Monthly Archives: December 2013

Embraer’s Legacy 450 business jet makes first flight

Brazil-based Embraer announced that its Legacy 450 mid-light business jet has successfully completed its first flight.

During the one hour and thirty-five minute flight, test pilots conducted an evaluation of the jet’s handing and performance characteristics.

The maiden flight is an important milestone on the project, Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer president and CEO, said in a statement.

It sets “a new standard in business aviation, delivering innovations that reflect our vision (and) our commitment to customers,” Curado said.

The plane has a fly-by-wire system, side-stick flight controls and an advanced avionics suite.

 

NBAA surveys mean donation for cancer research by GlobalParts.aero

GlobalParts.aero, an Augusta-based provider of aftermarket parts and services, has made a donation to combat cancer based on the number of people who visited its exhibit and filled out surveys at the National Business Aviation Association’s convention in October.

The survey was focused on GlobalParts.aero parts distribution and build-to-print manufacturing capabilities.

The company made a donation for each completed survey.

The donation, which totaled $12,800, was given to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation.

It’s a cause that hits close to home, said Malissa Nesmith, GlobalParts.aero chief operating officer. A member of the company’s family has been affected by cancer.

The mission of the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation is to unlock each woman’s genetic code, advance prevention and treatment and end breast cancer for future generations.

GlobalParts.aero, founded in 2003, serves the aviation spares and parts distribution market and operates a repair station and manufacturing service.

Bombardier closes sale of Flexjet

Bombardier has closed the sale of its fractional ownership business, Flexjet, to a newly-created company called by the same name, the company announced.

The new company is funded by a group led by Directional Aviation Capital, the company said Thursday.

Bombardier announced the transaction in September for $185 million.

But with purchase price adjustments, the price is now estimated at $195 million, including the assumption of an estimated $70 million of customer advances by the buyer, Bombardier said.

The transaction has received government and regulatory approval.

With the closing, Flexjet’s firm order for 115 Bombardier business aircraft valued at about $2.4 billion, is now confirmed, the company said.

The order includes 25 Learjet 75s, 60 Learjet 85s, 20 Challenger 350s and 10 Challenger 605 jets. It also includes options for another 150 planes.

If all the options are exercised, the order will have a total value of about $5.6 billion, based on 2013 prices.

The actual impact to Bombardier’s bottom line will likely be lower, however. Companies typically give deep discounts off list prices for large orders.

Directional Aviation is an Ohio-based investment firm that already owns fractional ownership company Flight Options, along with multiple other private business aviation companies.

Flexjet, based in Richardson, Texas, is one of North America’s largest fractional ownership companies. NetJets, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is the largest.

The agreement to sell Flexjet will allow Bombardier to focus on its core manufacturing operations, the company and analysts have noted.

Bombardier formed the Flexjet division in 1995 to support the expansion of business jet travel and for market penetration of its Learjet and Challenger business jet products, analysts have said.

Flexjet operates Bombardier aircraft exclusively and has been Bombardier’s biggest customer. It has taken delivery of more than 225 Bombardier business jets since the company began 18 years ago.

With Flexjet, customers buy a fraction of a plane then pay monthly management fees and pay charges for flight time under a five-year contract. Flexjet also offers jet cards that come with a certain amount of annual flight hours, charter services and aircraft management.

 

 

Report: China eases pilot license rules; may top U.S. demand for private planes

New rules that took effect on Sunday make it easier to earn a private pilot’s license in China, according to a report by the New York Times.

The move is likely to unleash pent-up demand for civil aviation in China.

The move comes as China plans to open more low-altitude airspace for commercial and private airplanes in coming years.

Most of China’s airspace is now reserved for military use. But China has a rapidly expanding demand for private jet travel.

“Given that the private aircraft market in the West is still rebounding from the financial crisis, some analysts say that China could overtake the United States as the largest market for private planes within the coming decade,” the New York Times report said.