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Pinning Hopes on Europe

Business aviation in Europe will need 95,000 additional pilots and 1,01,000 additional maintenance technicians by 2034

Issue: 07-2016By R. ChandrakanthPhoto(s): By Neetu Dhulia / SP Guide Pubns, Bombardier, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Textron Aviation

As the 2016 edition of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE 2016) drew to a close, organisers said the show continues to demonstrate its standing as Europe’s foremost business aviation event. EBACE 2016 jointly hosted by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), featured over 450 exhibitors, representing more than 40 countries. The sold-out static display of aircraft featured 60 aircraft, some were new to the event or were making a first show debut at EBACE. The footprint for the show was the largest to date. EBACE 2016 attendees came from over 100 countries, from the European region and beyond.

“By the numbers, this has been an enormously successful EBACE,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, “Our static display is completely sold out, the exhibit footprint is our largest ever, we have over 450 exhibitors and we have over 400 reporters covering over 20 press conferences.” Ed Bolen added: “EBACE exhibitors and attendees repeatedly told us that the show continues to be a must-attend on the industry calendar. Additionally, EBACE once again highlighted the size and significance of business aviation in Europe and around the world.”


EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba agreed, “You can really feel that people are here to do business. They are actually looking at the show as the premier place to do business.” EBACE returns to Geneva, Switzerland, next year from May 22 to 24. “This year’s show was a terrific success, characterised by a full exhibit floor with lots of business getting done. It’s an affirmation that EBACE remains Europe’s most important industry event.”

Seminar Highlights HR Crunch

A business aviation talent crunch especially for pilots and maintenance technicians, is already starting to bite in the United States. At EBACE panel, representatives from across the industry considered whether Europe would face the same strains. “Business aviation in Europe will need 95,000 additional pilots and 1,01,000 additional maintenance technicians by 2034,” said Christian Weiss, leader of the Hay Group’s practice on organisation and workforce design.


New interior on Learjet 75 business jet
Falcon 8x
SETP-interior from Textron Aviation
Air Hamburg ordered one more Embraer Legacy 650 business jet

In the last 12 months, the business aviation market has seen an “unwelcome convergence,” said Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group, at a State of the Industry education session. “After 2008, the business aircraft market was torn in half,” said Aboulafia. “The ‘big iron’ segment of large cabin aircraft actually did fine because of emerging markets, but the small and midsize segment fell by 57 per cent, peak-totrough.” The recession in emerging markets has caused a decline in demand for large cabin aircraft, while a healthy economy in North America has spurred pickup in light and midsized jets. In Europe, business aircraft movements have declined four years in a row and because of the economic slowdown in Russia, Eurocontrol has seen 20 fewer flights a day between Europe and Russia.

Dassault Unveils Falcon 8X

Dassault Aviation unveiled Falcon 8X, the newest addition to the Falcon family in the ultra long-range category. Dassault Aviation’s static display included a Falcon 900 LX, Falcon 2000LXS and a Falcon7X. Dassault announced that the Falcon 8X ultra longrange business jet was entering the final stage of its flight test and certification programme. The approvals by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are expected by midyear with service entry by late summer. The three jets which are in the flight test programme have logged over 650 hours in 325 flights.

Large Orders for Embraer

Embraer Executive Jets announced during a press conference at EBACE that Across, Mexico’s premium business aviation services provider, signed a firm order for 23 business jets. The contract comprises the purchase of eight Legacy 500, eight Phenom 300 and seven Phenom 100E jets with an estimated value of over $260 million at current list price. The firm order was included in the company’s backlog of the first quarter and the first deliveries have already begun.

“This fleet order reflects our growing presence in Mexico and confirms the long-term relationship we are building with Across,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Mexican market has a solid business aviation utilisation culture and Embraer Executive Jets’ portfolio is perfectly suited to fulfil the increasing demand for more efficient and reliable aircraft in the region. We are glad to support Across in expanding its best-in-class services.”

Embraer Executive Jets and the Germany-based business charter operator Air Hamburg have signed a purchase agreement for yet another Legacy 650. The delivery of this aircraft is scheduled for the third quarter of 2016. This new acquisition brings to nine the total of Embraer business jets in Air Hamburg’s fleet, currently comprised of seven Legacy 600/650 and one Phenom 300, which serve its customers’ travels to European, Russian and Middle Eastern destinations.

New Interiors and Features

Embraer Executive Jets introduced new interior features for the Phenom 300 at EBACE 2016 that include a new flat table design, side ledge with wood veneer, new cup holder design, relocated power outlets and charging USB ports. The aircraft will also offer an optional mirror on the back wall. The new block-point changes, which stem from customer feedback, further improve the interior of the world’s most-delivered business jet for the last three years. Embraer also announced a new technology for its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500—designated the ‘upper tech panel.’ This feature, an innovation unique to Embraer, is a backlit touchscreen valence that provides pertinent flight status information, ambient lighting and access to cabin controls.

Gulfstream Update on G500 and G600

Gulfstream Aerospace announced that Gulfstream G500 and G600 test programmes continue to stride towards anticipated FAA certification in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The four G500 test aircraft have exceeded 1,000 hours of test time and production of the G600 test articles is well underway. “The G500 made its first flight nearly one year ago and we have spent 12 months since then expanding the test fleet and reaching the goals we established early on,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream. “At the same time, we have made significant progress in manufacturing the five G600 test articles. Thanks to the extensive ground work in Gulfstream’s state-of-the-art test labs, these aircraft programmes are maturing at a consistent pace.”

Gulfstream also pointed out that it had enhanced its support for a growing number of Europe-based operators with new company-authorised maintenance sites in Austria and Germany. The addition of two company-authorised maintenance sites, Jet Aviation’s service centre in Vienna and Altenrhein Aviation’s new Berlin line maintenance operation, help support a fleet of more than 220 aircraft in Europe, including over 30 based in the central section of the continent.

Bombardier’s New Passenger Comfort

Bombardier has introduced a new level of passenger comfort in the light jet category with the introduction of a Learjet 75 aircraft featuring an innovative pocket door design. The pocket door divides the cabin from the cockpit and galley area and reduces noise levels inside the cabin by up to eight decibels, while creating a distinct private living space for passengers. Bombardier also confirmed that Flexjet is the previously undisclosed customer that purchased 20 Challenger 350 jets. Bombardier and Flexjet celebrated the news at EBACE. The order is valued at approximately $534 million. Bombardier and Vistajet also celebrated an important milestone as the private jet company welcomed the 100th Bombardier business jet into the fold. The 100th jet is a Global 6000 business jet which entered service earlier this year.


Textron Aviation SETP Development

Textron Aviation revealed further programme details around the development of its highly anticipated single-engine turboprop aircraft (SETP), including unmatched performance specification targets, a superior passenger experience and the programme’s timeline. The company also announced that letters of intent for the high performance, clean sheet SETP are being accepted. The SETP will be designed to have cruise speeds of up to 285 knots and full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds. With a planned range of 1,600 nautical miles at high speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers, the aircraft will be able to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami, London to Moscow or Geneva to Istanbul. It will feature the widest and most comfortable cabin in its segment while offering best-in-class operating costs. The programme is targeting first flight in 2018.

HondaJet Receives EASA Certification

Honda Aircraft Company announced that Honda Jet received type certification from the EASA. Steve Higgins, EASA Section Manager for High Performance Aircraft and Turboprops, presented the type certificate for the HA-420 HondaJet to CEO Michimasa Fujino, Honda President and CEO.