Executive Service In Lebanon By Liz Moscrop Austria's Tyrolean Jet Services (TJS) announced at EBACE that it has joined forces with Lebanese company Clear Sky to offer executive air services in the Middle East. The new company will be called Clearsky Tyrolean Jet Services CTS) and operate out of Beirut. CTS will offer charter and aircraft management services and plans to open an FBO at a later date. CTS will base a 14-seat Dornier 328 jet in Beirut from June 2009 and aims to expand its fleet throughout the Middle East.
ATR Launches Corporate Models By Liz Moscrop ATR launched ATR Corporate at EBACE. According to sales director Milco Rappuoli the company is still working on a name for the new aircraft. The move came about because several airlines are already using the regional turboprop as a convertible from VIP to shuttle or medevac. Last year the OEM sold a VIP variant to a customer in Azerbaijan.
Once again, the European Business Aviation Conference and Expo provides ample opportunities for checking out the bizjets of various folks in the industry and, as always, we make it a point of taking in the sights.
Strong EBACE Despite Crisis By Liz Moscrop EBACE 2009 was a success in any terms, but given the current financial climate, the business aviation industry had much to be cheerful about. The third biggest show in the event's history saw 10,000 attendees turn up and 65 aircraft fly into the static display. This was good news for a sector hit by job cuts of some 20,000 plus over the last six months and predictions of a 30 percent drop in output from last year's bullish projections. The manufacturers and industry associations put up a feisty defense. Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that business aviation contributed 19.7 billion ($26.9 billion) to the European economy in 2007.
EBACE 2008 Photo Gallery By Russ Niles
There were plenty of jets to see at the European Business Aviation Conference and Expo (EBACE), but not enough time to tour them all. We saw as much as we could, but we also snapped plenty of photographs, working off the theory that we could look at a few airplanes in more detail on our flight home. With the show behind us, here are some of our favorite images from the expo.
EBACE 2008 Shatters Records By Russ Niles
The European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) recorded 21.5 percent more visitors and 35 percent more exhibitors at this year's show in Geneva. Officials say 13,762 people went through the doors of the PalExpo Convention Center at Geneva International Airport. For first-time exhibitors like Cirrus Design it's a permanent mark on the already-busy show calendar. "You just have to be here," said Cirrus spokeswoman Kate Dougherty. Cirrus rented prime exhibit space in prestigious Halle 7, which included booths from virtually all major business jet manufacturers. Many companies significantly upgraded their booths this year as they welcomed some of the richest and most powerful business people, political leaders and royalty from all over the world. Outside, the cheek-by-jowl static display is a harbinger of challenges to come.
Click through for a guided tour of the Gulfstream G650
So, how big should a business jet be? As big as it can get, apparently. Airbus announced an order for six as yet not prototyped A350 extra-wide-body aircraft to MAZ Aviation, which represents clients in the Middle East. The deal is worth $1.5 billion. As little as six months ago, Boeing and Airbus were heavily promoting the smallest aircraft in their airliner lineups as super-sized business aircraft. At EBACE 2008, both companies unveiled product strategies, manufacturing slot arrangements and spiffy cutaway models for private configurations of their full product lines, including 747-8 and A380 aircraft.
Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier says the company will give "the jet" a real name before it hits the market and the moniker was simply an in-house convenience that stuck when the company went public. But Klapmeier also took pains to assure a news conference at EBACE 2008 that the jet itself is "real" and he's anxious for the prototype to fly. "Obviously I want it to fly as soon as possible but that has to be left up to the test pilots," he said. So, while he's said before that he'd like to fly the aircraft to EAA AirVenture at the end of July, he told the EBACE press conference that he's not predicting a date because he doesn't want to pressure the test pilots. "They'll decide when it's ready," he said. Klapmeier showed photos of the prototype now under construction in Duluth and they indicate an aircraft that may be ready to fly sooner rather than later.
Redone Regional Jets Offer New Jet Alternative By Russ Niles One of the most mundane forms of air transportation is finding new life at the top of the food chain. Project Phoenix is converting Bombardier CRJ 200 regional jets to ultra-luxurious business jets in the same league as the Bombardier Global Express at less than half the price. But while the $18.5 million price tag is attractive, it's the availability that's caused business to boom for Phoenix. "We aim to deliver five in this coming year," European sales agent Hugh Wilson told AVweb in a podcast interview.
BBJs As A Humanitarian Tool By Russ Niles
Boeing makes no bones about the luxury and style it offers on its large business jets but thanks to an innovative project developed in Sweden, they can be converted to lifesaving workhorses in a matter of hours. The company has certified a modular system of stretchers and self-contained intensive-care beds that can be used in the mass evacuation of casualties from disasters. "We can convert a standard airliner or business aircraft in less than six hours," said SAS Technical Services engineer Sven Reiner. A 737-800 can carry six of the intensive-care beds and the staff needed to monitor them, along with up to two dozen less seriously injured individuals.