NBAA 2013 Live News: Day One
After a new aircraft launch from Dassault at yesterday’s press day, we can expect a big announcement from Nextant today as Corporate Jet Investor brings you more live coverage from NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas.
- Nextant announced that its next re-manufacturing project will be based on the King Air C90.
- Harrison Ford, actor and pilot, received a Humanitarian Honour from the NBAA.
18.40 Subscribers to Corporate Jet Investor’s weekly e-mail just received a second NBAA special in their inboxes. Here’s a highlight from Alasdair’s editorial:
No matter how hard marketing departments and public relations people try, it is hard to create an optimistic mood at your booth or stand when things are not going well. Last year at NBAA, Beechcraft (in Chapter 11) and HondaJet (which had announced production delays) tried hard to project a positive vibe, but were not particularly successful.
This year, things are completely different. The new refocused Beechcraft is doing well – even if they are extremely annoyed at the launch of Nextant’s new aircraft, where Nextant will re-manufacture King Air 90s.
The mood at Honda is also completely different. Their programme is now back on track and they are confident that they will be delivering aircraft by early 2015. Yesterday, they also announced that they will be offering financing to US customers. Normally, the thought of an OEM setting up a captive finance division would be worrying, but Honda is such a large company that the risks are much lower.
Here’s another remind that you can subscribe to Corporate Jet Investor’s newsletter by looking for the sign-up box on the home page.
16.00 Birthdays being celebrated at NBAA. Two big birthdays at the show are 50 years since the first Falcon rolled off the assembly line (there is a nice Dassault video here) and the first flight of the Learjet 23 in 1963.
Here are some other notable celebrations: aircraft operator Clay Lacy is celebrating 45 years; broker Omni Jet International turns 40; helicopter appraiser HeliValue$ celebrates its 35th year; and aircraft data company JetNet is now 25-years-old.
The 50 anniversary of Learjet is also a great excuse to remind you of Bill Lear’s best quotes.
15.40 Before this week’s show, Bruce Dickinson, singer of Iron Maiden was named as non-executive chairman of Aeris Aviation, the European distributor for Eclipse. Today, we asked Bruce to describe the business jet market in one word. We’re not sure either…
14:15 Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet makes its first public appearance at NBAA today. We’ve heard on good authority that Eclipse has already sold two jets today to customers Central and South America.
14:00 Nextant announce its new re-manufacturing project will be the G90XT, based on the King Air C90 Series. Here’s what our editor Alasdair Whyte had to say about the announcement:
There is an interesting personal dynamic behind Nextant’s new launch. Sean McGeough, president of Nextant, was formerly president of Hawker Beechcraft Europe in the Middle-East and Africa (in fact, he only met Kenn Ricci, head of Directional Capital, at last year’s NBAA) and worked at the company for 12 years.
Beechcraft already sees the Nextant 40Xti as an irritant to its Hawker 400XPR programme with Sierra Industries and senior managers at Beechcraft were not happy when McGeough left for Nextant. Now he is competing in their core market. “I have sold and flown hundreds of Beechcraft aircraft all over the world, so this is an exciting project for me,” says McGeough. “But I won’t be drinking any drinks that former colleagues at Beechcraft offer me this week.”
13:30 Alex Andrews had a pasta salad for lunch in the press area – he says he’d give it “a solid 7/10.”
12.45 We asked Rene Banglesdorf, CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation, to describe the business jet market in one word:
11:30 Cessna wins an order for two Citation Mustangs from Yunnan Ruifeng General Aviation Company in China.
11:00 Pilatus Aircraft announces its sales and service network for its new PC-24 business jet. The PC-24 also made its NBAA debut at the show this year, after it was launched at EBACE 2013.
10:00 Avpro and Heli Asset join together to create the world’s leading independent helicopter sales and acquisition service.
9.30 Here’s the wingless mock-up of the HondaJet on display at Las Vegas Convention Centre.
9:15 Alex Andrews and Alasdair Whyte spoke with Honda Aircraft CEO, Michimasa Fujino this morning. Fujino said:
“The light jet market is not in a very good condition [but] it is starting to stabilise and we expect a full recovery by 2015.”
Yesterday, Honda announced that it will offer aircraft finance to US customers in partnership with American Honda Finance Corporation and this morning, Fujino hinted that the company plans to roll-out finacing in other regions. He also claimed that he expects to deliver around 80 Hondajets in the aircraft’s first year of service.
Asked whether Honda has started developing a second Hondajet, Fujino chuckled and insisted: “That is confidential.”
9:00 Welcome back to NBAA 2013. It’s a very warm 80 degrees here in Las Vegas. While we’re getting started, we’d suggested recaping on news from yesterday’s press day.