Beechcraft to offer Pratt & Whitney engine upgrade to King Air 350 aircraft

Dec 6, 2016

Beechcraft today announced at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) conference in Dubai that the company is now offering Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines for improved performance on its King Air 350HW and King Air 350ER turboprops. In addition, the company is offering an increased gross weight option for these platforms, increasing the maximum takeoff weight to 17,500 pounds. Both enhancements are now FAA and EASA certified and offered as factory options for new aircraft or as aftermarket modifications.

Beechcraft Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67A engine upgrade

“The 350 platform is renowned as a worldwide mission enabler and these optional enhancements will offer customers added performance and payload for special mission operations,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president of Special Mission Aircraft.

King Air 350ER

King Air 350ER

“We have successfully modified a fleet of NATO air force-operated King Air 350ER aircraft with these upgrades, and we are excited to offer these options to provide more value to our special mission customers.”

The more powerful Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines provide superior field and climb performance, including hot and high operations. With an outside air temperature of 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), the engine upgrade allows for a maximum takeoff gross weight increase of up to 2,700 pounds at sea level, compared to the standard aircraft. The increased gross weight option provides operators greater flexibility between payload and fuel, representing a potential increase in loiter time of two to three hours.

The King Air 350HW is a Heavy Weight (HW) version of the King Air 350 that provides operators an increased gross weight through larger and stronger main landing gear struts, wheels, tires and brakes. The King Air 350ER is an Extended Range (ER) version that includes the enhanced landing gear and increases the fuel capacity through the addition of low drag metal fuel tanks aft of the powerplants.

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Textron Aviation expands line maintenance offering with new Bremen site

Apr 26, 2016

Textron Aviation has today announced the opening of its newest European line maintenance station in Bremen, Germany, further enhancing its service offerings for Citation, King Air and Hawker operators in Germany and throughout Europe. The company is leveraging facility space from Lufthansa Flight Training’s Bremen facility to bring line maintenance to customers in the northern region of Germany.

As two of the industry’s leading aerospace companies, Lufthansa Flight Training and Textron Aviation have enjoyed a long and successful relationship since 2008, when Lufthansa took delivery of its first Citation to provide jet training for its flight training program.

“With more than 250 jet and turboprop customers throughout Germany, we remain committed to making quality, factory-direct support convenient and accessible,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Customer Service, Textron Aviation.

Textron Aviation Line Maintenance

Textron Aviation expands line maintenance offering with new Bremen site

“Offering line maintenance at Bremen is further evidence of the significant investment we’ve made in our service network in Germany and throughout Europe. From the addition of a dedicated support aircraft to the expansion of our service center authorizations, the level of factory-direct support solutions we offer is unmatched in the industry.”

Line maintenance stations provide on the ground support and can perform a variety of services, including troubleshooting, minor repairs, component replacement and some service bulletins. With the addition of the Bremen site, Textron Aviation operates six line maintenance facilities across Europe, including year-round service in Luton, United Kingdom; Stuttgart, Germany; and Cannes, France, as well as seasonal service from June to August in Geneva, Switzerland and Nice, France.

The company provides a suite of complete maintenance and support solutions to a European fleet of more than 1,600 Citation, King Air and Hawker aircraft. In addition to six line maintenance stations throughout Europe, Textron Aviation serves its customers in the region with six company-owned service centers located in Doncaster, United Kingdom; Düsseldorf, Germany; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Valencia, Spain; and Zürich, Switzerland. In the last year, the company’s focused investments in Europe have resulted in a dedicated support aircraft serving the region and a European parts distribution center located in Düsseldorf, Germany, which houses more than 225,000 parts to serve the European fleet. With a team of more than 400 Textron Aviation staff comprised of engineers, service technicians, field service representatives and sales representatives based in Europe, customers in the region have local access to factory-direct expertise.

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Airbus displays ACJ319 corporate jet cabin at ABACE show

Apr 8, 2016

Airbus is exhibiting an ACJ319 at the ABACE show, where it is displaying a larger and more modern corporate jet  cabin, which is preferred by Chinese customers.

The ACJ319 on display features conference, dining and lounge areas at the front of the cabin, plus two separate rooms at the rear. It is currently offered for VVIP charter by Comlux The Aviation Group and is certificated to transport up to 19 passengers, more than traditional business jets. This allows it to serve a wider range of business needs.

“Airbus corporate jets can fly bigger groups than large traditional bizjets, while also delivering intercontinental range and similar operating costs, and Chinese customers appreciate that capability,” declares Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy.

ACJ319 Cabin

Airbus ACJ319 Comlux cabin on corporate jet

“The modernity and reliability of Airbus corporate jets’ airliner heritage is also highly valued in Asia,” he adds.

Airbus began delivering ACJ320 type corporate jets to China in 2005. Today, around 20 Airbus corporate jets are flying in China, giving them the strongest presence in the country of any business jet at the top-end of the market.

Airbus’ corporate jets have evolved from the world’s most modern airliner family, delivering benefits lacking in older designs. These include such advances as fly-by-wire controls that provide enhanced ergonomics and practical protection – now an expected feature of new-generation business jets.

The design of the Airbus corporate jet range also means that they can take full advantage of today’s larger and more fuel efficient engines. This can be seen with the new Airbus ACJneo Family. There is also a worldwide network of technical advice, spares and training serving more than 500 customers and operators worldwide of Airbus corporate jets.

Other standard Airbus features include Category 3B autoland that enables flights in foggy conditions, an intrinsically modern design that holds its value better than older designs, and time and cost-saving centralised maintenance.

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Qatar Executive obtains business jet European safety authorisation

Nov 17, 2015

Qatar Executive, the Qatar Airways’ corporate jet division, is the first ‘Business Aviation Operator’ in the Middle East and one of first worldwide to be awarded the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) third-country operator (TCO) safety certificate.

By 2016, all non-EU commercial operators wishing to fly to the EU will be required to hold the authorisation – certifying their compliance with international ICAO safety standards.

As of now, operators are required to apply for operating permits from each European country, whereas, under the new rule, the “EASA TCO” approval is a single safety authorisation valid in all EASA member states and outlying territories.

EASA aims to reduce bureaucratic obstacles with the new unified approach and seeks to replace today’s maze of national authorisations with a single document while maintaining the highest level of aviation safety in Europe.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who also heads up the airline’s private jet division, said: “Being the first business aviation operator in the Middle East to be awarded the EASA TCO certificate demonstrates that Qatar Executive is at the forefront of international aviation standards and that we are setting a benchmark for operational excellence across our industry.The new safety authorisation is a testament to our group’s high standards of safety, security, and attention to detail in all operational aspects, and is a proud moment for the company.”

Qatar Executive is the first private jet company in the Middle East to receive the EASA third-country operator safety certificate

“The safety and security of all our passengers and staff is our top priority, and we applaud EASA for its continuous efforts in enhancing international safety standards, and raising the bar for airlines and business aviation operators worldwide.”

The achievement enables Qatar Executive to further grow its worldwide aircraft charter business while continuing to leverage on the rapidly developing network and support of the award-winning Qatar Airways group. Qatar Airways also obtained the EASA TCO approval in July this year.

Qatar Airways is one of a few airlines in the world to provide a private jet service as part of its premium product portfolio and, since its inception just over six years ago, Qatar Executive has evolved into a leader in exclusive air charter services worldwide.

Qatar Executive Business Jets

Today, the company operates eight wholly-owned Bombardier private jets, comprising three Challenger 605 aircraft, four Global 5000 jets and a Global Express XRS. All these aircraft feature spacious cabins, the latter in a two-cabin configuration accommodating up to 13 passengers.

Qatar Executive Global 5000 Business Jet

To ensure Qatar Executive continues to offer one of the best products in the market, and to keep the private jet fleet young and modern, the charter jet company has made significant investments in new aircraft. It placed an order in May 2015 for up to 30 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace, including firm orders and options for a combination of Gulfstream’s all-new, wide-cabin aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the flagship G650ER.

The first Gulfstream G650ER will join the fleet before the end of 2015 and will offer customers the opportunity to fly non-stop from the Middle East to North America or from destinations in Asia to Africa – further, faster than any other jet of its kind.

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Cessna Gains Brazilian Certification For Their Citation CJ3+ Business Jet

May 26, 2015

Cessna has announced certification by Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil of their Citation CJ3+ business jet. This aircraft is one of the newest models in Cessna’s stable of next-generation Citation jets.

“The range, performance and economics of the Citation CJ3+ make it a natural fit for operations in Brazil, a country that has long been one of Cessna’s largest markets,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Sales.

 Cessna Citation CJ3+ Business Jet

“The Citation CJ3+ represents the latest, proven technology in terms of avionics and cabin productivity and carries on the brand promise expected from the Cessna name.”

The range of the Citation CJ3+, at 3,778 kilometers (2,040 nautical miles), gives operators non-stop reach from São Paulo to Manaus or Santiago and from Manaus to Managua, Nicaragua. With a required take-off distance of only 969 meters (3,180 feet), the Citation CJ3+ has access to airports unavailable to larger competitor aircraft. Requiring only 27 minutes to climb direct to 13,716 meters (45,000 feet), it quickly gets above weather and other traffic.

The Citation CJ3+ gained initial certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in September, less than six months after its market introduction in March 2014. Cessna has introduced four new Citations into the market in the last 18 months, contributing to Cessna’s strong business jet delivery performance in 2014.

The Citation CJ3+ Business Jet

The Garmin G3000 avionics suite in the Citation CJ3+, which includes turbulence detecting weather radar, TCAS II, advanced Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS), and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), is designed to provide the most efficient flight profile, minimizing fuel costs and environmental impact. Compared to other aircraft in the light jet category, the Citation CJ3+ burns less fuel and costs less in maintenance costs per flight hour.

Cessna created and continues to lead the light jet segment, giving customers the widest product range on the market. From the popular entry level Citation Mustang and Citation M2 jets, to the upgraded efficiency and comfort of the CJ3+ and the top performing CJ4, Cessna’s Citation family of privaate jets has evolved to offer a range of capabilities, systems and options unmatched in its class.

Cessna’s Citation series of jets are the most popular line of business jets ever produced, with more than 6,750 jets that have been designed, manufactured and delivered to customers around the world. Citations are the largest fleet of private jets in the world and have surpassed 31 million flight hours.

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NetJets uses Gogo for In-flight Connectivity and Entertainment Program

Apr 15, 2015

Gogo has been selected by NetJets for a new program that will bring a minimum of 650 in-flight entertainment
and connectivity (IFEC) systems to the NetJets fleet.

The program will provide NetJets customers with a full suite of IFEC capabilities including voice and texting (via passengers’ own smartphones and mobile numbers), Internet, e-mail, on-demand movies, TV episodes, news, moving maps, flight progress information, destination weather and more.

No other fractional provider is believed to offer such an advanced and complete in-flight connectivity and entertainment experience to its customers.

Adam Johnson, NetJets’ SVP of Global Sales, Marketing and Owner Services said, “ With Gogo and through other similar partnerships, we continue to incorporate the latest in market trends to our business aviation fleet offerings. Collectively, these help to create the customer experience that is so unique to NetJets.”

John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation’s executive vice president and general manager, said, “We’re pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with NetJets while helping deliver a new level of inflight experience to its owners. Connectivity and entertainment services are significant competitive differentiators in today’s fractional market. Behind safety, we continue to hear those services cited as most critical by passengers.”

Gogo and Netjets

Today’s announcement marks a number of historic aviation milestones:

• Business aviation’s largest fleet selection of In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)
• Vision – First fleet selection of service for business aviation
• First deployment of automatic IFE content updates in fractional market
• First selection of Text & Talk in the fractional market
• Business aviation’s largest fleet selection of Text & Talk to date
• First selection of UCS 5000 smart router/media server in fractional market

The Gogo Business Aviation program will deploy a host of individual products, services and on-board hardware. These will include:

• Biz – in-flight Internet and voice service
• Text & Talk – service that enables calling and texting in flight with passengers’ own
smartphones and mobile numbers.
• Gogo Vision – in-flight entertainment and information service
• UCS 5000 – in-cabin smart router and media server

Installations aboard the first aircraft in the program have already been completed at Duncan Aviation facilities in Lincoln, NE, and Battle Creek, MI.

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Cessna opens ABACE with Citation XLS+ order, Caravan and Skyhawk news

Apr 13, 2015

Cessna has opened the 2015 Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition today announcing a new order for the Citation XLS+ business jet in China.

FT Business Jets Co. Ltd., based in Shanghai, plans to offer charter operations in China, matching the XLS+’s range and efficiency with customers’ business and personal travel needs. The aircraft will be delivered later this year by Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd., a joint venture with China Aviation Industry General Aviation Company Ltd. (CAIGA).

“The Citation XLS+ has gained a reputation globally as a top performer in terms of cost and performance; a reputation that now extends to charter operators in China,” said Bill Schultz, senior vice president, Business Development, China.

Cessna Citation XLS+

“The XLS+ has the cabin size and amenities required for today’s business executive, and it has the performance and operating efficiency unparalleled in the midsize jet segment.”

As part of Cessna’s continued investment in the growth of China’s midsize business jet market, the company is today hosting the first Citation XLS+ Operator Conference for customers in China. The event, held in Shanghai, is focused on sharing best practices for midsize jet ownership and includes product and aftermarket service experts, and private and charter jet operators.

Citation XLS+

The Citation XLS+ is the first deliveries from the Cessna-AVIC (Zhuhai) Co. Ltd. joint venture were celebrated in November. This new business jet is the latest incarnation in the best-selling Excel-XLS family. It was certified for Chinese operations in early 2014 by the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC),

This new business jet model from Cessna  has an unparalleled combination of comfort, ease of operation, range of mission capabilities and favorable operating efficiencies. The aircraft provides customers access from Beijing to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to Shanghai, well within a one-day trip. Inside is the largest cabin in its class with nearly 19 feet (5.64 meters) of length, a dropped aisle that provides 68 inches (173 cm) of height the entire length of the cabin and seating for up to 12 passengers. It travels as fast as 441 knots (817 kilometers/hour) with a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 kilometers), departing from runways as short as 3,560 feet (1,085 meters).

More than 6,750 Citations have been delivered to customers around the world since the first Citation business jet was put into service in 1972. Citations are the largest fleet of business jets in the world and have surpassed 31 million flight hours.

Cessna and CAIGA formed the joint venture in 2012 to assemble and deliver Citation XLS+ business jets for Chinese customers. Operations in China include final assembly, paint, testing, interior installation, customization, flight testing and delivery.

Cessna Caravan

The company has also announced today its joint venture operation in Shijiazhuang has gained initial approval for Caravan Model 208 series maintenance by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) during the second quarter of 2015.

Initial CAAC Part 145 maintenance approval grants to Cessna-AVIC (Shijiazhuang) Co. Ltd. the ability to perform all maintenance procedures required by the manufacturer up to 100 flight hours.

“Providing company-direct maintenance is an important step for our joint venture to eventually provide complete life-cycle support for the growing fleet of Caravan aircraft in China,” said Jackie Chen, general manager of the new company.

Cessna  Caravan

“Having the maintenance facility located with our Grand Caravan EX production facility provides the most efficient setup for customers in the region.”

The Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Shijiazhuang) Co., Ltd., joint venture was one of two signed in early 2012. The joint venture company in Shijiazhuang is responsible for final assembly, paint, interior installation, customization, flight testing and delivery of Grand Caravan EX turboprops for the Chinese market. The Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Zhuhai) Co., Ltd. is responsible for similar operations to assemble and deliver Citation XLS+ business jets in China.

Orders for Grand Caravan EX aircraft from customers in China, particularly orders for amphibian models from aerial tour operators, have been robust through the first 18 months of joint venture operations. Customers include Meiya Air for aerial sightseeing in Wuzhizhou Island of Sanya; Joy Air, for charter tourism flights among Shanghai, Zhoushan and Shengsi Islands; and Reignwood Group.

Cessna Skyhawk

The aircraft manufacturer has also secured orders from four companies in China for the Skyhawk 172, further demonstrating the aircraft’s continued leadership in pilot training.

“The Cessna Skyhawk is the world’s most popular and technologically advanced flight training aircraft, and we are pleased to see operators in China recognizing its capabilities,” said Kevin Wu, vice president, International Sales, Greater China and Mongolia Region.

Cessna Skyhawk C172

“The opening of China’s low-altitude airspace has boosted the pilot training market, attracting an increasing number of general aviation companies into this area.”

A summary of recent order activity includes:

• Hubei Sky Blue International Aviation Academy, a Part 141 flight training provider that now also offers Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) training, has placed an order for five Skyhawks. These aircraft will join a fleet of 18 Skyhawks currently in service with the company.

• Shanghai Avieye GA, a Part 91 general aviation operator, has ordered one standard configuration Cessna Skyhawk and one Skyhawk with amphibious floats to begin PPL and CPL training. The company also operates a Grand Caravan EX single-engine utility turboprop in its fleet, which supports aerial mapping missions.

• Zhejiang Avieast GA, an established general aviation company in the Zhejiang province, has ordered two Skyhawks for pilot training purposes as well as two Turbo Stationair T206H aircraft for tourism flights.

• Shandong Hairuo GA, a Part 91 general aviation operator, has confirmed an order for two Skyhawks to be used in Part 141 training.

With the increase in general aviation activity in China, the company has continued to strengthen its presence in the region by bolstering its sales and support for customers. Cessna recently added Shandong Hairuo GA and Hubei Sky Blue International Aviation Academy as authorized sales representatives and an authorized customer service and support facilities for its single-engine aircraft.

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NetJets flies first Phenom 300 into London City Airport

Feb 5, 2015

NetJets Europe today announced it has successfully obtained certification to operate its Signature Series Phenom 300 business jet at London City Airport.

The company is the largest private operator at the airport, with over fifty percent of all traffic. In 2014 alone, their aircraft connected to 374 destinations across the globe out of the financial heart of London.

Mark Wilson, NetJets Europe President and COO said: “Private aviation continues to play a key role in the city, especially with London emerging as the economic growth engine not only for the UK, but also Europe. Our fractional ownership model is an unrivalled business tool when customers have access to over 100 aircraft across Europe, serving more than 900 airports across the continent. Commercial airlines are unable to offer the same level of flexibility and choice.”

Phenom 300 Business Jet

NetJets Europe worked closely with the aviation authorities to obtain certification for the Phenom 300 to fly to London City Airport. This required considerable time and financial investment for pilots to train and perfect the steep approach, short runway and proximity to the city’s tall landmark buildings.

“We are committed to safety and we set training standards for our flight crew that go above and beyond the requirements of aviation authorities across the globe,” added Mark Wilson.

NetJets Flies Phenom 300 Business Jet into London City Airport

“As part of our certification, we paid particular attention to the stringent noise requirements of the airport – which the whisper-quiet Phenom 300 meets by a large margin.”

Speed and efficiency is a core requirement for those flying privately and customers now save over two hours on their overall journey time by using London City Airport. One of the airline’s most popular city-pairs is London to Paris-Le Bourget Airport. Flight volumes on this route grew by 10.6 percent year-on-year from 2013 to 2014 – 3.3 percent ahead of the overall industry growth rate. Customers can now go from their desk in Canary Wharf to closing a business deal in La Défense on a Phenom 300 in 1.5 hours*.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said: “They continues to play a significant role in the development of the private aviation market in the UK and Europe. We are pleased to see standards being raised further with the certification of the Phenom 300.  Its arrival at the Jet Centre offers a new flying experience to our customers.  Those choosing to fly into London City are choosing the nearest airport to central London – just four miles from Canary Wharf, seven miles from the City and nine miles from Mayfair – and can enjoy our 90 second promise from aircraft to car.  It is therefore a perfect fit to announce the new light jet aircraft of choice for discerning travellers, at the private jet centre of choice in the UK’s capital.  We look forward to welcoming the Phenom 300 passengers and helping to make their journey special.”

Netjets Fleet Order

An order was placed for 125 Phenom 300 aircraft – including sixty firm orders – as part of a $17.6bn investment in its 700-strong global fleet. It has become the company’s fastest-selling jet to date. There are currently 36 aircraft flying globally, each one has been custom fitted with Signature Series interiors – making them completely bespoke to any other Phenom 300 in the market.

“We are very delighted to celebrate this milestone. The Phenom 300 is the top performer in its class, and the ideal aircraft for airports like London City”, said Peter Griffith, Embraer Vice President Marketing & Sales, Europe and Africa.

NetJets flies first Phenom 300 into London City Airport

NetJets flies first Phenom 300 from London City Airport

“It’s our commitment to support our customers in their operation with Embraer’s ample European support organisation, and I’m confident that the Phenom 300, now operated from and to London City, will be a real game-changer for European customers.”

Over 53 percent of its European customer base comes from the London finance sector – with private equity and hedge fund management seeing the most growth over the past twelve months. In 2014, 41 percent of new business in Europe was generated from the financial industry – demonstrating the recovery taking place in that sector.

Today’s announcement follows on from NetJets flying the long range Bombardier Global 6000 jet into London City Airport last year.

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