NBAA 2014 Live News: Press Day
Welcome to Corporate Jet Investor’s live coverage from NBAA 2014, the biggest annual business aviation convention, which this year returns to Orlando, home of Walt Disney, excitable children and pretty much everything you can possibly imagine (there’s even a Christian theme park based on 1st century Jerusalem).
Our rolling news feed below will let you know what happens both from Florida and London (spare a thought for our hard working senior news editor, Terry Spruce – who writes the most stories). Please remember to refresh your page for updates.
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Top stories so far
- Bombardier launched the Challenger 650, naming NetJets as the launch customer
- Global Jet Capital officially launched with $2.5 billion of cash for financing business jets
- Gulfstream confirmed that the new G500 will cost $45.5 million and the G600 will cost $54.5 million
- Wheels Up plans to start King Air operations from Texas in November, with new bases in Dallas and Houston
- Honda Aircraft started a North American tour for prospective and existing HondaJet customers, as entry-into-service looms closer
- Captain Steve Taylor is stepping down as president of Boeing Business Jets to become chief pilot for Boeing Commercial Airplanes
- Embraer confirmed that the Phenom 300 was the most-delivered business jet of the first half of 2014
- Dassault has sold 67 Falcons so far this year, already beating the total sold in 2013
- Deer Jet says it is looking outside of China for potential FBO locations, but would not confirmed where
- JSSI launched five new helicopter programmes, claiming that the market has been underserved by maintenance programmes.
Live news feed: Monday 20 October
17.45 Our final update for today is the news that Airbus Corporate Jets has launched the Summit, a new interior concept for the ACJ330, which has been tailored for heads-of-state and goverments. The main feature of the concept is that the cabin will be split into two broad sections, with the rear-half accomodating a mix of business and economy-class seating. Airbus says deliveries can begin in early 2015.
17.30 If by any chance our newsletter hasn’t already ended up in your inbox (remember: you can sign-up for free here), here’s what our editor Alasdair had to say about the launch of Global Jet Capital:
Aircraft finance rarely makes the headlines at airshows, but today on a relatively quiet press day, the biggest story is the formal launch of Global Jet Capital (it was informally launched at our Miami conference in September).
With Bill Boisture, Sean Vick and David Rowe making up its executive committee and GSO Capital Partners, The Carlyle Group and AE Industrial Partners backing it, Global Jet Capital has big ambitions and says it has $2.5 billion of cash available today. Global Jet Capital is focusing on larger aircraft, worth $15 million or more.
Last night, Bombardier also formally launched the Challenger 650, naming NetJets as the launch customer. Apparently it informally launched it in 2012.
16.25 Deer Jet president Zhang Peng said the company is looking at locations outside of its native China for potential FBO locations.
15.40 Earlier this morning, Cessna announced that the recently certified Citation X+ set four speed records over a two-day period for weight class.
See details of the four record-breaking flights, including Seattle to Miami, below:
15.30 Jetex officially launched operations in the US market, opening a new office in Miami.
14.55 More from Dichter: “The most exciting thing for me, as CEO, is the way the King Air 350i has been received by folks who were flying light and mid-size jets
Dichter expects Wheels Up to exceed 750 members by the close of the show and is hopeful that the company will fulfill its promise of breaking 1,000 by the end of the year.
14.45 The big news from Wheels Up is its expansion into Texas, with new bases in Dallas and Houston. “Starting 1 November, we’ll have aircraft based in Dallas and Houston, giving us a national presence for our King Air 350i programme,” says Dichter.
The company is focusing heavily on the west coast, referencing the fact that 9 per cent of fractional business jets take-off and land in California.
David Baxt, president of Wheels Up, also hinted that the company could set up a base in Chicago in the near future, as this remains the only untapped area in the US for the company.
14.40 Kenny Dichter, founder and CEO of Wheels UP: “At this point last year, we had zero airplanes and zero members, but we had a dream and we had a team.”
13.40 Bombardier launched the Challenger 650, an upgraded version of the Challenger 605, naming NetJets as the launch customer.
See some photos from last night’s launch event below:
12.10 Neil Book, president of JSSI: “We are the underdog that has become a success competing against giants.”
VistaJet committed to enrolling its 20 new Challenger 350s (plus 20 options) on JSSI programmes.
Delta Private Jets has added 14 aircraft on its Ownership Address since the start of 2014. All of these aircraft are on JSSI programmes, which allows it to make sure customers are not hit with unscheduled costs.
Neil Book says “Helicopter market has been completely underserved by maintenance programmes and they believe this will be a huge are of growth for JSSI.”
JSSI is adding helicopter programmes to AgustaWestland AW109K2, Airbus AS 350, Bell 206L-3, Bell 412 and Bell 427 helicopters.
JSSI also thanking Boise Cascade Corporation which was its first customer and still one 25 years later.
12.00 Global Jet Capital officially launches (following its pre-launch at our CJI Miami conference in September). Amazingly strong management team of Bill Boisture, Sean Vick and David Rowe. Global Jet Capital has $2.5 billion of cash that it wants to use to finance business jets.
11.50 In Embraer’s conference, Marco Tulio Pellegrini, CEO and president, was delighted to point out the slide behind him, showing the company’s full aircraft portfolio on display for the first time this year. Pellegrini said: “10 years ago I used to show a sketch of our intentions.”
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) October 20, 2014
In a very perceptive speech, Pellegrini focused more on the drivers of the business jet market, rather than simply blowing the company’s own trumpet.
“Flights in US and Europe are higher than last year but still far from the good years,” he said. “Pre-owned aircraft prices are still a concern.”
Pellegrini was also pleased to note that the Phenom 300 was the most-delivered business jet of last year as well as the first half of 2014.
11.15 Over in the Deer Jet conference the Chinese operator says it currently has 82 aircraft in its fleet.
The geographical split of the fleet is as follows:
Beijing: 46; Shanghai: 20; Hong Kong: 8; US: 4; Dubai: 2: Moscow: 2.
The major news though was an agreement signed with Honeywell that means that Deer Jet have become the first authorised APU service centre on the Chinese mainland. The deal not only covers Chinese based aircraft, but also other aircraft that are visiting the country.
11.00 As expected, Gulfstream’s press conference focused on the G500 and G600, which were launched last week in Savannah and set social media alight. Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream, joked that a number of people asked how they’d managed to rollout the G500 without power as it was so quiet.
Flynn also confirmed the prices for both new aircraft: the G600 will retail for $54.5 million, where as the G500 has a list price of $45.5 million.
In regards to the new side-stick – replacing the more traditional yoke – Flynn said: “We think the side-stick is a significant advancement in safety. We’re the first in the industry to do it and we’re committed to it going forward.”
10.55 The Gulfstream press conference was packed.
09.45 In its press conference this morning, Honda Aircraft announced that the first production HondaJet has begun a North American customer tour. The HondaJet has returned to the show this year and you can see it on the static display.
09.15 Dassault says it has sold 67 Falcons so far this year, already beating the total sold in 2013.
Good morning, everyone! After much waiting and many failed promises of economic recovery, NBAA 2014 looks like it will be a more upbeat show than in previous years. Remind yourself of the build-up to 2011, 2012 and 2013, with these three editorial extracts pulled from our newsletter.
Here is the press conference schedule for Monday: