All posts tagged 'Business Aviation' - Page 2

The World's Best FBOs: A Look at AIN's 2014 FBO Survey Results

On the heels of its April 2014 FBO Survey of the Americas, AIN released the results from its overseas FBO survey today, highlighting the world's best FBOs. With both the American and International FBO surveys combined, there are of over 4,500 FBO options available for survey participants to choose from.

The surveys, available online each year, asks each participant to rank the FBOs in five different categories, including pilot amenities, passenger amenities, line service, facilities and customer service.

The Americas
In America, FBOs reported a slight upswing in business aviation traffic in 2013 - an increase of about 2.4 percent from 2012, according to AIN. Part 135 operations were up 11.3 percent from 2012, helping FBOs gain momentum in 2013.

Back in April AIN announced the best-rated FBOs in North America in a detailed report available on their website. The top-ranked FBOs were determined by online surveys distributed to AIN readers, including pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers and aircraft operators who frequent these FBOs at airports around the United States.

The results are in. The top five FBOs in America are:

  1. AirFlite Aviation Services, Long Beach/Daugherty Field (KLGB)
  2. J.A. Air Center, Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
  3. Tampa International Jet Center, Tampa International Airport (KTPA)
  4. XJet, Centennial Airport (KAPA)
  5. Banyan Air Service, Ft Lauderdale Executive (KFXE)

In addition, AIN ranked the top FBO chains across the U.S. The top three are:
  • Atlantic Aviation
  • Jet Aviation
  • Landmark Aviation (who recently expanded its international operations with the purchase of RSS Jet Center.)

Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Just today, AIN announced the release of its International FBOs Survey Results, based on invited users in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East who took the online survey. Again, the rankings were determined based on the scores from the five categories mentioned above: Pilot amenities, passenger amenities, line service, facilities and customer service.

The full AIN survey report for the international region notes that Asia and Africa have seen some notable growth in the business aviation industry, although FBO success in these areas remains somewhat limited.

According the report, the business aviation market in Europe has remained stagnant, with much of the inbound traffic coming from the United States, which saw a 1.7 percent increase in international movements in 2013. FBOs throughout Europe have seen an increase in large-cabin aircraft, a sign that smaller jets are being underutilized due to the slow market there, according to AIN.

Here are the top five international FBOs, according the AIN's 2014 FBO Survey Results:

The most-loved FBOs throughout the international region are:

  1. TAG Farnborough, Farnborough Airport (EGLF)
  2. Jet Aviation, Geneva International Airport (LSGG)
  3. TAG Aviation, Geneva International Airport (LSGG)
  4. Harrod's Aviation, London Luton Airport (EGGW)
  5. Landmark Aviation, Nice Cote d'Azur International Airport (LFMN)

More survey results and the full reports for both the U.S. and International FBO Surveys can be found on AIN's website.

What are your favorite FBOs? Help them out by ranking them at's Airport Resource Center!

ABACE 2014 Highlights: Gulfstream Dominates, Airbus Unveils New Interior

Photo Courtesy: Gulfstream

The Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) is underway in Shanghai and so far, it seems like Gulfstream has dominated the show. This year, Asia's largest business aviation event is hosting almost 200 exhibitors and over 35 static aircraft displays. Here are the ABACE 2014 highlights so far:

G280 Speed Records (...again):
By now we know that Gulfstream doesn't like to fly anywhere without breaking a record. And they've done it again - this time, with the G280. The super-midsize, long-range jet had already set 45 city-pair speed records before it set two more on the way to ABACE this year, making stops in Germany, Dubai and Hong Kong before flying to Shanghai.

"The G280 flew 2,751 nautical miles/5,094 kilometers from Friedrichshafen Airport in Germany to Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates at an average speed of Mach 0.84 for a total flight time of 5 hours and 49 minutes," Gulfstream said in a statement on April 14th.

From Dubai, the G280 made the 3,449 mile flight to Honk Kong International Airport with a time of 7 hours and 7 minutes at Mach .82.

Minsheng Orders 60 Aircraft from Gulfstream:
In one of the largest business aviation deals ever, Minsheng Financial Leasing Company Ltd. ordered 60 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. The deal was made in the last part of 2013, but the partnership was announced and celebrated at ABACE on Tuesday, according to a statement by Gulfstream on Tuesday.

The order reportedly includes 40 firm orders and 20 options - totaling over $2.6 billion, according to AIN- and includes aircraft from across the Gulfstream product line, including the G280, G450, G550 and G650.

ACJ319 Interior Change:
While Gulfstream stole the show with speed records and heavy orders, Airbus announced a new version of the company's ACJ319 corporate jet called the ACJ319 Elegance.

The ACJ319 Elegance has a newly designed interior, giving customers more options when it comes to customizing their aircraft. In addition, the new design allows for a smooth transition in the event that a customer wants to upgrade to a new cabin in the future, according to Airbus.

The Elegance design offers different module choices for lounge, office, conference or dining needs. It has a bathroom and galley up front, and a bedroom with a bathroom in the back.

Business Aviation Growth in China:
ABACE 2014 headlines also include the general outlook of business aviation in Asia, which is strong according to the deputy administrator for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Asian Sky Group (ASG) announced its 2013 Greater China Business Jet and Civil Helicopter Fleet Report at ABACE on Tuesday. According to the report, Gulfstream is dominating the general aviation market in China with almost 40 percent market share. Bombardier follows at 30 percent.

Image © Asian Sky Group

In 2013, the business jet market in China grew by 21 percent, with the largest growth seen by Embraer, Dassault Falcon and Hawker. The G-550 and G-450 are the most popular business jets in China, according to the report.

Finally, between 2007 and 2013, the business jet market in Greater China has grown at a rate of 34 percent, significantly higher than the global rate of five percent.

Eclipse Aerospace Completes Its First ‘New’ Aircraft

Article By: Rob Finfrock

For the first time in more than four years, new aircraft have emerged from the former Eclipse Aviation final-assembly facility in Albuquerque, N.M. Two unfinished airframes left on the assembly line when that company declared bankruptcy in November 2008 were recently completed by the resurrected company, Eclipse Aerospace, and outfitted as factory-new Total Eclipse twinjets. Until now, Eclipse Aerospace’s Total Eclipse airplanes were pre-owned airframes delivered by the old company and later refurbished by Eclipse Aerospace.

For the first time in more than four years, new aircraft have emerged from the former Eclipse Aviation final assembly facility in Albuquerque, N.M.–in this case two Total Eclipse twinjets. These aircraft will soon be followed by new Eclipse 550s, which will start rolling off the line in mid-2013.

Both of the new aircraft–S/Ns 261 and 262–are available for delivery next month equipped with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofans, known-icing certification and the Avio IFMS avionics suite, according to the company. The aircraft will also feature discounted pricing on an optional upgrade package that, upon FAA certification, will include synthetic- and enhanced-vision capabilities, as well as autothrottles.

A company spokesman told AIN the aircraft are the first two examples to pass down Eclipse Aerospace’s retooled production line for the upcoming Eclipse 550, which will be the first aircraft completely produced by the company. Eclipse 550 deliveries are expected to begin in the middle of next year.

The Need for Speed

Article by: Kirby J. Harrison

In an ever-shrinking world of instant gratification in which going fast is good, then going faster must be even better.

Honeywell didn’t come right out and say it, but the company’s 2012 market forecast introduced a new category devoted to the concept of farther and faster. The forecast calls it the “very high speed/ultra-long range” category and notes the first use of that category in 2010 with the Gulfstream G650.
B/E Aerospace will open a new 38,000-sq-ft ecosystems assembly facilityWhen Gulfstream launched its G650, the airplane was advertised as the industry’s fastest, displacing Cessna’s Citation X. Now the two are locked in a heat, with manufacturers now highlighting range.

The G650 was originally projected to have a range of 5,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.90, but here at NBAA’12 Gulfstream announced the airplane has exceeded expectations and will now fly 6,000 nautical miles at that speed.

While there has been talk about which airplane will be the fastest business jet–Cessna’s revamped Citation X or Gulfstream’s G650, both with an mmo in the 0.93 range–the discussion is now moot from Gulfstream’s perspective. The company notes that while the Citation X is a pretty fast machine with a high-speed cruise of about Mach 0.90, the G650 will fly three times farther at the same speed, with more passengers, in a larger cabin. Enter a new competitor for the faster and further crown.

At NBAA 2010, with the G650 certification program well under way, Bombardier revealed it would build two new members of the Global series–the Global 7000 and the Global 8000.

They will be big. The larger Global 7000 cabin will be 59.6 feet long by 6.92 feet wide and providing 6.25 feet of headroom. By contrast, the G650 cabin is 46 feet 10 inches long and 8 feet 6 inches wide, with 6 feet 5 inches of headroom. The Global 7000 has the edge in cabin volume with 2,637 cubic feet, compared with 2,138 cubic feet in the G650.

Powered by new GE Passport turbofans, the Global 7000 and Global 8000 will fly approximately 4,850 nautical miles and 5,400 nautical miles, respectively, at Mach 0.90–less than the Rolls-Royce BR725-powered G650. Both the Global 7000 and Gulfstream G650 are priced in the $65 million range “typically equipped.”

So as we head for the mid-point of the decade, competition heats up in the VHS/ULR category with closely matched rivals. Some sources were speculating that Gulfstream would announce a stretched G650 (dubbed the G750) here at NBAA’12 to address the Global 7000, but that had not happened as this issue went to press yesterday.

The competition is likely to be lively, recalling those heady days in the mid-1990s when Bombardier and Gulfstream went head to head with the Global Express and GV, running full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, each not only promoting its own product but also taking any opportunity to point out perceived flaws in its competitor’s aircraft.

Is there a market? Honeywell thinks so. Its forecast estimates that market segment will be the fastest-growing in business aviation in the coming decade, based on its survey of operator purchase plans. The Gulfstream order book is a pretty good indicator: the greater part of the company’s hefty $16 billion backlog relates to orders for the G650.

Observers might be forgiven if the competition conjures visions of Maverick and Goose as they passed by a line of F-14 Tomcats in the movie Top Gun, announcing “I feel the need–the need for speed!”

Boeing To Offer BBJ Version Of 737 MAX

Article By: John Morris
Source: Aviation Week

Responding to strong interest from customers, Boeing Business Jets is launching a VIP version of the 737-8 from its new MAX range.

The BBJ MAX 8 will have the fuel-efficient CFM International Leap-1B engines and Boeing advanced technology winglets, coupling the BBJ2-sized cabin of the 737-8 with a more than 14% improvement in range.

“We’re taking the increased efficiency of the [737-8] and turning it into a VIP aircraft with 600-700 miles more range with the same fuel,” says BBJ president Steve Taylor. “This is a radical step improvement, driven by an increased range that opens up many more city pairs.” Range will be some 6,325 nm. for a typical four-passenger VIP mission with NBAA IFR reserves, he notes.

“We anticipate the BBJ MAX 8 will be a very strong seller as a VIP aircraft and will likely capture a larger share of the market because it’s the right combination of performance, space and comfort,” says Taylor.

He expects initial sales will be to existing customers, a number of whom want to trade up from their BBJ1s that are in some cases approaching 15 years in service. Compared to the “regular” BBJ “which we jokingly call ‘the light twin,’” says Taylor, the BBJ MAX 8 will offer a 19-ft.-longer cabin and three times the cargo capacity – as does the current BBJ2 version.

The BBJ1 is based on the 737-700, while the BBJ2 is based on the -800. Availability of the BBJ MAX 8 will likely be about six aircraft a year, the same as today, as that’s the traditional number that Boeing Commercial Airplanes allows to be drawn from its airline production line. Boeing has firm orders for nearly 900 737 MAX family aircraft; first delivery is scheduled for 2017.

VIP versions of the shorter 737-7 and longer 737-9 are also being considered, says Taylor.

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