EBACE Under Way

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The European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) got off to a brisk start on Tuesday with a reported attendance of 12,192. The event is one of the most important business aviation meetings in the world and the theme of this show appears to be the shape and form of the forthcoming recovery of the sector. Among the suggestions at one of the discussion groups was a greater engagement of politicians to try to prevent a relapse of the kind of backlash that blindsided the industry when auto executives were called out for using private aviation to travel to Washington, D.C., to ask for government bailouts for their companies. On the other hand, there's no shortage of luxury on display at the event, which draws a hefty percentage of it attendees from the ranks of the ultra-rich.

Comlux America is showing off its recently completed A320 Prestige, which configures the 200-seat airliner for 19 passengers, including a private cabin midships with a shower-equipped bathroom. Comlux also announced the purchase of three Embraer Legacy 650 jets and the company's president, Richard Gaona, was named one of two recipients of the European Business Aviation Awards. The other recipient was Peter Lonergan, the former director of Biggin Hill Airport near London.

Other highlights from the first day of EBACE include:

  • Hawker Beechcraft officially opened the order book on the Hawker 4000 and announced upgrades to the King Air 200GT.
  • Bombardier announced a firm order for 18 business jets to VistaJet.
  • Honda announced its type-conforming Hondajet has reached its maximum speed and altitude during testing and that first deliveries are planned for Q3 2012.