A quick guide to EBACE 2012


The mood at EBACE 2012 was neither upbeat nor downbeat. It was flat.

The mood at EBACE 2012 was neither upbeat nor downbeat. It was flat.

Overshadowed by problems in the European financial markets, it was well attended but there was no great buzz. Cessna and Bombardier both launched new models but these did not capture the imagination of many visitors to the show.

Hawker Beechcraft was the only manufacturer that announced orders. This was partly to convey that it is still functioning as a company whilst in Chapter 11 (something that Europeans with strict bankruptcy laws often struggle to understand) and the future of the company was regularly discussed. We spoke to two companies looking at bidding to buy it.

Although it did not attract much press coverage the biggest story of the show was the announcement by Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Bank chairman and president, that US Ex-Im is committed to supporting US business jet manufacturers. It announced a new $350 million facility for Cessna Finance and also a new way to simplify and speed up applications from customers of other companies building business jets and helicopters in the US.

Under the new scheme, qualified advisers will work with Ex-Im to reduce approval times for deals to under four weeks. The first qualified adviser is Airfinance. Airfinance is run by Kirsten Bartok, formerly head of structured finance at Hawker, and Tom Low, former president of Cessna Finance.

Hochberg says that Ex-Im wants to finance business jets and helicopters worth $1 billion by 2014. That really is worth celebrating.

News summary

The 12th annual EBACE event was attended by 12,638 people from 99 countries, a similar number to visitors in 2011.

Cessna announced the super mid-size Citation Longitude. It has a list price of $25.99m.

Bombardier launched the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75 to replace the Learjet 40 and the Learjet 45 respectively. Flexjet will be the first company to offer fractional ownership on the new aircraft with deliveries scheduled for 2013.

Hawker Beechcraft announced orders for 11 aircraft.

NetJets Europe launched a new aircraft management business.

ExecuJet plans to open a new FBO in Lagos, Nigeria before the end of the year.

Gulfstream appointed Bill Clarey as sales director in the company’s North American Sales, East Division, Mid-Atlantic Region. His territory is Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia.

Gama Group announced that its newest operational base will be located in Geneva, Switzerland and will open for business in July 2012. Gama Support Services was also appointed a Hawker Beechcraft Corporation Service Centre, to provide maintenance for the King Air business turboprop series, Premier 1/II jets and piston aircraft.

Harrods Aviation was made a limited service centre at Luton Airport to support Hawker 750, 800, 800XP, 850XP and 900XP business jets by Hawker Beechcraft.

Work has begun on the design and manufacture of the first full flight simulator for the HondaJet.

Hawker Beechcraft will open a new parts and distribution warehouse in Bangalore, India. The warehouse will be stocked in the next few weeks and operated by Airworks India Engineering.

ExecuJet Europe has introduced the largest aircraft in its managed fleet. The VIP MD-87 joins a brand new Dassault Falcon 900LX at the company’s newest FBO at Cambridge Airport.

Sky Dragon Pacific launched a new iPad app – Sky Dragon –  which helps independent project managers or completion facility managers to keep clients informed about the progression of their aircraft build or large aircraft refurbishment project.

Rizon Jet announced a contract for the operation and management of a Bombardier Challenger 605 executive jet for an undisclosed customer.

Greenwich AeroGroup and ExecuJet expanded their relationship to include ExecuJet Haite Aviation Services in Mainland China.

Nextant Aerospace acquired a new manufacturing facility for the Nextant 400XT, expanding the company’s operations at Cuyahoga County Airport in Cleveland.

ExecuJet and RUAG Aviation signed a partnership for the recently refurbished FBO at Geneva Airport.

CAE acquired the Oxford Aviation Academy for $314 million.

SR Technics signed its second VIP aircraft contract with an undisclosed Middle Eastern customer.

Signature Flight Support set-up a dedicated sales team to provide personalised flight support services for operators in the EMEA regions.

Asian Sky Group and Avpro signed a strategic partnership agreement at EBACE 2012. It will allow for cross referrals, joint marketing and employees in Asia and the US to work alongside each other.