region at the Singapore Airshow today.