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Private Jet Card, Membership Prices Continue To Climb

Private Jet Card, Membership Prices Continue To Climb Fixed and capped hourly rate jet cards and memberships increased 4.9 percent quarter-over-quarter, according to private aviation services buyer’s guide Private Jet Card Comparisons. The average hourly price climbed to $11,748 across all categories in the fourth quarter, capping a 21 percent rise for all of last year. However, the company said, “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” It cited daily minimum charges decreasing to 94.7 minutes in the fourth quarter, down from a high of 109.3 minutes in the second quarter. While this is higher than the pre-Covid low of 86.2 minutes in fourth-quarter 2019, the result was the cost of shorter flights dropped by 8.8 percent late last year. Meanwhile, the average cost for fixed-rate jet cards beat on-demand charter pricing in five of 12 different flight scenarios tracked quarterly by the company. The $27,738 average flight price for fixed and capped-rate jet cards and memberships with guaranteed availability essentially matched the lowest on-demand flight costs of $27,853.   Source: AINOnline

  • Superbowl LVII

Slot Reservations Required for Superbowl LVII

Slot Reservations Required for Superbowl LVII With the end of the NFL regular season this past weekend, the business aviation community’s eyes now turn to the Superbowl LVII, which will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12. The championship contest traditionally attracts scores of business jets but will be compounded by a major professional golf tournament—the Waste Management Phoenix Open—held in the area that same week. This will add further business aircraft volume, according to NBAA’s air traffic services. To help expedite the expected traffic to both events, a ramp reservation system is operational and reservations will be required from February 7 to 14 for all arrivals and departures, including drop-and-goes, at airports in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Those airports include Glendale Municipal (KGEU), Phoenix Goodyear (KGYR), Phoenix Deer Valley (KDVT), Phoenix Sky Harbor (KPHX), Scottsdale (KSDL), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway (KIWA), Chandler Municipal (KCHD), and Falcon Field (KFFZ) for Superbowl LVII. Each FBO has been allocated a number of available slot times and reservations must be made through either the service provider or the airport authority as necessary. Regularly scheduled air carriers and air-taxi operations are exempt from the reservation requirement. Due to limited parking availability, drop-and-go operations are encouraged versus overnight stays. With Las Vegas expected to attract its own crowd of private aircraft during the weekend of the big game, as well as its close proximity to the game venue for use as a staging area, Harry Reid International, Henderson Executive, and North Las Vegas airports will also require reservations during that time.   Source: AINOnline

Gulfstream G700 Arrives for MEBAA Debut on World Tour

Gulfstream G700 Gulfstream Aerospace (Static A12) is showcasing the five-cabin-zone Gulfstream G700, the U.S. company’s forthcoming ultra-long-range flagship, this week at MEBAA 2022 in the model’s debut appearance in Dubai. Boasting what Gulfstream G700 claims would be the tallest (6 feet 3 inches; 1.90 meters) and widest (8 feet 2 inches; 2.49 meters) cabin in a purpose-built business jet, the 7,500-nm Gulfstream G700 is expected to enter service in mid-2023. The Gulfstream G700 on display features a corporate-configured cabin along with what Gulfstream terms an “ultra-galley” with more than 10 feet of counter space; a grand suite with fixed bed and bright, spacious lavatory with shower; circadian lighting system; and new seat design of the Gulfstream G700. “It really shows the flexibility of the design that our team has created,” said Gulfstream president Mark Burns about the Gulfstream G700. The twinjet arrived in Dubai during a world tour aimed at demonstrating the precocious maturity of the Gulfstream G700 aircraft model, which has been in flight testing since early 2020. The Gulfstream G700 tour began following the aircraft’s NBAA-BACE debut in Orlando, Florida, in October and includes some 20 cities on six continents, with visits to Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, for the Future Investment Initiative and Bahrain for the Bahrain International Airshow already in the logbook. With a Mach 0.85 long-range cruise speed and Mach 0.90 high-speed cruise, the Gulfstream G700 set eight international city-pair speed records during flight tests and established another on this tour for a flight from Istanbul to Van Don, Vietnam, where the model had its Asia-Pacific debut last month at an event hosted by the Gulfstream G700 sales representative Sun Air. “Vietnam and Southeast Asia are strong developing markets for Gulfstream G700,”

World Cup Knockout Phase Brings Added Ad Hoc Congestion

With the knockout phase of FIFA World Cup having started on Saturday, Middle East-based flight support companies are warning tournament-goers about an extra layer of unpredictability through the final match on December 18. “We knew which national teams were playing in the group stages, but we didn’t know who will make it to the knockout phase,” said Henry LeDuc, head of strategy development at UAS International Trip Support. “This means there were a lot of pre-planned flights already for the group stage. Ad hoc flights will rapidly build from countries whose teams advance to the next round.” Some 48 matches took place in the group phase, which ran from November 20 to December 2, with qualifiers playing only 16 more. Tom Murphy, head of FBOs and aircraft management specialist at Gama Aviation Sharjah, told AIN that demand ramp-up starting with the knockout will only soar higher with the quarter-final, semi-final, and final games. “Charters are going to be very challenging for ad hoc at the last minute,” he said. “Given the restrictions for gaining access to Qatar, you need a minimum of 72 hours’ notice for a flight. You also need a hire car, as proof that you’ve got a match ticket. Last-minute charter is going to be very difficult.” To meet expected spikes in demand, several aircraft charter companies in the region—including Qatar Executive, Empire Aviation Group, Jet Aviation, and ExecuJet—are making extra aircraft available to tournament-goers on charters and shuttles. UAE-based Royal Jet and Jetex signed a partnership early last month to operate on-demand 30-seat private jet flights between Dubai and Doha for the duration of the competition. Royal Jet operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing Business Jets and announced the acquisition

Wealth Coming Into Mideast Drives EAG’s Air Charter Growth

Celebrating its 15th year of operations this week at MEBAA 2022, management specialist Empire Aviation Group (Static S4; EAG) has seen its charter business triple since 2019, it said on the eve of the biennial Middle East business aviation show. “Our movements as a company today are up 200 percent over 2019,” EAG founder and managing director Paras Dhamecha told AIN. “If you look at the number of airplanes coming in and out of the region, I would think that, overall, movements have increased strongly.” The VIP Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW) has been the focus of business aviation activity. “If you visualize where earlier aircraft were parked—basically two rows along the length of the ramp of the VIP Terminal area—today, we’ve got aircraft stacked about five rows deep on the sides. Obviously, there are substantial movements, but I’m not aware of the actual numbers.” He said the company tracked the type and number of movements of aircraft under its management, but not the overall market. Several industry participants have said that the lack of clarity from the authorities on business aviation movements at Dubai’s airports hampers business planning. Relocation specialists South Africa’s Henley & Partners have identified the UAE as the leading global destination for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and expected 4,000 millionaires to move there this year alone. “The UAE still has this huge concentration on becoming a global hub for business aviation,” Dhamecha said. “It’s going really well. Dubai looked like it was number two or three in terms of overall growth and movements during the pandemic. “Obviously, the borders were open, so there was a lot more movement. The growth trajectory has been exponential. Support from the government continues to grow.

Middle East ‘Underequipped’ for Volume of Business, Dassault Says

While the Middle East represents only about 5 percent of general aviation worldwide, the region is poised for growth given its size, the different businesses that exist, and the fact that companies typically have dealings in several countries in the region and increasingly have to connect to Europe, the U.S., and Asia. That’s according to Dassault Aviation international sales director Renaud Cloâtre, who is based in Dubai. “Growth potential is enormous because the region is underequipped,” Cloâtre said. “If you look at general aviation’s structure in Europe or the U.S., there’s clear growth potential in the Mideast. We are in an economy where the energy market is actually changing relations between Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East. The value of oil is increasingly recognized. Oil prices are increasingly relevant, underlining oil’s true value. It’s needed. There is also a requirement to use it wisely and not burn too much. “Regional transition, as you’ve seen in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as in other countries, is taking place. The UAE has changed over the past 10 years. Change has taken place all over the region. When you move towards change, you need the tools for it, and business jets are one of them.” He said the Falcon 7X—of which Dassault sold six to Saudia Private Aviation—has been a tremendous success. “The 7X and 8X are fantastic aircraft, going all the way from here to continents. People in Saudi Arabia love three-engine aircraft. They love the stability of fly-by-wire. The Saudi market is very complex, in terms of actors and operators. It’s a big country, a big domestic market; it’s distance they need. “Again, if you look at all the missions general aviation can

Textron Aviation’s Q3 Propelled by ‘Very Strong Demand’

Demand was strong "across the board" for all of Textron Aviation's aircraft models in the third quarter of 2021, Textron Inc. CEO Scott Donnelly told analysts on an earnings call Thursday. (Photo: AIN/Barry Ambrose) Textron Aviation reported substantial increases in revenue, profit, deliveries, and backlog during the third quarter, propelled by a higher Cessna Citation and Beechcraft King Air volume of $338 million and aftermarket volume of $62 million. The results represented what Textron Inc. CEO Scott Donnelly said on an earnings call Thursday was “very strong demand” for business aircraft. “All of the dynamics that we look at in terms of the macro-level of the market are extremely favorable,” he said. Revenue at the Wichita airframer increased $386 million from the year-ago quarter, to $1.2 billion, while profit of $98 million erased a $29 million loss during the same period last year. Deliveries for the quarter were sharply higher, rising to 49 jets compared with 25 in last year’s third quarter. Turboprop deliveries also jumped 67 percent to 35 in the same period. For the first nine months of the year, Textron Aviation's revenue was $3.2 billion compared with $2.41 billion in 2020 while profit was $241 million, up from a $92 million loss a year ago. Backlog at the end of the quarter was $3.5 billion, which Jeffries analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu noted on the call was at a level last seen in 2010. Donnelly said the higher backlog—which grew by $721 million from the second quarter of 2021—supports the company’s expectations for returning in 2022 to a production level last seen in 2019. “And there’s probably room for a little bit beyond that,” Donnelly added. What’s more, that backlog represents nine to 12

New Report Says It’s ‘Party Time’ for business jets

In a report to investors titled “Bizjet Party Time is Now,” analysts at investment bank Cowen see a number of factors improving fortunes for the next couple of years for the business jet industry and, in particular, for OEMs Gulfstream Aerospace and Textron Aviation. “The combo of Covid concerns, a robust stock market, and firming economy are creating the strongest business jet environment since 2007,” the report said. Analysts noted the inventory of used business jets for sale reached an “all-time low” of 4.5 percent of the fleet while the 275,000 business jet departures in May—led by fractional and charter operators—were near the October 2019 peak of 278,000. With demand driven by ultra-high-net-worth individuals and an increase in first-time buyers, that should push them toward the purchase of new business jets. OEMs likely won’t see the fruits of that demand on deliveries because of production lead times until 2022 “and possibly 2023,” according to the report. “Also, Fortune 500 customers are just starting to perk up, and foreign buyers have yet to return,” the report added. “Thus, the demand surge likely still has runway.” As for the OEMs, Gulfstream “looks best positioned in bizjets” because preowned jet demand is highest in the large-cabin category. In addition, increasing G500 and G600 deliveries and the fourth-quarter 2022 entry-into-service of the G700 are pluses for Gulfstream, the report added. At the lighter end of the market, Cowen analysts see a strong second-quarter 2021 book-to-bill for Textron Aviation and a “solid sales lift” in 2022, potentially extending into 2023. However, the report said, “demand durability is a bigger issue for smaller business jets, and [Textron Aviation] has a less compelling product story than [Gulfstream].” Lastly, the report added that OEMs

Gulfstream G550 Production Reaches End of the Line

Gulfstream G550 After a production run spanning 18 years, Gulfstream delivered the final commercial G550 to an international customer on June 30. (Photo: Gulfstream) Nearly two decades after it first entered service, Gulfstream G550 saw its final commercial delivery this week. The Savannah, Georgia airframer has produced more than 600 of the large-cabin twinjets since receiving its type and production certificates in August 2003. According to a company spokesperson, while some special-missions variants continue to undergo modifications, this week's delivery ended G550 production. First announced in 1999 as a derivative of the GV, the G550 (formerly GV-SP) was the launch platform for the company’s PlaneView flight deck and was also certified with an enhanced vision system as a standard safety feature, paving the way for its incorporation into future aircraft designs. With a range of 6,750 nm at Mach 0.80, the type earned more than 50 speed records. It served as the top of the Gulfstream line until the certification of the G650 in 2012. According to JetNet, 603 G550s remain in service worldwide. “The Gulfstream G550 set a new standard for performance and reliability and continues to outperform and impress with its wide-ranging capabilities,” said company president Mark Burns. “Given our vast G550 fleet in service, we look to continuing to support all G550 customers around the world with Gulfstream Customer Support’s extensive network.” Development of the Gulfstream G550 G550 cabin The G550 (GV-SP) with improved engines received its FAA type certificate on August 14, 2003. In 2014, Gulfstream looked at a re-engine with the Rolls-Royce Pearl BR700 development announced in May 2018 for the new Global Express 5500 and 6500 variants but preferred the BR725-powered, 7,500 nmi G650. The 500th Gulfstream G550

Third Dassault Falcon 6X Joins Flight-test Fleet

Dassault's third flight-test Falcon 6X took to the skies on June 24. The twinjet has a full interior and will be used to test in-flight entertainment and communications systems, as well as evaluate environmental features and temperature control and validate cabin acoustics systems. (Photo: Dassault Aviation) The third flight-test Falcon 6X, registered as F-WAVE, took to the skies late last week, edging Dassault Aviation’s 5,500-nm, large-cabin twinjet one step closer to its planned certification next year. S/N 3, which has a full interior and will be used for cabin design validation, made its inaugural flight on June 24, attaining an altitude of FL400 and speeds up to Mach 0.85, the French aircraft manufacturer announced on Thursday. This follows the first Falcon 6X that flew on March 10 and the second on April 30. To date, these two aircraft have accumulated more than 130 flight-test hours at a rate of two to three flights a week, with envelope expansion now nearly complete, according to Dassault. “This latest flight is yet another sign of the smooth progress we have been making with the Falcon 6X test program,” said Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “We have been consistently impressed with the flight performance and handling of the Falcon 6X and the reliability of aircraft systems.” S/N 3 will be used to test in-flight entertainment and communications systems, as well as evaluate environmental features and temperature control and validate cabin acoustics systems, the company said. A fourth flight-test Falcon 6X, which will also have a full interior, is currently being outfitted at Dassault’s site in Mérignac, France. This aircraft will conduct a two-month global endurance flight campaign to ensure that all Falcon 6X systems are fully mature