AVwebBiz - Volume 5, Number 34

September 5, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top Biz News back to top 

Indian Businessman May Invest $200 Million In Epic

The owner of India’s Kingfisher Airlines is reportedly planning to invest $200 million of his own money into Epic Aircraft. Vijay Mallya told the Indian newspaper the Mint that he was is in discussions with Epic but didn’t elaborate. The Mint cited unnamed sources who said the $200 million infusion would give Mallya a controlling interest in the company, which has developed a turboprop and both a single and twin-engine jet in recent years, none of which is certified.

The Mint is speculating that Epic is planning to formally announce the deal at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta later this month. Mallya attended a news conference held by Epic at EAA AirVenture in July. The company plans to certify its aircraft through a new facility near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It announced plans to build a facility at the Springbank Airport but so far it hasn’t advanced beyond the ground preparation stage.

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Biz News back to top 

NetJets Ends Some Ferry Fees

NetJets says it has so many aircraft spread all over the world it no longer needs to charge ferry fees for travel to “many” of its overseas destinations. It had a long-standing policy of not charging for repositioning aircraft in the continental U.S. “With the largest fleet and more aircraft types than any other fractional provider, NetJets has aircraft located all over the world and can eliminate fees customarily charged to position aircraft to and from international locations,” CEO Richard Santulli said in a news release. [more] The release is careful to specify that not all international flights will avoid ferry charges but it says there are destinations in 80 countries, as far away as Moscow and Israel, that qualify.

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
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Biz News back to top 

A Carbon-Neutral Way To Fly

Jets.com, a Quincy, Mass. charter company has teamed with Carbonfund.org to offer what it says is a way to “neutralize” their effect on global warming when they fly. Jets.com will charge an tax-deductible fee on the charter rate, which it will pass on to Carbonfund.org to invest in reforestation projects. "Providing private jet clients with the ability to fly carbon neutralis yet another win against global warming," said Eric Carlson, Executive Director of Carbonfund.org. "Offsetting flights with trees helps restore ecosystems, habitats and greens communities, as well as create jobs. We applaud Jets.com's charter industry leadership in taking a stand against global warming." Carbonfund.org has figured out how much CO2 each aircraft in Jets.com’s fleet will produce in flight and the carbon footprint of the customer’s flight is calculated at booking time. A fee of $5.50 per metric tonne of CO2 produced on the flight is then added to the charter charge. Customers are given the option of making their flights carbon-neutral and are supplied with the supporting tax documents. "We are committed to providing a real and immediate solution to an issue of concern, not only to Jets.com and its clients, but also to private air travelers all over the world," said Nate McKelvey, CEO of Jets.com.

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Biz News back to top 

Royal Jet Adds Fifth BBJ, Two Lears

The world’s biggest operator of Boeing Business Jets just got bigger. Royal Jet, of the United Arab Emirates, recently added a fifth BBJ to its inventory. In now has the ultra-luxurious and long-legged (5,500 nm) customized 737-700s flying all over the world and the aircraft are busy. “Each of our BBJs is typically flying around 1,300 hours each year. They are based all over the world, not limiting themselves purely to local markets,” said CEO Shane O’Hare. “They can be found in Africa, China, India, North America and Europe” The company is also looking after its home turf with a couple of speed Lears. Royal Jet recently took delivery of two Lear 35s that will be used on inter-regional trips up to about 2,000 nm. “With regional demand for private jet charter growing rapidly, the addition of these two aircraft enables us to provide a more cost-effective, yet personalised solution for clients,” said O’Hare.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
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Biz News back to top 

PlaneSmart! Aviation Gets Cirrus G3s

PlaneSmart!, a Dallas-based fractional company inked a deal with Cirrus Design on Tuesday to replace its fleet of Cirrus SR22 G2 models with new G3 aircraft. The deal was announced a couple of months ago but the paperwork was signed Tuesday. The new aircraft will have every option available on the G3, including air conditioning and turbonormalization that allows operations to 25,000 feet. The G3 was announced in April and has more than 700 design changes from the earlier models. All of PlaneSmart's aircraft will be identically equipped for continuity and ease of operation.

"PlaneSmart! customers are excited about the arrival of their new and more capable aircraft" said Jeffery A. Cullen, PlaneSmart!'s President and co-founder. "In addition to the enhanced capabilities associated with the turbo-charged aircraft, the new airplanes offer the perfect combination of performance, navigation and safety features. Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier said the G3 is the right aircraft for PlaneSmart's clients. "Their dedication to providing top-of-the-line products and services to customers though a fractional share program is impressive."

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Biz News back to top 

Business Jet Sales Revive Bombardier

The surging business jet market has helped cash-strapped Bombardier recover from its post-9/11 problems and the Canadian planemaker is ramping up production. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bombardier sold 212 business jets in its last fiscal year and orders continue to pour in. It's also doing well in the regional jet market and is boosting production from one CRJ every five days to one every four days. A company spokesman said an airworthiness directive on the flap system affecting the entire fleet of older CRJs isn't affecting sales of new aircraft.

The AD goes into effect today and affects hundreds of aircraft worldwide. There have been hundreds of reports of flaps becoming stuck, a problem Bombardier says results in cold weather operations. The FAA announced the AD in August to ensure the flaps are fixed in time for winter.

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Biz News back to top 

Hawker Beechcraft Reports Sales in Asia

Hawker Beechcraft announced sales of a total of 10 mid-sized business jets in the Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday. The company will be sending four Hawker 900XPs and four Hawker 750XPs to Jet Asia Ltd. The aircraft will be used by Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM), a casino company owned by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM). Hainan Airlines has ordered a 900XP and an 850XP to augment its charter service, which is the largest in China.

In a news release, Hawker Beechcraft said the Asian charter business is booming and its products fit the needs of customers there. The company has also announced the opening of a Singapore sales office to handle the burgeoning business. The Singapore office will be the regional headquarters for outlying offices in Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg and Australia.

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Help Us Bring You the Headlines ... back to top 

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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles (bio)

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady (bio)
Glenn Pew (bio)

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings (bio)

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