December 11

Trump plans to renegotiate new Air Force One pricing

US President-elect Donald Trump says he will lead pricing negotiations with Boeing on a programme to replace two 747-200-derived VC-25As serving as executive transports also known as Air Force One.

“That’s what I’m here for,” Trump said during an interview with NBC on 7 December. “I’m going to negotiate prices. Planes are too expensive and we’re going to get the prices down. And if we don’t get the rpices down we’re not going to order them. We’re going to stay with what we have.”

Trump’s comments come a day after he attacked the “out of control” costs with the Air Force One acquisition programme, which he claimed has climbed to $4 billion in a tweet without citing his source.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg contacted Trump later on 6 December to discuss the programme’s costs, Trump says.

“I spoke to a very good man yesterday — the head of Boeing. Terrific guy. We’re going to work out,” Trump said in the morning television interview.

Asked if Boeing’s stated objections to Trump’s protectionist trade policy influenced the verbal assault on the Air Force One acquisition programme, Trump said he was unaware of Boeing’s criticisms. He added that his plan to roll back “maybe 85%” of industrial regulations will benefit all companies, including Boeing.

But Trump’s plan to directly intervene in pricing negotiations over a defence contract is highly unusual. The Pentagon’s acquisition process follows an elaborate set of legal procedures, including many developed to guard against personal meddling by individual government officials.

It’s also unclear what prompted Trump to single-out the Air Force One programme suddenly on 6 December. The programme has not been subject to any delays or cost overruns so far. The USAF has only awarded $170 million in contracts to Boeing to conduct early risk reduction work. The service has budgeted a total of $2.7 billion through Fiscal 2021 to develop the Air Force One version of the 747-8, which includes the acquisition of two aircraft. The first aircraft is not due to enter service until three years later, so costs could still rise well beyond the disclosed USAF budget.

If Trump has received more complete or updated cost estimates from his Pentagon transition team, he has not cited the source. If the $4 billion cost figure is accurate, it represents an order of magnitude increase from the $266 million deal Boeing received in 1986 to supply the original 747-200s now serving today as Air Force One. That contract was awarded after a competition between the 747-200 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. By contrast, the USAF nearly two years ago selected Boeing without a competition to supply at least two 747-8s to replace the aging VC-25As.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/trump-plans-to-renegotiate-new-air-force-one-pricing-432214/

Category: Uncategorized
December 11

OPINION: Range matters for Middle East business jet buyers

Whether for business or leisure, for the ultra-wealthy of the Arabian Gulf, being able to fly without stopping to New York and other US East Coast cities is a major plus. There is currently one business jet able to perform such a task – the Gulfstream G650ER. As a result, the Savannah-based manufacturer’s flagship performs strongly in the region.

But Savannah will not have the market to itself for much longer. Bombardier was at the Middle East Business Aviation Association show in Dubai promoting the virtues of the Global 7000. The large-cabin type – which has just begun flight testing – will also be able to reach the Big Apple in a single flight when it enters service in 2018.

The Canadian manufacturer believes the Global 7000’s size advantage over its rival from across the border will give it the edge in the Middle East.

And for those with a bit more cash to splash, Boeing says its newly launched BBJ Max 7 will be the first airliner-derived business jet to fulfil that mission: although Airbus suggests that its much earlier-to-service ACJ319neo is likely to develop extra range during the three years’ head start it has on the adapted 737.

The Gulf market may have stuttered in the past two years, but it is clear that the region’s elite are still willing to pay a premium for the privilege of flying to the USA without having to stop to fill up.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-range-matters-for-middle-east-business-jet-432291/

Category: Uncategorized
December 9

MEBAA: Dornier Seawings makes a splash in the UAE

Dornier Seawings is making a splash at MEBAA as it seeks to awareness within the UAE of its new-generation Seastar CD2 amphibian.

“This is an ideal venue for us to promote our latest aircraft and to connect with potential customers across private, corporate, charter, government and special missions sectors,” says Simon Schell, Dornier Seawings manager for technical sales support.

Schell believes the Seastar is ideally suited to the region and water-based operations could become a fixture, “particularly along the UAE seafront”.

Dornier says the region for private, business and luxury jets has grown over the past three years by around 7%. These numbers, it says “confirms the importance of this market” for the Seastar.

The iconic twin-engined turboprop was relaunched at the Singapore air show in February, 25 years after the programme – certificated by the USA and Germany in 1991 – was mothballed due to a paucity of funding. It was acquired in 2013 by Chinese companies Wuxi Industrial Development and Wuxi Communications Industry, although the Dornier family still retains a minority stake in the firm.

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Dornier Seawings

Dornier has introduced a number of fresh features to the aircraft, including a five-blade high-performance propeller, designed by MT; a Honeywell Primus Epic 2.0 glass flight deck; and a landing gear, supplied by Sumitomo of Japan.

Diamond Aircraft Industries (Canada) is building the composite parts including the fuselage, wings and flight control surfaces. The first structures are scheduled to arrive at Dornier’s facility in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany shortly.

The completed aircraft will be rolled out in June and is expected to perform its maiden sortie in the third quarter. European, US and Chinese type certification are slated for 2018 with deliveries to begin soon after. Dornier is also building a final assembly plant in Wuxi, eastern China, which will house series production of the Seastar and should be completed next year.

For all the coverage from MEBAA visit our dedicated landing page

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-dornier-seawings-makes-a-splash-in-the-uae-432191/

Category: Uncategorized
December 9

Solar Ship challenges Lockheed to airship race

Solar Ship has challenged Lockheed Martin to an intercontinental race, to pitch the two companies’ airship designs against each other and promote the benefits of using lighter-than-air technology for cargo transport.

The Canadian manufacturer is proposing that its Wolverine solar-powered aircraft fly against Lockheed’s hybrid airship, during a “friendly race” that will cover two legs.

The first, 1,890km (3,500km) leg from Johannesburg, South Africa to Kampala, Uganda, would see the two aircraft travel along the “peace and freedom route”, at the same time promoting the long-term benefits the technology could have in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Solar Ship claims this is one of the most expensive transport routes in the world.

The second leg would see them fly 22,000km from Lockheed’s Palmdale, California facility to the Arctic, and then south across Africa.

“The purpose of the challenge is to promote the benefits of hybrid aircraft which use two forms of lift: buoyancy like an airship and dynamic lift like an airplane,” Solar Ship says. “Lockheed Martin is the largest player in this space, while Solar Ship is the world leader in developing solar-powered vehicles in this sector.”

It adds that both manufacturers have been marketing the benefits of airships to connect expansive areas that would otherwise be difficult to transit using traditional methods.

“A friendly race is being proposed to demonstrate what this technology can do to overcome the barriers of moving cargo to and from remote areas,” it says.

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Solar Ship

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Lockheed Martin

Lockheed announced in March that its LMH-1 airship had been selected by UK-based Straightline Aviation, via reseller Hybrid Enterprises, under a 12-aircraft deal worth about $480 million. In November, it was announced that Straightline had signed an agreement with a Canadian mining company to deploy the type to northern Quebec, to shuttle 21t of rare earth ore concentrate.

Solar Ship, meanwhile, announced in September that it had received an order for four of its cargo-carrying airships from Africa-based Manaf Freighters, for use during freight transport and disaster relief. The order consisted of two short take-off and landing Caracals, plus two of the larger Wolverine, which will be deployed to east and central Africa in 2017.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/solar-ship-challenges-lockheed-to-airship-race-432213/

Category: Uncategorized
December 7

MEBAA: Satcom Direct completes acquisition of True North

Aeronautical communications provider Satcom Direct (SD) has completed its purchase of cabin communications developer TrueNorth Avionics.

The move, which follows purchases of Comsat and Aircraft Logs earlier this year, expands the Melbourne, Florida-based company’s ability to provide advanced communications systems for business aircraft.

Based in Ottawa, Canada, TrueNorth designs, develops and manufactures satellite communications solutions for aircraft operators and avionics manufacturers. The company will become a business unit within the SD family of companies focused on advanced avionics development.

Jim Jensen, SD chief executive, describes TrueNorth as “a leader in the wide- and narrowbody aircraft market”. It provides airborne connectivity systems to heads of state, VIPs and high-net-worth individuals. “The pairing of SD and TrueNorth enables us to deliver the complete connected aircraft,” says Jensen.

The Satcom Direct Router (SDR) and SD Pro flight operations platform combined with TrueNorth’s advanced avionics will give aircraft operators “an unrivalled ability” to manage their aircraft communications systems, says SD.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-satcom-direct-completes-acquisition-of-true-n-432157/

Category: Uncategorized
December 7

MEBAA debutant Grace Jet looks to move into aircraft operation

PIC FROM TOM

Bahrain-based Grace Jet is making its first appearance at MEBAA two years after the launch of the company.

Despite its name, Grace Jet does not operate or manage aircraft; instead it offers a range of services, including ground transport, handling, hotels and catering, throughout the wider Middle East and Africa.

However, the company is looking seriously at moving into providing aircraft charter, says operations manager Aiman Arnous, who co-founded the company with chief executive Marwan Hijazi.

Initially, Grace Jet hopes to lease an aircraft under a third-party air operator’s certificate with a view to eventually acquiring its own fleet. “We want to test the market first to see if there is a demand among our clients for such a service,” says Arnous.

He says the pair set up the company after identifying poor-performing airports where high-net-worth business jet passengers were not being treated well. “They could be stuck on the aircraft for 30 minutes without anyone coming to greet them,” he says. The company employs local agents at airports to ensure passengers are met off the aircraft and transferred to their destination.

“We knew the market and we knew where there were problems,” says Arnous.

For all the coverage from MEBAA visit our dedicated landing page

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-debutant-grace-jet-looks-to-move-into-aircraft-432148/

Category: Uncategorized
December 5

MEBAA: Avinode reports big rise in charter requests from Middle East

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Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-avinode-reports-big-rise-in-charter-requests-431994/

Category: Uncategorized
December 5

MEBAA: Embraer showcases top-end trio

Embraer is returning to MEBAA with a business jet trio and realistic expectations for the regional show.

“The low oil price has had a huge impact on sales in the Middle East,” says Marco Tulio Pelegrini, president and chief executive of Embraer Executive Jets. “Confidence has been hit, and many people are holding back on aircraft purchases until the market picks up.”

Embraer has an installed base of 50 business jets across the Middle East out of a total global fleet of 1,050 aircraft. Its line-up in the region includes: three entry-level Phenom 100s; three light-cabin Phenom 300s; two midsize Legacy 500s; 33 super-midsize/large-cabin Legacy 600/650s and nine top-of-the-range Lineage 1000 VIP airliners – a third of the global fleet.

“After the USA and Europe, the Middle East is our largest business jet market along with Latin America,” says Pellegrini. “So while the market may be soft, MEBAA gives us an opportunity to promote our aircraft and talk to customers and potential buyers.”

Embraer is displaying on the static a Legacy 500 and 650. “With their large cabins and impressive ranges, these aircraft are well suited to the Middle East market,” he says.

While the two top-end jets will be centre of attention during the three-day show, the Brazilian airframer is continuing to promote the other members of its six-strong line-up.

The Phenom 100 is courting success as a training platform, thanks to orders for four and five aircraft, respectively, from the Etihad and Emirates flight training academies.

Etihad has already taken delivery of two units and will add the remainder in 2017.

Deliveries to the Emirates academy – established by the Dubai flag carrier and scheduled to open early next year – will begin in the first quarter. All five aircraft are expected to be in service by the end of 2017.

Emirates recently upgraded its order to the 100EV variant, featuring a Garmin G3000 touch-screen flightdeck and a higher-thrust version of the Phenom 100’s Pratt Whitney Canada PW617F1-E engine.

“Being in service with these well known companies will give the Phenom 100 so much exposure, and help to widen its appeal within other sectors,” says Pellegrini.

He points to suitability of the Phenom family for commercial operations.

“The Phenoms have a great future in the air taxi market,” he says – referring to the low-cost, high-utilisation, point-to-point business model operated by US companies such as JetSuite and Surf Air. “These aircraft are designed for this mission – a typical utilisation of around 1,200h year, low operating costs and a high level of cabin comfort.”

He admits it may take a while for these small jets to gain widespread acceptance in the Middle East, given the region’s penchant for much larger aircraft. “Once this business model has been tried and tested elsewhere, it will transfer to the Middle East, and be successful,” says Pellegrini.

For all the coverage from MEBAA 6-8 December visit our landing page

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-embraer-showcases-top-end-trio-431810/

Category: Uncategorized
December 3

INTERVIEW: Charlotte Pedersen

Tell us about your career to date

My aviation career began in 1989 when, as the first female applicant, I passed the Royal Danish Air Force pilot tests and was accepted as a student pilot at the military flying school in Denmark, for training in the Danish Air Force and the US Navy. After receiving my wings in 1992, I started flying the Sea King helicopter in the 722 Squadron.

In 2012, I moved to the private sector and started working for Luxaviation – at the time, a small business jet company with only four jets and 60 employees. Luxaviation is now one of the largest private aviation operators worldwide, managing more than 250 aircraft, 14 maintenance, repair and overhaul companies, and 24 fixed-base operators with a total of more than 1,600 employees.

What challenges did you face while training with the US Navy?

You constantly face challenges in this business. With regard to the exams, you do not pass if you have an overall good grade; you have to pass all exams at a good level. I had to study very hard when training for the US Navy, both academically and physically. Somehow, I matched the profile very well and I managed to graduate on the Commodore’s List.

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Luxaviation

Were search and rescue missions very demanding?

Flying search and rescue was very demanding because you work day and night, sometimes with very little or no sleep before a mission, in dangerous weather conditions. The crew get tired and you need to motivate them to keep up morale. The machines can be old and sometimes you have equipment which breaks down. However, most challenging is having to say no to a mission because it becomes too dangerous for the crew. As a commander on board the rescue helicopter, you always have to remember that you are responsible for the other five crewmembers who have families waiting for them at home. In the 722 Squadron, we successfully completed more than 800 missions per year.

What advice would you give to other females looking to become military pilots?

Just do it. You receive an amazing education and the skills you learn, not only flying skills but personal and management skills too, are something you can use in all areas of your future life. Do not worry that it will be too difficult – both men and women are equal when it comes to flying ability – it is simply a matter of studying. I admit that, for me, the hardest part was the physical training where I was usually the slowest runner; however, I passed all the exams at the end.

What does your current job entail?

As chief operating officer for the Luxaviation Group, I work closely with our chief executive in leading the development and execution of Luxaviation’s long-term strategy. It is a management role, which holds me responsible for the day-to-day management of the group as well as for implementing the company’s long- and short-term plans. By being part of the senior management team, I also function as a direct liaison between the CEO and the individual management of the companies in the Luxaviation Group. In my daily work, I am also responsible for our group procurement department which manages all supplier contracts and negotiations across the world.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy working with people, particularly my colleagues. They are all dedicated and highly knowledgeable, as most have spent much of their working lives in aviation, and the experience they bring is priceless. I think most people working in aviation are here because they are fascinated by aircraft. This makes them very passionate about their jobs, which is a dream for any employer. We have a workforce from all around the globe, so cultural communication and understanding is very important in my role. This is also one of the areas I really enjoy, and the best part is that you cannot learn solely from a book – you have to get out there, meet the people and learn from them.

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/interview-charlotte-pedersen-chief-operating-offi-431386/

Category: Uncategorized
December 3

MEBAA: Boeing looks to Middle East potential of Max 7

Boeing believes the just-launched business jet version of its smallest 737 Max variant will open up a new market in the Gulf by offering the capability of flying non-stop to the US East Coast for the first time.

“The 737 Max 7 is an airplane we’ve been waiting to offer for 20 years,” says David Longridge, president of Boeing Business Jets. “It has enormous significance to the Middle East.”

Unlike the larger versions of the re-engined Max series – the Max 8 and Max 9 – the Max 7, which was announced at the National Business Aviation Association exhibition in Orlando in early November, has a range of 7,000nm (13,000km), making New York just within range of Dubai under private flight rules.

Currently, the only in-service, non-widebody business jet capable of such a mission is the Gulfstream G650ER. “I have a lot of respect for Gulfstream,” says Longridge. “I think their success in this region shows there is a market for this type of aircraft.”

He adds: “The [BBJ Max 7] is slightly larger than the BBJ2 and that is calculated with realistic interior weights. We are very proud of the fact that we put a lot of discipline into how we quote the ranges of these aircraft.”

As deliveries of the current-generation 737-based BBJs taper off – of 164 orders, 156 are in service and a further seven in completion – Boeing is pushing its successor. It has 11 orders for the Max 8 variant – first delivery of which will be in 2018 – and one for the Max 9.

“We are hoping to add to that very soon,” says Longridge.

He maintains that the big advantage of the Max 8 over the current aircraft is that it is the same size as the BBJ2, but has a longer range – at 6,500nm – than the BBJ1. “The Max 9 is over 1,100ft2 (102m2) larger again, and its range is almost 6,400nm,” he says. “We are talking about really large aircraft that fly a really long way.”

Longridge is also optimistic about selling more 787-based BBJs, of which Boeing has so far taken 15 orders and delivered nine green aircraft. Three are in service, including with Chinese operator Deer Jet.

“This an aircraft with 10,000nm range, with a speed of Mach 0.85, with huge windows and an extraordinary range of technology that you won’t find anywhere except a business jet,” says Longridge. “We never expected to sell 15, but we continue to get interest from heads of state and private individuals.”

He adds: “Boeing Business Jets was set up 20 years ago and I think in another 20 years’ time we will be selling two variants – a Max or a narrowbody like the Max – and a 787.”

Boeing has delivered a total of 71 VIP-configured jets to the Middle East, its biggest region, ahead of North America with 58.

Boeing will be pushing two products in the aftercare and remarketing areas at MEBAA. It is offering sellers of a BBJ an additional package of benefits to sell on to their buyer, which entitles the used-aircraft buyer to the same suite of services that the operator of a new aircraft receives, such as training and entry into service assistance.

Boeing has also agreed with nine completion centres to offer a power-by-the-hour type guarantee to operators that guarantees their maintenance costs – including on the interior – for up to 10 years.

For all the coverage from MEBAA visit our dedicated landing page

Article source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/mebaa-boeing-looks-to-middle-east-potential-of-max-431839/

Category: Uncategorized