• Bombardier announces its strategic decision to focus on business aviation

    Bombardier this week announced that it has made the strategic decision to focus exclusively on business aviation and plans to accelerate its deleveraging through the sale of its rail business.

    “Going forward, we will focus all our capital, energy and resources on accelerating growth and driving margin expansion in our market-leading $7.0 billion business aircraft franchise,” said Alain Bellemare, President and CEO, Bombardier Inc. Bombardier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alstom SA and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for the sale of its Transportation business to Alstom. Last week, Airbus, the Government of Québec and Bombardier Inc. have agreed upon a new ownership structure for the A220 programme, whereby Bombardier transferred its remaining shares in Airbus Canada to Airbus and the Government of Québec. This agreement brings the shareholdings in Airbus Canada, responsible for the A220 (the former CSeries), to 75 percent for Airbus and 25 percent for the Government of Québec respectively. The Government’s stake is redeemable by Airbus in 2026 - three years later than before. As part of this transaction, Airbus, via its wholly owned subsidiary Stelia Aerospace, has also acquired the A220 and A330 work package production capabilities from Bombardier in Saint-Laurent, Québec. For 2020, Bombardier Aviation expects to deliver 160 or more aircraft.

  • New Gulfstream flagship G700 airborne

    The latest and greatest Gulfstream business jet, the G700, completed its first flight on 14 February.

    The G700 was introduced as the new Gulfstream flagship in October 2019 with a full-scale cabin mock-up and an aircraft taxiing under its own power. The program includes five already manufactured flight-test aircraft and a structural test article that has completed load testing.
    The G700 features the longest, widest and tallest cabin in its class with 20 Gulfstream panoramic oval windows and up to five living areas. The G700 is powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and refined with Gulfstream-designed aerodynamics and an all-new winglet. The aircraft can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km. The G700 also includes the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck with the industry’s only electronically linked active control sidesticks and Gulfstream’s award-winning Predictive Landing Performance System. Deliveries are due to start in 2022.

  • NBAA addresses shortage of pilots and technicians

    NBAA is encouraging lawmakers to address a growing shortage of pilots and aviation technicians, as well as an aging pilot population.

    In written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, NBAA noted that the Boeing company outlook has projected that 645,000 new commercial pilots and nearly 100,000 new business aircraft pilots will be needed worldwide between 2019 and 2038. Meanwhile, there is a projected worldwide demand for almost 770,000 new aviation technicians over the next 20 years.
    “Another challenge we face is the aging pilot population, with the average age of commercial pilots at 51, and a mandatory retirement age of 65 for airline pilots, future demand will only increase,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told the subcommittee in his testimony. “New entrants to the workforce are also not choosing aviation careers as they did in the past, and the supply of pilots has decreased by 30% since 1987.”

  • People: Brad Thress Joins FlightSafety International as President and CEO

    FlightSafety International last week announced that Brad Thress has joined the company as President and CEO. He assumes this responsibility from David Davenport who has left FlightSafety.

    Brad Thress JoinsBrad joins FlightSafety from Textron Aviation where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Parts, Program and Flight Operations, and the President of Able Aerospace. Prior to this assignment, he served as vice president, Component Operation under the Integrated Supply Chain group. He joined Cessna in 1992 as a demonstration pilot. He became product marketing manager for the Citation X business jet in 1996 and was promoted to program manager in 1999 for development and certification of the Citation Sovereign. In 2002 he advanced to senior product director, responsible for the production line start-up for the Sovereign. Brad assumed the position of vice president, Quality in 2003, responsible for FAA compliance, process control and variation reduction initiatives. Brad served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force prior to joining Cessna and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Business Administration degreee from Baker University. He is a certified Textron Six Sigma Green Belt and holds several Citation type ratings.

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