Business Aviation News. September 2010

Emma Kelly reports

1st Sep 2010

Bombardier wins US$800 mln business jet orders

Bombardier Aerospace announced multiple large aircraft orders in July, during the Farnborough International Airshow and the week prior, for a total of 16 business jets at a value of about US$800 million based on list prices.

“This has been a great show for Bombardier Business Aircraft,” says Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Coming off a challenging year, this is a phenomenal accomplishment and we are thrilled to be announcing orders once more – and multiple aircraft orders at that.”

On 20 July, VistaJet of Switzerland placed firm orders for four ultra long-range Global Express XRS jets, including two with the new Global Vision flight deck, and two Challenger 605 jets.

“VistaJet has expanded rapidly beyond Europe’s borders,” says company founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr. “We now have major customers in the Middle East, Africa, Russia/CIS and Far East who require longer-haul aircraft with state-of-the-art cabins. Challenger and Global business jets are ideal to meet the needs of our passengers in these regions.”

The same day, the manufacturer revealed that it had received firm orders for four Global Express XRSs from undisclosed customers based in Russia.

On 19 July, Bombardier announced firm orders for two Global 5000 jets from Qatar Airways, while on 15 July, Australia’s AVWest placed four more firm orders for the Global Express XRS, including two with Global Vision. Qatar’s new Global aircraft will join the carrier’s corporate jet subsidiary, Qatar Executive, which already has one Challenger 300 jet and two Challenger 605s in its fleet.

“These sales to Qatar Airways are an affirmation of the value of corporate aviation in the Middle East and worldwide,” Ridolfi says. “Qatar Airways recognizes that there is a need for both commercial and business aviation and as such has invested in both markets, much like Bombardier.”
According to the manufacturer, the Global Vision flight deck features a state-of-the-art avionics suite “paired with superior design aesthetics to create the ultimate flight control environment, providing ... an unprecedented level of situational awareness and comfort”.

Al Jaber receives first Airbus VVIP aircraft

Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Aviation (AJA) has become the first Middle East customer to offer an Airbus aircraft for VVIP charter flights, following the delivery of its first A318 Elite.

The company has a further three A318 Elites and two Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJs) on order, which will make it the largest operator of Airbus corporate jets in the region.

“We aim to provide VVIP customers with the ultimate in comfort, space and service, and because the A318 Elite and Airbus ACJ have the widest and tallest cabins of any business jet, can now deliver it,” says Al Jaber Group Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Al Jaber.

“The privacy, prestige and productivity of corporate jets is well understood in the Middle East, where there is a strong and growing demand for VVIP charter flights that AJA is well placed to satisfy,” says John Leahy, Airbus’s chief operating officer, customers.

The company’s A318 Elite can accommodate up to 19 passengers, allowing larger groups to travel together than would be possible in traditional business jets. Airbus says the aircraft also provides “better value for money” than smaller types.

The jet features a private office that converts to a bedroom and large bathrooms, with plenty of luggage space.

Airbus says its corporate jet family has won more than 160 orders to date, comprising more than 100 A318 Elites, Airbus ACJs and A320 Prestiges, plus around 50 VIP versions of the manufacturer’s widebody jetliners.

CESSNA AIRCRAFT announced on 21 July that its Citation Mustang business jet has won certification in India from the Director General of Civil Aviation. The Mustang, originally certificated by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2006, now has certification in more than 60 countries. The world’s first fully certified, entry-level business jet, the Mustang is a six-seat aircraft with a top speed of 340 knots, a range of 1,150 nautical miles (2,130km) and a service ceiling of 41,000ft, enabling it to operate more efficiently above most weather and commercial traffic. “The Mustang is very well suited for operations in India, due to its range and performance,” says Trevor Esling, Cessna’s vice-president for international Citation sales. The manufacturer has delivered more than 300 Mustangs to customers around the world. The aircraft typically sells for US$3.04 million.

EUROCOPTER is to introduce the first full-flight simulator (FFS) for the Dauphin AS365 N3 helicopter in South East Asia. The simulator is being developed and built in partnership with Thales and will be operational in Eurocopter South East Asia’s (ESEA) new training facility in Singapore by mid 2012. “The development of the AS365 N3 FFS in ESEA is in line with Eurocopter’s worldwide training policy, which aims to create a vast network of training centres equipped with simulator training facilities at close proximity to our customers’ operations,” says Lutz Bertling, president and CEO of Eurocopter. The new FFS in Singapore is actually the second of its kind, the manufacturer says. The first was launched a year ago with Heli Union Training Centre in Angouleme, France, and was scheduled to become operational this year.

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