Page 1







At What Price? ямБnancing & insuring business aircraft

Landings: Paris a trip planning tool for executives ISSUE 01 WINTER 2008 ISSN-nr 2030-0468



Contents 6 Our Team 8 Reference Index

26 What You Should Know About Financing

It pays to start the aircraft financing process early in the game.

9 Memo 10 In Brief

32 The Real Cost of Owning an Aircraft

While the price of acquisition is important, it often masks other more significant costs.

Knowledge of the aviation insurance market is essential in choosing a quality underwriter.

20 What Are My Options? All private flying options are viable 35 At a Premium

and some frequent flyers use more than one approach.

23 Very Light Costs

Where will VLJs fit in corporate flight departments’ budgets?

40 Game Plan

Cloud 9 Aviation blends aviation business expertise with a suc- cessful sporting strategy.


Contents 44 Rapid Business Travel in the Works

64 The Dassault Falcon 2000DX

The latest news on business aircraft models currently under development.

Every production business jet is targeted at a particular niche and the Falcon 2000DX is no exception.


21 98 4



54 Hawker 4000 Makes Its Debut


For Hawker Beechcraft there is really no need to speak of the past-just future sales for the Hawker 4000.

60 Putting a Price Tag on Speed





Le Bourget Airport groundplan


If business aircraft promise time savings and efficiency, then su- personic business travel is the ultimate solution.

70 Landings: Paris

Executives landing at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport have the advantages of using Europe’s most prestigious, dedicated Business Aviation gateway.

82 On the Horizon


Reaches places

others can’t. A runway normally too short to be true? Or maybe your destination is not even close to a major airport? When you are out on a challenging mission, the spn will revolutionize your idea of mobility. Outstanding short field performance and easy operation even from grass and gravel will get you closer to wherever you want to go, and back out again. This unique, single pilot capable aircraft will fly six passengers and one pilot an impressive 1,800 nm. The spn represents a quantum leap in aircraft design, a large light jet featuring a luxurious cabin with eight double club configured seats, cutting-edge interior design, and premium materials. Its highly resilient carbon fiber airframe stands up to harsh environments, provides exceptional durability, and thus requires low maintenance. And, no matter where you are: our worldwide network of experienced service partners offers you best-in-class warranty and around-the-clock product support, always within your reach. The spn. Exponential possibilities.

Find out more: Web:, Email:, Phone: +41 44 876 56 85

The new Business Aircraft Where applicable, performance data assumes standard ISA conditions and a smooth, dry, hard and level surface runway with no wind. Data is subject to final confirmation


FlyCorporate Magazine Europe

Taunya Renson-Martin Editorial and Publishing Director

Dan Smith Managing Editor

Mike Vlieghe Online Editor & Layout

Anke Ruysschaert Production Manager

Stijn Anseel Art Director

Lowie Ysebie Web Developer

FlyCorporate Senior Writers Jeff Apter Jack Carroll Tim Kern Liz Moscrop Rod Simpson

FlyCorporate Contributors David Macdonald Robert Tissing Praveen Vetrivel David Wyndham

.Mach Media

Luc Osselaer

Taunya Renson-Martin


Managing Director

Jay Whitehead

Els De Vleeschouwer

Advisor, US Office

Office Manager

FlyCorporate Magazine is published by .Mach Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. BPA Worldwide Business Publication Audit Membership Applied for December 2007. Three issues will be published in 2008 and are free for subscribers at Subscribers: If the postal services alert us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address. How to Reach Us Letters to the Editor must include writer’s full name, address and email coordinates, may be edited for purposes of clarity or space, and should be addressed to or to: .Mach Media, Technologiepark 3, Zwijnaarde-Gent, B-9052, Belgium. Customer Service and Subscriptions: To receive our free FlyCorporate Magazine Europe, our weekly newsfeeds and/or our regular newsletter, please subscribe online at

Please recycle this magazine when you are finished. Thank you.



Reference Index


EADS Socata





Aero Services

European Business Aviation Association

Jet Aviation

Adam Aircraft

Airbus Air Partner Associated Air Center Avinode Axel Neumann Bell Helicopters Boeing Business Jets Bombardier Aerospace CAE Simuite Cessna Aircraft Co. Cloud 9 Aviation Comlux Aviation Comp Air Conklin & de Decker Dassault Aviation Dassault Falcon Services DayJet

Eclipse Aviation Embraer Executive Jets Epic Aircraft Encore-Euralair

Jet Bird Le Bourget Airport London Executive Aviation Lufthansa Technik

Evektor Aircraft

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)



Farnborough Aircraft

Piper Aircraft

FinServe Aviation

Pilatus Aircraft

FlightSafety International

Rockwell Collins

Flying Group

Signature Flight Support

GA Finance

Sino Swearingen

Grob Aerospace



Supersonic Aircraft International

Hawker BeechCraft Corporation

Spectrum Aeronautical

Hayward Aviation



Universal Aviation

Honda Aircraft

Worldwide Aeros Corporation


What You Should Know About Financing



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The first decision you must make when financing an aircraft is whether you buy or lease

page 26

Why FlyCorporate and why now? There is a lot of information about Business Aviation out there. And if you have the time and patience, you can spend hours – days even – pouring through a variety of magazines and surfing hundreds of websites to piece together the information you need. Or you can rely on FlyCorporate! FlyCorporate Online ( and FlyCorporate Magazine Europe have been created with the timestarved senior business executive in mind. So when you want to learn more about Business Aviation options in Europe you will find a free subscription to FlyCorporate your best option! We cover everything you need to know about Business Aviation including finance, insurance, staffing a flight department and benchmarking your aircraft against others. Whether you are choosing an aircraft to suit your mission, discovering what’s new on the market, or want to learn more about leading industry events, FlyCorporate will be there to help you. Our aim at FlyCorporate is to give you all you need, when you need it, the way you want it. Our website is updated daily with news to keep you abreast of new operators, new aircraft, sales and planning tools. Our Video Editorials offer a dynamic look at new aircraft trends. Our Business Aircraft Gallery allows you to search aircraft by mission, price, size and/or capacity. And the Ask An Expert feature encourages you to come to us with your Business Aviation queries. We will have them answered by leading industry professionals.

But if you have no time to come to us, we will come to you. You can subscribe to our weekly newsfeed or our regular On the Fly newsletter, which highlights a unique Business Aviation topic each issue. And of course there’s also this publication, FlyCorporate Magazine Europe, which we hope you will keep and refer to again and again. In this issue we take a look at The Real Cost of Business Aircraft (page 32) and issues of financing (What You Should Know About Financing, page 26). We have also asked aviation insurance professionals for their sound advice on minimising premiums while ensuring you get the most comprehensive coverage (At a Premium, page 35). But what is a magazine without models? In our case, business aircraft models in development (Rapid Business Travel in the Works, page 44), and those just about to enter into service (The Dassault Falcon 2000DX, page 64). We also look at a recent entrant to the market as the Hawker 4000 makes its long anticipated debut (page 54). We sincerely hope you enjoy our launch issue of FlyCorporate Europe and encourage you to tell us what you think by emailing us at The European Business Aviation scene is moving at rapid speed. FlyCorporate is here to monitor its developments and help you navigate the changing landscape. Buckle your seatbelts, we’re taking off!

FlyCorporate Online

Monthly Newsletter

Weekly Newsfeed


In Brief The Legacy 600 Goes Platinum

Bombardier Launches Learjet NXT Aircraft

VIP Designs for a Boeing 747-8

Platinum Corporation has ordered a Legacy 600 executive jet. Embraer will deliver the aircraft in August 2008. It will be used to carry executives between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the company’s offices in India, Europe and Africa.

Bombardier Aerospace has launched an all-new Learjet aircraft, provisionally named Learjet NXT. The Learjet NXT, positioned between the midsize and the super midsize segments, is the next generation in Learjet development.

Lufthansa Technik Completion has signed a contract for the completion of a Boeing 747-8 for an unidentified VIP customer. Installation of the interior for the latest version of the Jumbo will entail a maximum of 18 months work at the Hamburg Completion Centre.

“The Legacy 600 combines top quality and a luxurious interior finish with operational efficiency,” said Sunil Vaswani, CEO and President of Platinum Corporation. “The jet offers the range capability we are looking for, and we plan to use it to develop and support our business interests throughout the Middle East and Africa.” Platinum Corporation is a general trading company based in Dubai, UAE.

The development programme of this all-new jet continues to progress well, and it is on target for a public unveiling in October 2008, in time to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first flight of a Learjet aircraft.

Lufthansa Technik routinely teams up with renowned designers to make “dreams come true.” For example, the outfitter committed Andrew Winch Designs to meet the high requirements for the outfit of a Boeing 787 in a VIP configuration (pictured).


More time for business more time for life Air Partner gives you control over what’s important to you – time with family and friends, time to work and play. You’ll fly on beautiful business jets provided by one of the world’s largest and most respected private aviation companies, and the only one to hold a Royal Warrant. The JetCard In addition to bespoke private charter, Air Partner offers 25-hour JetCards. Aircraft availability is guaranteed, and the pricing is simple and fair – just one payment, no surcharges and discounts for return trips.

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Supplier of Aircraft Charter

For more information Tel +44 (0)20 7538 2273 Email Platinum House, Gatwick Road, Gatwick, West Sussex RH10 9RP UK


Bell Freezes 429 External Lines Bell Helicopter has completed another major milestone in its Bell 429 development. The 429 team has set, or frozen, the final exterior profile design, verified through months of development flighttesting.

Commenting on the event, Robert Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Sales, said: “This is one of the most significant events in the development of an aircraft. This means our design meets the aesthetic and in-flight handling specifications we set long ago. These are specifications we promised we would deliver to our customers. It moves us much closer to

certification and our goal of beginning deliveries at the end of 2008.” Since the introduction of the 429, an advanced-technology, light twin-engine helicopter at HELI-EXPO in 2005, Bell has received over 240 customer purchase agreements. Bell plans to ramp-up production to 60 aircraft per year by 2011.

In Brief TALKING FIGURES Sources: Forecast International and the NBAA/Harris poll

$192 billion/ €134.4 billion The value of business aircraft Forecast International projects will be produced from 2007 through 2016.

14,978 The forecast of the number of business aircraft to be produced from 2007 through 2016.

39% The percentage of new aircraft that are expected to be Very Light Jets (VLJs).

+60% Percentage of business aircraft chief pilots and passengers who use corporate aircraft because their business schedules cannot be met efficiently through the use of scheduled airlines.

+/-25% Percentage of executives who use business aircraft to reach locations not served by scheduled carriers.

+/- 5% Percentage of business aircraft flights that are used to connect to scheduled airline flights.

14% Percentage of employees flying on business aircraft that could be considered top management.

49% The percentage of company employees flying on business aircraft that are middle managers.

19% Percentage of company employees flying on business aircraft that are professional staff.


Imagine escaping the drudgery of airline travel in your own plane. Going precisely where you want to, and when. Even to remote airports with short or unimproved strips. All in executiveclass comfort for up to eight passengers. Sure, it takes money. But maybe less than you think. We invite you to call and find out how the world’s best-selling turbine-powered business airplane is also one of the most affordable.



Pilatus Aircraft Ltd Phone: +41 41 619 62 96


Fly Direct, Reduce Fuel Consumption The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has determined that all four Gulfstream large-cabin aircraft models (the G550, G500, G450 and G350) are capable of flying routes that are up to 180 minutes from an emergency or diversion airport. The approval adds 60 minutes to the possible flight time which translates into an additional 380 nautical miles an aircraft can fly from the nearest airport. It confirms that the aircraft are capable of flying Extended Twin-engine Operational Performance Standard (ETOPS) routes. “The EASA finding paves the way for Gulfstream charter operators registered in European Union countries to fly more direct intercontinental routes, thereby reducing travel time and fuel consumption,” said Pres Henne, Senior Vice President, Programmes, Engineering and Test for Gulfstream. (Photo: G450)

Real nice nice, the digital, Ethernet-based cabin management (CMS) and in-flight entertainment (IFE) system by Lufthansa Technik, has successfully made its move into the business jet market. Since August 2007, all Bombardier Challenger 300 aircraft have been delivered from the manufacturing plant in Montreal with nice (networked integrated cabin equipment) installed. The basic nice installation aboard the Challenger 300 supports a wide range of passenger entertainment and cabin environment management functions. “The nice system helps strengthen the Challenger 300 jet’s position as the benchmark aircraft in the super-midsize class, featuring the latest IFE and CMS, including the world’s first iPod docking station for a purpose-designed business jet,” said Eric Martel, Vice President and General Manager, Challenger and Global Aircraft, Bombardier Business Aircraft. The iPod is remotely controlled at the seat through the nice graphical user interface, neatly integrated into the arm ledge at elbow height. In 2008, Lufthansa Technik will add the ability to watch video from the iPod on wall or seat-mounted LCDs.

Two More Legacy Jets For LEA London Executive Aviation (LEA), a UKbased private jet charter operator, has responded to increasing demand for super midsize executive jets by adding a further two Embraer Legacy 600s to its charter fleet. This brings its total Legacy fleet to four. LEA is providing full management services for the aircraft, which are now available for charter. The new Legacy jets have been purchased directly from Embraer by an existing and a new LEA aircraft owner. They are to be based at Luton and Farnborough airports and will also be able to fly from London City. Configured for up to 13 passengers, the Legacy aircraft have a maximum range of 5,150 km (3,200 miles), making them ideal for non-stop flights across Europe and into the Middle East. The new Legacys arrive a month before LEA takes delivery of the first of ten Cessna Citation Mustangs, demonstrating strong growth at both the top and bottom end of the company’s charter fleet. In 2009, LEA will become the first UK charter operator to offer the Gulfstream G450.

In Brief

Universal Opens in Delhi Universal Weather and Aviation has expanded its presence and full range of ground-handling services in India through the opening of Universal Aviation in downtown Delhi.

According to Lex den Herder, Universal’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific: “The employees at this location have been professionally trained and adhere to Universal’s quality and safety standards. The staff is English-speaking and well versed on the intricacies of both the local and regional needs of operators travelling within the region.”

The staff in Delhi coordinates landing and overflight clearances, slots, ground-handling, transportation, catering, hotels, and local sightseeing tours among other services for both India and Nepal.

– I N T RODU C I N G T H E N E W –




FROM YOUR EXECUTIVE OFFICE IN THE SKY. New York to San Francisco. Sydney to Perth. Paris to Dubai. If your business takes you far and wide, get there in the new Hawker 900XP. This latest evolution of the world’s best-selling midsize business jet features the same striking ramp presence and the most spacious, beautifully appointed cabin in its class. But now, along with lower operating costs, greater speed and longer range, it boasts a level of performance that is raising the standards of the midsize jet category. For more information, please call +1.316.676.0800 or visit Copyright © 2007 Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. All rights reserved. Hawker and Beechcraft are trademarks of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.



Jet Aviation Sets Up in Moscow Jet Aviation will now provide maintenance services at Moscow Vnukovo International Airport. It will be the first global Business Aviation maintenance company to serve the growing Business Aviation community in Russia and the company’s clients who regularly fly to and from Moscow. Vnukovo airport is Moscow’s busiest airport for corporate aviation and handles nearly 70% of all Business Aviation traffic in Russia. Jet Aviation’s CEO, Peter G. Edwards states: “Given the extraordinary growth of Business Aviation in Russia, we felt the need to enter the region as soon as possible. Our clients and the OEMs have com-

municated clearly that they expect us to be here. With its high concentration of business aircraft and its prime location south-west of Moscow city centre, we are now convinced that Vnukovo is the right airport for Jet Aviation to expand its services. This is an important first step and we look forward to expanding our service offerings at Vnukovo as we further develop a strong partnership with the airport authorities.” Vnukovo International Airport is one of the largest air transportation hubs in Russia and, at only 28 kilometres (17 miles), the closest to the Moscow city centre. Jet Aviation will provide line maintenance, defect rectification and AOG services from a hangar, which is located next to the Vnukovo 3 FBO building. (Photo: Jet Aviation Signing Ceremony)

In Brief 10th ACJ for Associated Air Center Associated Air Center (AAC), a leading transport aircraft completion centre at Dallas Love Field in the US, has delivered an Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) VIP interior. This is AAC’s tenth luxury jet delivery in the ACJ programme and the first US-based ACJ “N” registered VIP aircraft. The aircraft was delivered to a customer based in Florida. “AAC developed this luxury aircraft from design to completion,” said Patrick Altuna, Executive Vice President. “The VIP interior is a contemporary design, with a color scheme of blues, browns, creams and other rich shades that are similar to the customer’s personal DC-9 aircraft.” The aircraft features exotic, hand polished wood veneers, plush seating and carpeting throughout.

Also included are a spacious master bedroom and master lavatory with shower and storage closets. Sofas in the aircraft provide seating as well as sleeping positions. Special hi-lo tables, with three fold-out leaves, are located in the mid-section of the aircraft in the dining room and lounge area. The aircraft has a full cabin management system produced by Honeywell, reflecting the aircraft’s functionality as an office-in-the-sky. Cabin systems include entertainment and Airshow, a moving map system that provides real-time flight information which can be broadcast through the cabin video monitors. The cabin system provides full airto-ground communications, enabling passengers to make voice calls from the aircraft to a landline or cell phone on the ground.

Fit for a Prince HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, has signed a firm order with Airbus for an A380 Flying Palace. He becomes the first customer for the VIP version of the new double-deck airliner. The aircraft will undergo cabin outfitting at a yet to be chosen completion centre.

“Prince Alwaleed’s order means that Airbus’ sales success in the corporate jet market now extends from its smallest aircraft, the A318 Elite, all the way up to its largest, the A380 Flying Palace,” commented Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. (Photo: HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Signs the Order for his A380 Flying Palace)

(photo: AAC ACJ 10th Delivery)

C e rt


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G1000 Inside! Socata’s TBM 850 defines a new class of airplane, the Very Fast Turboprop, even better than the legendary TBM 700. The TBM 850 offers the most performance that can safely be put in the hands of an owner and delivers jet-like speeds with greater versatility, efficiency and economics. Our worldwide network distributors w w w . t of b m 8keeps 5 you 0 in. the cpilot’s o seat. m








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80 Years of Cessna 

TBM 850 Sales Reach 150

At the end of 2007, Cessna rounded out its 80th year of manufacturing and designing world-class aircraft. Currently, several new Citation models are progressing toward certification. On 2 Aug 2007, the XLS+ – an upgrade to the midsize Excel/XLS – completed its maiden flight. Development of the largest Citation CJ business jet – the CJ4 – has progressed with completion of 95 percent of the detail design stage. It is on schedule for the first prototype flight in mid-2008. Cessna is also continuing exploratory design work on a large cabin concept (LCC) aircraft, with the goal of announcing in the first quarter of 2008 a decision on whether to proceed with the programme. The aircraft would be capable of intercontinental travel and would become the largest aircraft the company has ever developed.    

EADS Socata’s TBM 850 ended a successful 2007 with record sales backlog booked for 2008. Nicolas Chabbert, EADS Socata’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing, said that 60 TBM 850 aircraft were sold from its 2008 order book since the allocation was opened in early September of this year. The new orders bring firm TBM 850 sales to more than 150 in the 24 months since the aircraft was launched in mid-

In Brief 50% of Backlog From International Sales “We continue to see strong demand across all our markets and ended the quarter with over 50% of our backlog coming from international customers,” said Jim Schuster, chairman and CEO, when Hawker Beechcraft Acquisition Company, LLC (HBC) reported its $871.0 million thirdquarter 2007 sales. Total net bookings were $945.4 million, resulting in a backlog of $5.2 billion.  HBC delivered 106 commercial and special mission aircraft, including eight of the recently certified Hawker 900XP, a derivative of the Hawker 850XP.  This compares to 95 commercial and special

mission aircraft delivered by the predecessor company (Raytheon) during the third quarter of 2006.   Operating cash flow has been $196.4 million since the acquisition of the business on March 26, 2007, reflecting an increase in customer deposits, collection of financing receivables and a reduction in the level of used aircraft inventory.  There has been some adverse impact to cash flow associated with the delay in the delivery of Premier IA and T-6A Texan II aircraft, due to issues relating to supplier compliance with parts specifications. Deliveries of the Premier resumed in October.   (Photo: Premier IA)

December 2005. The majority has been purchased by US customers; with a 20% share for Europe and 10% for South America, Asia and the Pacific, and with new sales in Brazil and Australia. The TBM 850 is a single-engine turboprop, with a maximum cruising speed of 320 KTAS at 26,000 ft (in ISA conditions). The TBM 850 combines the cruising speed and travel times typical of light jets with economical direct operating costs, while offering the range and payload capacity of turboprop aircraft.

Jetcraft Now Serving the Middle East Jetcraft Trading is now providing clients in the Middle East with aircraft transaction coordination services at Jet Aviation’s existing FBO and maintenance location at the Dubai International Airport. Jetcraft Trading is a strategic alliance between the Jet Aviation group and Jetcraft Corporation, offering comprehensive aircraft sales and acquisition services worldwide. Jetcraft Trading will provide discreet, local access to clients in the region who may have a need for aircraft transaction services. The new company plans to open future offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Beijing and on the West Coast of the United States, joining those already in place in Minneapolis, MN; Teterboro, NJ; Raleigh- Durham, NC; St. Louis, MO; Redding, CA; and Zurich, Switzerland. Jetcraft Trading is positioning itself to offer a global solution for consolidated access to business/VIP aircraft buyers and sellers throughout the world.


In Brief Silvercrest for Retrofit Snecma is offering its new Silvercrest engine as a retrofit solution for currentgeneration planes. According to their calculations for most current supermidsize aircraft, an operator making 400 flights a year would enjoy the following savings: • 16,000 to 27,000 gallons (37,850 to 102,200 litres) of fuel • Nearly 1.5 metric tons of NOx, or 25% less than current engines on average. • About 520 metric tons of CO2. Snecma also promises that Silvercrest provides greater noise savings than a hush kit. Only routine modifications would be needed, covering the pylons and engine-airframe interfaces (electrical, fuel and air systems). Once re-engined, the company states that most aeroplanes will also offer significantly improved time to climb, takeoff capability and balanced runway length, thus expanding the number of accessible airports.

When Lightening Strikes Jeppesen has enhanced its full line-up of weather products by superimposing worldwide lightning data over its infrared and visible satellite imagery maps.


Sky High Blackberry Connections Rockwell Collins has completed the purchase of the SKYLink broadband terminal product line from ARINC. The avionics manufacturer will sell and support the product line to large business jets under the eXchange brand. ARINC will continue to provide the SKYLink Kuband satellite service. “Through this purchase, Rockwell Collins will be able to offer passengers true broadband connectivity at the lowest service price available for highspeed data,” said Tommy Dodson, Vice President and General Manager, Cabin Systems for Rockwell Collins. eXchange, coupled with the SKYLink service, is a real time, two-way connectivity system providing broadband speeds of up to 3.5 Mbps to the aircraft. It enables customers to access email, corporate intranets and the Internet. There are also options for global Voice

The World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) is an innovative technology developed jointly at the University of Washington (Seattle) and University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand). The system detects cloud-to-ground lightning using a network of 20-30 sensors around the globe. The sensors can detect lightning strikes up to 10,000 km away by measuring Very Low Frequency (VLF) radiation that emanates from the strikes. The lightning strike location accuracy is a few kilometers, and the detection efficiency is sufficient to detect a very high percentage of thunderstorms in real-time.

over IP (VoIP) telephone service and videoconferencing. eXchange supports data connectivity for selected Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, such as the Blackberry 8320 and 8820. The eXchange system is ideal for installation on larger business jets such as Gulfstream’s G550, Dassault’s F7X and Bombardier’s Global Express. Coverage for eXchange using the SKYLink service is available in North America, Europe and the North Atlantic. Coverage for the Caribbean and parts of South and Central American will be added in the first quarter of 2008.

Blackberry 8820

The additional data allows pilots to determine where convection and thunderstorms are located worldwide, even in areas where radar data is not normally available. This is especially useful over oceanic regions where only satellite imagery exists to depict clouds. Now pilots will know which systems are producing lightning, and make decisions based on real-time, accurate data. Worldwide satellite maps are usually updated every one to three hours, and contain the latest 30 minutes worth of lightning strikes.


What Are My Options?

Cessna Citation X Interior

Executives who want to escape airport nightmares have switched to business jets

By David Macdonald

The private jet industry has been experiencing significant growth over the last 18 months, and it is clear that, for an increasing number of affluent users, the new experience of flying by business jet is the solution to today’s traumatic scheduled service alternatives. As airlines become ever more price-focused, with ever lower fares being chased by ever lower service, those who want to escape airport nightmares have switched to business jets, and probably will never return to using scheduled services. As with all fast-growing industries, the established industry names are soon copied by a plethora of look-alikes, some young and professional, others weaker and vulnerable. New users keen to join the private jet club are now being seduced by a multitude of companies offering numerous different schemes that make direct comparison difficult.

The spider’s web is spun and the trap laid. The simple buyer beware rule of ‘caveat emptor’ (if diligently followed) will provide a first level of protection, but buyers must know what they want and must quickly gain a thorough understanding of the subject before they sign on any dotted lines.


At this stage there are four fundamentals to be established: • Try to strike a perfect match of your precise requirements with each possible solution. •

Weigh up the advantages and drawbacks of each scheme, to understand the significance of any compromise you may need to make.

• Investigate and fully appraise your- self of the contract terms and conditions. • Be confident in the service and support levels being promised. There are also four principal categories where your ideal solution might lie:

Ad hoc charter Using on-demand ‘ad hoc’ charter is one of the most economical and flexible methods of flying privately in the most appropriate aircraft for a given need, from a private jet to a commercial airliner. Quite simply, the outlay is limited to a one-off flight payment according to the size and type of aircraft used, distance involved, and duration of trip. A good analogy is that of a chauffeurdriven car service: the route is fixed, the rate is fixed, a uniformed driver presents an immaculate car, and the commitment ends at the destination. Prices and availability are guaranteed once a booking has been made. The number of aircraft charter companies is growing in line with globalisation and demand for private flying, but beware that levels of service and experience can vary tremendously. Charter providers are either aircraft operators or brokers; in both cases, look for long-term and well-established names as potential suppliers, and avoid being seduced by web-page promises that lack substance. If you fully understand the market, successful direct buying is

possible. However, many choose to use a reliable broker, given the ever-changing nature of the market week on week. Some brokers use a selected network of operators with whom they have a close business relationship; others use a greater pool of aircraft and judge safety capabilities and fleet quality on certification assurances or ratings from third parties. The fact that anyone can easily and quickly set up a brokerage is in itself a warning sign, and it is wise to make sure the broker being used is independent, has a proven track record of success and safety, and has widespread global experience. Ad hoc charter is ideal for those who wish to avoid commitment beyond the short term, or for those who have everchanging needs.

Jetcard membership programmes Jetcards are an extremely popular, recent addition to the private aviation mix and particularly appeal to those who make several short trips during the year. Jetcard clients prepay for a set number of flight hours (typically between 25 and 50) in their chosen category of aircraft, which can range from light and midsize cabin jets capable of carrying six or seven passengers to large cabin and global cabin jets with capacity for 10 to 14 people. Another option is a card specific to one aircraft model. Additional hours can be purchased if required, and the upgrading or downgrading of aircraft types is usually an option. Only occupied flight hours are deducted from card balances; charges are not levied for aircraft positioning. While availability and access to aircraft are guaranteed, an important factor when choosing a jetcard provider is to read the small print very carefully for hidden extras and conditions. What to look out for? Clear transparent pricing, no peak-time supplements or restrictions, no fuel surcharges,

discounts for return trips and the option to cancel with a full refund of unused hours. For the environmentally conscious, some programmes now offer carbon-neutral offset options. Jetcards offer a simple solution for those people who wish to negotiate the cost of their private jet flying annually and strike a deal with one single supplier which affords a consistent level of service and support.

Fractional ownership Having originated in the US, fractional ownership is now also popular with some European jet users, although the appeal has diminished somewhat since the arrival of jetcards. Fractional schemes require a high degree of commitment. Customers buy an up-front ownership share in an aircraft prorated according to its market price and then pay monthly management fees for maintenance and crew. Additional charges are made for the flight hours flown and ‘extras’ could include fuel surcharges. Shares tend to start at 1/16 of the aircraft for about 50 flight hours a year and are purchased for a fixed term (usually five years) before being sold back at market value, less a remarketing fee. Upgrades or downgrades are sometimes permitted across a participating company’s fractional fleet, and short-notice aircraft availability is guaranteed. Selecting an aircraft usually depends on two factors – passenger capacity and aircraft range; the larger the capacity and the longer the range, the higher the capital fee and ongoing charges. Share costs are split in a linear fashion and can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million. Be mindful of the true exposure to depreciation of the capital cost and a long-term contract without exit options. Talk to satisfied clients or visit websites like for an independent view.

Jetcards are a popular addition to private aviation


Outright ownership High-net-worth individuals, corporations and senior executives often purchase their own jet for the total flexibility this affords. Whereas a minimum investment of $2.5 million is needed to acquire even a light cabin jet, those with long-range capabilities can cost as much as $50 million, before the annual cost of employing crew, undertaking maintenance and the actual operating costs incurred in flight. Such fixed costs of operation can be significantly reduced by contracting out spare hours through a private aircraft management company with a proven track record. If the aircraft is undergoing maintenance or is inappropriate for a flight due to range or charter passenger capacity, then a good management company will provide alternative options for owners to meet their varied needs. Be in no doubt, this industry is providing the ultimate flight experience for the discerning new clients pouring into it. Satisfaction levels are very high, and new users soon become addicted to the lifestyle.

Photo Courtesy: Air Partner

Underneath that success lie the wrecks of undelivered promises, lost capital, and nightmare stories of the few who ventured in without care. Such victims paid a very high price. So, in summary, three further rules should apply when considering buying into private flying: • Deal with a supplier that has been fully researched and that inspires your confidence. • Fully understand the financial implications of any commitment you make. • Read the small print – thoroughly. All private flying options are viable and some frequent flyers use more than one approach. Of the four categories on offer, there is no easy ready reckoner giving instant answers as to which is best. Every situation and every scenario is different. There is more to flying by private jet than simply calculating the hourly usage involved and any indications to the contrary are grossly oversimplifying the issue.

Deal with a supplier that has been fully researched and that inspires your confidence

David Macdonald David Macdonald is Director of Air Partner Private Jets, a division of the global private aviation company Air Partner plc. Air Partner Private Jets is a leading specialist supplier of a wide range of private jet products – JetCards, ad hoc charter and private jet management, maintenance and sales – and operates Europe’s largest fleet of modern Learjets out of London Biggin Hill airport. The London Gatwick-based Air Partner Group has 23 offices worldwide, 14 of which are in Europe, and holds the aviation industry’s only Royal Warrant as Supplier of Aircraft Charter to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The company has been trading for almost 50 years, operates 24/7 every day of the year, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and provides aviation solutions for corporates, governments and individuals.


Very Light Costs

Cessna Citation Mustang

The VLJ has arrived to either ‘darken the skies’ or be the best thing that has happened to Business Aviation in a long time. But where will it fit in corporate flight departments’ budgets? Liz Moscrop asks the questions.

The European market for private jet travel has grown at 20% per year

It has been known for high fliers to be brought down to earth quick once the media gets hold of their corporate air travel spend. A large jet for the company chairman is sometimes hard to justify on the balance sheet and brings the notion of private air travel as a ‘serious business tool’ into question. That said, since 9/11, the European market for private jet travel has grown at 20% per year. Unlike their North American counterparts, many European

businesses are reluctant to reveal publicly that they use company jets to get around. They are, however, frustrated with the difficulties they encounter in travelling on traditional commercial services. The emerging class of Very Light Jets (VLJs) or microjets, or personal jets, or entrylevel jets (depending on whose marketing material you read) could provide a foot onto the private travel ladder for many corporations bent on tackling the dual problems of flexibility and time hassles.


London Executive Aviation (LEA), a British private jet charter operator, has placed the largest public European order for the Cessna Citation Mustang to date, with seven of the fourpassenger jets due to be delivered between the final quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2009. Originally the group had ordered Eclipse 500s, but opted to lean on its established relationship with Cessna and sold its slots in favour of the Mustang. Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, LEA chief executive, says: “As a business jet operator, we have covered the whole range of jets, from entry-level up to the larger types. We see these aircraft as the new entry-level jets, rather than the Cessna Citation CJ1 or CJ2 or Bravo. A VLJ is a good step to upgrade from in terms of quality.” He says that the group expects to be able to cut the entry price of jet chartering by up to 25%. His beliefs are echoed by Domhnal Slattery, the founder of Zurich-based JetBird, a VLJ air taxi operator, who contends he will be able to offer private jet travel at up to 50% less than existing card programmes, comparable to current business-class travel. Slattery has said that a flight for three people could cost each less than a business-class ticket on a chartered flight. JetBird’s air taxi model will fly to a contained network of around 75 airports, with expectations to have jets based in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, and the UK within five years of launch. In April 2009, JetBird will take delivery of Brazilian airframer Embraer’s Phenom 100 VLJ, becoming the European launch customer for the

Phenom 100

type. JetBird has ordered 50 of the four-seat jets, with options on another 50. Embraer says its new jet will be 25% cheaper to run than existing executive jets. This is an important factor for companies based in Western Europe as they turn to Eastern Europe. Highly paid staff can bypass airport delays and travel there and back in a day. The model becomes even more attractive to internal travel planners when considering the extra costs of owning and operating a jet, or of simply organising hotel and onward travel for its executives.

Going the distance Research indicates that many European businesses want to travel between 1,350 and 1,700 miles, and only need four or five seats. VLJs fit the bill perfectly. The Eclipse 500 has a range of nearly 1,300 miles (1,125 nautical miles), meaning it will ferry passengers between city pairs such as London to Warsaw, Oslo to Milan, and Madrid to Moscow. Others hitting the market are Grob’s SpN, the AdamJet, the HondaJet and both Cirrus and Diamond are introducing new micro jets into this burgeoning sector. In addition to its seven Mustangs, LEA aims to manage four on behalf of other owners. Margetson-Rushmore says the price of chartering the aircraft for a day travelling from London to Frankfurt, for example, will be around GBP 4,300, (€ 5,975) compared with GBP 5,500 (€ 7,642) using a CJ2, its current entry level jet. He anticipates a good response. “It is early days yet,” he says, “conversations with existing fliers and brokers in our unofficial market research indicate that people who currently travel first and business-class are aware of these jets because of their raised market profile. Their concerns are delays at airports, which is one of the key attractions that will drive them to try them.”

To buy or not to buy? That is the question. Traditionally a corporate flight department will gain aviation experience by chartering jets and joining card programmes that offer a set amount of flying hours for a fixed cost, or buying shares in a jet. Card programmes appeal to customers who want the convenience of business jet travel, but want to avoid the capital outlay of fractional schemes, which start out at owning a minimum onesixteenth of an aircraft giving 50 hours airtime a year. Card schemes slice the hours to 25 and offer smaller blocks of flight hours. Companies start to look at owning an aircraft when they reach 300 hours annually. Although it is a large up-front purchase, a jet ultimately will pay for itself at that level of usage.

Eclipse 500

Says Margetson-Rushmore: “For a corporate flight department ferrying a smaller number of people, typically a load of four or less, operating costs will be much lower using a VLJ.” For many companies taking the leap from using scheduled services to private jets demands a leap of faith that a lower priced aircraft might ease. VLJs have long promised a price and efficiency revolution. They cost between a quarter and half as much as traditional entrylevel business jets to buy, starting at around the $1M mark. And they are cheaper to operate. But can they really be safely and usefully integrated into a professional flight department?

VLJs have long promised a price and efficiency revolution


The fears that crop up most frequently about VLJs are their safety, their unproven technologies, and the fact that the sky may be riddled with thousands of inexperienced pilots unaccustomed to operating in a commercial air traffic environment. But just how reasonable are these concerns? Will a plethora of tiny jets raise the industry accident rate? Likely not. So long as the appropriate authorities certify the airframe and systems, the structure of the aircraft is not in question. And VLJs have safety built into their systems. Their designers have pored for hours to ensure pilot workload is reduced, and information for situational awareness and critical decisionmaking is improved. Avionics and smart systems are comparable to aircraft much further up the scale, including such innovations as: dual primary flight displays, dual multi-function displays, electronic flight bag, enhanced ground proximity warning system and TCAS II. Most can operate up to 41,000ft and are more than capable of flying between 18,000ft and 30,000ft, thus evading most commercial traffic and easily bypassing most private leisure aircraft. This is also high enough to clear most weather.

Service centres The real issue, however, is service. The frontrunners in the market in Europe are those aircraft made by established OEMs, i.e. Mustangs and Phenoms. As these new products roll out, questions about maintenance and support will be paramount. Many OEMs are building in “plug and play” avionics and engine systems that allow rapid replacement of parts. On board, tracking software detects if there are problems. To ensure that customers are well served Embraer is establishing a network of service centres around the world dedicated to Business Aviation, and Cessna already has a solid support base. Says Margetson-Rushmore: “We knew with the Mustang that product support throughout Europe was readily available.”

As these aircraft arrive in Europe, no serious operator will hire inexperienced pilots to fly them. Statistically it has been proven that inexperienced pilots incur the greatest risks. MargetsonRushmore affirms that staffing will be a key issue and says that LEA has already begun its pilot recruitment process in advance of the first jet arrival and will hire 35-40 pilots over the next few months. “Pilot recruitment is a key issue. It is crucial to employ competent highly experienced pilots and give them the full complement of the appropriate training.” In Europe it is mandatory to fly with two crew if carrying paying passengers. LEA will have at least one veteran in the cockpit – it requires at least 1,500 hours of its captains and 700 from its first officers. MargetsonRushmore continues: “These aircraft are going into a larger number of airfields and are complex machines. You need experienced people to fly them. If you consider that there are supposed to be 100 VLJs in the UK alone over the next few years, this means you need 400 pilots to fly them, which means we are all going to need at least 200 pilots here very soon.” For those not on the JetBird network, the advent of precision GPS approaches will open up more airfields in Europe, offering IFR approaches at airports where runways can handle VLJs but not larger jets. Margetson-Rushmore says: “VLJs take less runway. There are 1,200 airports used by bizjets in Europe, which are set to increase to 2,400. Airfields typically need 1,000m of runway for VLJs, although they have to be licensed of course. Slot issues will be of more importance to European users.” Whilst these issues concern those sitting at the pointy end of the aircraft, passengers sitting at the back may have misgivings about getting into such a small business jet. It will be vital for corporate flight departments, charter companies, brokers, and travel arrangers to establish a safety information campaign to allay concerns.

The real killer persuasion application here will be the price, both in overheads and time costs. When you factor in security queues at major airports too, airline travel looks increasingly like a poor option. Further value comes in flexibility. It is feasible to visit a couple of cities and return to base without the need for costly hotel fees or arriving late at night and exhausting executives with travel hassles. So, given that boarding a VLJ is likely to be a more environmentally friendly choice than using a traditional ‘entrylevel’ jet, we may well see a ringing endorsement of using corporate aircraft as a business tool as droves of European executives break out of their closets and proudly declare their private jet travel as a genuinely necessary company expense.

“Pilot recruitment is a key issue” Patrick Margetson Rushmore CEO London Executive Aviation


What You Should Know About Financing by Robert Tissing

There are many good reasons to acquire a business aircraft, varying from sheer effi ciency to security, to personal considerations. The choice of aircraft model is usually based on technical considerations, such as range and capacity requirements, and sometimes on personal preference. Buyers are normally advised by brokers, technical advisors, manufacturers and consultants when selecting an aircraft. But fi nancial considerations are often left until later as most of those helping you make your decision will promise that fi nancing is “no problem at all.�

It pays to start the financing process early in the project

I am here to tell you that it pays to start the financing process early in the project. If you follow this advice you will be in a position to choose the optimum financing structure and have ample time to negotiate the best deal with the most suitable financier. Most business aircraft are used as a work tool and hence are owned by

companies. These can either be corporations that use the aircraft to transport executives between locations or air charter operators using the aircraft to transport clients commercially. Many business aircraft are used flexibly, partly flying for the owner’s own use and partly flying commercial charter flights to recover a share of the cost of the aircraft.


Aircraft Financing From a financial perspective, aircraft are no different from other production equipment that has a long technical and economic life. Some additional characteristics, such as strict regulations on maintenance and preservation, provide assurances that the equipment is kept in good condition during its lifecycle. Most countries offer a legal framework that allows the vesting of strong security rights over the equipment. These characteristics, together with the fact that an aircraft can easily be sold to a new buyer make aircraft excellent objects to finance from the perspective of a financier. Aircraft financing transactions range from tailor-made structured financings to readily available and competitivelypriced secured loans. It should be clear that the benefits obtained through a specially structured transaction will be partly offset by the costs involved in

structuring the deal. This is the reason why a $35.0 M long-range jet allows a more structured approach than a $2.0M VLJ.

Lease or Buy?

During the lease period, the financier retains both legal ownership (legal title) and economic ownership of the aircraft. The financier bears any increase or decrease in value of the aircraft at the end of the lease.

The first decision you must make when financing an aircraft is whether you buy or lease. Both financing and leasing come in many forms, which often include features of both basic structures. These create a large market of blended transactions.

In their financial reports, the financier shows the aircraft as an asset on their balance sheet. The lessee shows the monthly rentals as expenses in their income statement. The aircraft is not shown on the lessee’s balance sheet.

Leasing is an alternative to outright purchase of an aircraft. In a leasing transaction, the financier (lessor) is the owner of the aircraft. The lessee makes use of the aircraft and in return pays periodic rentals to the financier. In a pure operating lease, the aircraft is returned to the financier at the end of the lease term or purchased from the financier at a market value determined at the moment of sale.

If an aircraft is purchased outright, ownership is with the operator. The operator shows the aircraft as an asset in their balance sheet. The value of the aircraft is depreciated over time to reflect the cost-of-value reduction. Any financing raised to purchase the aircraft is a commitment made by the operator and is shown on the liability side of their balance sheet.

The first decision you must make when financing an aircraft is whether you buy or lease


Any transaction in which the operator bears the risk of depreciation is viewed as a purchase. Many financing structures, such as financial lease or conditional sale, might look like a lease at first glance because legal title over the aircraft remains with the financier. However, such transactions are treated as financings from tax and accounting perspectives. The fact that the financier holds legal title is effectively no more than a security right, providing collateral to the financier. Under these transactions, legal title either cedes to the operator automatically on expiry (conditional sale, lease purchase), or after payment of a low, fixed purchase price (finance lease). The operator profits or suffers from the movements in the valuation of the aircraft over the years.

The true cost of using an aircraft that you own or have purchased under a finance lease will only be known after the aircraft has been sold and the final settlement made. Annual depreciation charges booked by the lessee must be regarded as an approximation of the reduction in the aircraft’s value over time.

Buying or Leasing Considerations

Buying an aircraft and selling it later yourself will probably give you a better deal compared with an operating lease. The downside is that you keep the residual value risk, which could potentially turn against you, making the deal more costly in the end.

The capital cost related to ownership of an aircraft involves the investment made in the aircraft combined with the loss (or sometimes increase) in market value. Although it would seem the costs related to the investment can be measured easily, you should realise that technical development and air traffic regulations require continuing investment in an aircraft over time. The extent to which these investments add to the market value of the aircraft is not always clear. This makes the assessment of the market value of an aircraft in operation even more difficult. For operators who want to take the true value of aircraft ownership into account, an operating lease would be a good option. Under an operating lease, the monthly lease rentals are the real cost incurred in owning (or having available) the aircraft. At the end of the lease the aircraft is returned to the financier and there are no financial surprises (positive or negative).

There are many operators who have few problems approximating ownership cost during the time the aircraft is used and who can wait for the final settlement to see the true cost of owning the aircraft. A lessor, who takes the price risk on an aircraft under the operating lease, is only prepared to do so when they are rewarded for taking the risk. In other words, the lessor bases the lease rentals on a conservative estimated future value of the aircraft.

The terms of an operating lease will require the lessee to place a security deposit with the financier. This decreases the risk that the financier will be left with the aircraft before the end of the lease. Financiers usually require the deposit to be placed in cash. The amount is, in most cases, no more than 10% of the value of the aircraft. Compared with maximum debt financing of 80% of the aircraft value, to which most lenders adhere, an operating lease is usually the option that requires the smallest cash outlay. For maximum flexibility, aircraft owners should not hesitate to take the aircraft into ownership, because all financings can be prepaid early (be sure to fix the penalty in advance). Operating leases are more costly to unwind.

Another distinction is that a leased aircraft is not shown on the company’s balance sheet, while an aircraft owned by the company is shown. This can be important, especially for publicly-held companies who, in some cases, do not want to publicly demonstrate aircraft ownership. In these situations, leasing an aircraft is the easiest way to avoid discussions with external stakeholders about the necessity of aircraft ownership. For privately held companies this issue might be less important.

Leasing Operating leases can be provided by an established financial institution that is comfortable with getting the aircraft back after the lease. They can also be provided through a Special Purpose Leasing Company (SPLC). An SPLC is a separate legal entity that is exclusively established for a specific lease transaction. A lease from an SPLC offers the lessee a tailor-made arrangement. However, once the deal has been concluded, such transactions are generally less flexible than a lease from an established financier. An established financier may have an operation that can find a new lessee for the aircraft after expiry of a lease. Typically an SPLC has no staff and focuses on the sales value of the aircraft on the expiry of the lease. The possibilities to restructure a lease with an SPLC can be more difficult compared with a lease from an established operator.

Financing In many cases an individual or corporation purchasing a business jet is capable of financing the asset using its own means. Nevertheless, it might be attractive to finance the asset with some form of debt, as borrowed money is generally cheaper than the missed return on your own funds. Debt is cheaper than equity.

Operating leases are more costly to unwind


In these cases a secured loan or a financial lease is often the simplest and cheapest way to obtain funding for the purchase. The transaction itself is based on standardised documentation and can be concluded swiftly. Applied interest rates can be either fixed or floating rates. Specialised aviation financiers are, in most cases, prepared to finance up to 80% of the fair market value of the aircraft on the basis of a mortgage or comparable security arrangement. Slow depreciation of the asset enables slow amortisation of the financed amount. Transactions can include significant financial leverage that may be maintained throughout the transaction, which has a typical tenure of five to ten years. The non-amortised part of the financing is repaid as a balloon payment at the end of the transaction. The balloon payment can be as high as 70% of the forecast future market value of the aircraft.

Where to Look for Finance When looking to finance a corporate aircraft, the first people to ask might be your company’s bank. Your bank knows your company and will probably be able to offer competitive rates. This means that the loan to fund the company’s aircraft purchase will be part of the wider credit relationship with your bank. The documentation, although simple, will ensure that the aircraft loan is related to your existing corporate credit facilities. For the Chief Financial Officer this means that the aircraft purchase decreases the possibility of obtaining future loans. Conditions often include cross collateralisation clauses, because the bank gets its security mainly from the company’s business and not necessarily from the value of the aircraft.

decision. This might translate into a higher balloon payment. Although these lenders do not always offer the lowest margins, they offer real additional lending capacity for the company. Working with a specialised lender does not constrain the company’s lending capacity with its own bank. As far as documentation is concerned, the specialised lender might have more specific demands, including insurance and maintenance provisions. However, assenting to a loan agreement that addresses these issues will ultimately be to the benefit of the borrower. Issues that are not addressed in the loan documentation can turn into costly discussions with the lender. When the lender is also the company’s bank, this might affect the overall relationship, a risk that should be avoided if possible.

Specialised aviation lenders are generally able to place more emphasis on the value of the aircraft in their credit

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Specialised aviation lenders can be smaller, often domestically-focused, aviation finance teams within commercial banks or leasing companies. Some of the global financial institutions active in business aircraft financing operate all over the world. While domesticallyoriented players can have the advantage of being closer to the client and offer more friendly documentation, the bigger players are able to offer a wider range of products, including loans, finance leases, operating leases and structured products. It pays to have an advisor who knows their way in the market to ensure you approach the right people and are able to distinguish between the many different products on offer.

Country-specific Issues The main differences seen in aircraft financings concluded in Western Europe relate to the legal systems involved. These reflect differences in the financial markets at large. In general, continental European transaction documentation is more compact. Transactions based on United Kingdom or United States law tend to address and regulate a wide range of eventualities, resulting in more extensive

documentation and additional transaction expenses. The country in which the aircraft is registered determines the security rights that apply to the transaction. Although conditional sale and finance lease structures offer possibilities for secured financing in all countries, the systems of creating and registering mortgages vary throughout Europe. Most lenders accept mortgages in the Scandinavian countries, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. Aircraft mortgages in countries such as Spain, Ireland and Italy are not preferred by all lenders. In countries such as Austria and Belgium, the financial system has evolved towards the almost exclusive use of finance lease and lease purchase transaction to get around perceived shortcomings in the national mortgage system. An increasing number of lenders are active in the new member countries of the European Union. In these countries it might be easier to register an aircraft in Austria or Switzerland. Many institutions in countries where the market is relatively young may be unfamiliar with the niche Business Aviation market.

What to do next Given the many factors you must consider while deciding what is the most appropriate and competitive finance package for your business jet acquisition, it pays to address the financing early in the process. Only after determining the optimum financing for your company’s specific situation should you approach the most suitable financiers. Make sure you leave enough time to negotiate the best terms and conditions. Buyers should take care not to focus excessively on the most visible condition of the finance, the interest margin. There are other terms and conditions that might turn out to be more costly than an extra 10 basis point margin. Just as technical advisors are given the responsibility to inspect the aircraft and support the buyer during the purchase process, it is advisable to have financial advisors with specific market knowledge guide you to the best financial transaction. With everything arranged well, the flight is most relaxing.

Make sure you leave enough time to negotiate the best terms and conditions

Robert Tissing Robert Tissing is a co-founder and director of GA-Finance (, a financial boutique specialising in the financing and leasing of business and regional aircraft. The company is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and focuses on Europe and the Middle East. GA-Finance is active as advisor to its clients, structuring the optimum financing for any specific transaction and arranging debt and equity as required. GA-Finance is also active as a lessor providing aircraft on operating leases to their clients.


photo: Boeing BBJ

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The Real Cost of Owning an Aircraft by David Wyndham If you ask someone what an aircraft costs, the answer from those new to the idea of buying an aircraft will focus on one item, the acquisition cost. While the cost of acquisition is a significant item, it often clouds the judgment of the buyer by masking other, more significant costs. So what does it really cost to own, and run, your own aircraft? Like a lot of business expenses, the costs of buying an aircraft fall into three categories; acquisition, variable, and fixed. The cost of acquiring is the single largest expense of owning an aircraft. However, unlike automobiles and other equipment, aircraft do not lose their value over time. The majority of the acquisition cost is therefore a sunk investment and not a true cost.

disposable items that wear out in five or 10 years. Motivated by safety concerns, aircraft are kept in excellent mechanical condition – called airworthy condition. Engines are overhauled, airframes are inspected and avionics and interiors are kept up to date. As a result, a popular, well maintained turbine aircraft will only lose a nominal amount of its value per year.

A new light jet may cost $7.1M (€5.0M) while a used seven-year old aircraft may cost only $5.3M (€3.7M). This may seem a huge difference. Given the availability of a loan or a lease, the $1.9M (€1.3M) difference is more a matter of the payment schedule and terms.

As a general rule, a jet aircraft will lose about 3% to 4 % of its value per year during average economic conditions. High demand aircraft may actually appreciate. In poor economic conditions some models can lose 10% to 20% in a year, a risk all aircraft owners take. Inflation reduces this depreciation so that many older jet aircraft sell in today’s currency for the same price they were purchased years ago.

What happens to the value of the aircraft after acquisition? Aircraft are not

A popular, well maintained turbine aircraft will only lose a nominal amount of its value per year


Cost of ownership over seven years New Light Jet Acquisition cost Market value after 7 years Market depreciation

Used Light Jet













In the above table, the cost of the new light jet is less than $1.7M (€1.2M) and the used light jet, less than $1.0M (€0.7 M). But that is not the entire story.

Fixed Costs

Variable Costs

Prior to your first flight you need to hire and train a crew, find a place to store your aircraft, and purchase insurance. These and other costs are called the fixed operating costs. A fixed expense normally remains set for a period and does not vary if your utilisation of the aircraft changes. If the hangar expense is $40,000 (€28,000) per year, that expense remains the same for the year, whether the aircraft flies, or not. Fixed costs also include administrative expenses and salaries incurred in the process of running the flight operation.

The variable costs of owning an aircraft are the most confusing and are the most unpredictable. They can also cause new owners the most distress. Variable costs do change with utilisation. The clearest example is the cost of fuel. The fuel cost per year will vary in proportion to the hours you fly. Fuel cost per gallon (or litre) can also vary considerably based upon where and when it is purchased.

Pilot salaries account for the largest percentage of the fixed costs. Their cost will vary with their experience and type of aircraft (a Global jet Captain has a much higher pay scale than a turboprop Captain). Two light jet pilots may have a pay of close to $145,000 (€100,000) per year. For a light jet, the total fixed annual cost can average $370,000 (€260,000) to $430,000 (€300,000) per year. Costs will be higher or lower depending on your location.

Also included in variable costs are the airways and navigation fees, handling fees, landing charges, catering and crew travel expenses when away from home. The actual costs vary based on where and when the aircraft is flown. For a European operator, it can easily cost $570 ( €400) per hour or more for a light jet. Larger (heavier) aircraft flying longer trips with more passengers can easily see this figure increase two- or three-fold.

The toughest costs to understand, and control, are the maintenance costs. Maintenance is cyclical in nature and occurs after a set number of flying hours. Aircraft must have these periodic maintenance inspections and component overhauls to keep them airworthy. An aircraft may fly a year with little more than daily line checks and replacement of the tyres. Then it reaches a required maintenance check and the owner then receives a bill for $14,000 (€10,000). Perhaps the most significant single variable expense is the engine. A light jet engine may require nothing more than a routine check for the first 2,500 hours. Then a mid-life or hot section inspection is required, costing about $100,000 (€70,000). After the engine goes another 2,500 hours it reaches the mandatory overhaul, and a cost of perhaps $355,000 (€250,000). If you don’t factor this into your budget, the cost can be both a shock and even a cause for financial concern.

A fixed expense normally remains set for a period and does not vary if your utilisation of the aircraft changes


Newer aircraft tend to have lower maintenance costs. This is due to your warranty, which covers any unscheduled maintenance, and the fact that none of the components have reached their major periodic inspection intervals. Today, a new aircraft warranty typically runs for about five years. The new aircraft warranty normally covers any unscheduled maintenance, including parts and much of the labour. Based on our research, during the warranty period, you save about 15% on labour costs and 30% on the cost of parts.

as an aircraft ages, the costs to maintain it will increase. Like all mechanical devices, as they age, aircraft parts and accessories wear out, require overhaul, or need repair.

Older aircraft are closer to those major periodic inspections. A new light jet can fly 5,000 hours until the engine requires overhaul, while the seven-year old aircraft may have 2,200 hours remaining until that engine overhaul. In general,

The Bottom Line

Operating costs also increase with the size and capability of the jet. Exchanging a light jet for a mid-size jet will see variable costs increase about 30 to 40%. Larger aircraft require more powerful engines that burn more fuel. They also tend to have more complex systems that cost more to maintain.

So, what is the total cost of our two light jets after seven years? Interestingly, the table shows that owning the used jet for seven years (flying 400 hours a year) will cost around $10.3 M (€7.2 M) while the

new jet would cost around $9.4 M (€6.6 M) over the same period. As you can see from the table, acquisition cost has only contributed 10 to 20% of the total cost of owning and operating our two jets. It is the variable costs that make up the most significant burden of owning and operating an aircraft. Variable costs typically account for between 50 to 66% of the total cost. So when you decide to acquire an aircraft, look past the sales price and examine all the costs associated with owning and operating the aircraft. Also factor in the impact of taxes. If they are properly understood and managed, the costs of owning an aircraft do not have to be a major burden.

Total cost of ownership over seven years New Light Jet

Used Light Jet

Acquisition cost





Market value after 7 years





Market depreciation





Variable costs





Fixed costs





Total (pre-tax) costs





This table assumes cash purchase for a jet flying 400 hours/year over seven years

Today, a new aircraft warranty typically runs for about five years David Wyndham David Wyndham is Vice President and co-owner of the aviation data and consulting firm of Conklin & de Decker. The mission of Conklin & de Decker is to furnish the general aviation industry with objective and impartial information in the form of professionally developed and supported products and services, enabling its clients to save time and money while making more informed decisions when dealing with the purchase and operation of aircraft.


At a Premium by Taunya Renson-Martin

No sooner was the aeroplane invented than the market witnessed the birth of aviation insurance. Prior to 11 September 2001, aviation insurance slips, with few exceptions, were subject to AVN 48B, the War, Hijacking and Other Perils Exclusion Clause. However, not only was war

excluded from insurance coverage but so were almost all private individual, political, social and ideological hostile acts, including terrorism (see box).

AVN 48B exclusions Clause AVN 48B read: “This policy does not cover claims caused by:

War, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, martial law, military or usurped power or attempts at usurpation of power.

Any hostile detonation of any weapon of war employing atomic or nuclear fission and/or fusion or other like reaction or radioactive force of matter.

Strikes, riots, civil commotions or labour disturbances.

Any act of one or more persons, whether or not agents of a Sovereign Power, for political or terrorist purposes and whether the loss or damage resulting there from is accidental or intentional.

Any malicious act or act of sabotage.

Confiscation, nationalisation, seizure, restraint, detention, appropriation, requisition for title or use by or under the order of any Government (whether civil, military or de facto) or public or local authority.

Hijacking or any unlawful seizure or wrongful exercise of control of the aircraft or crew in flight (including any attempt at such seizure or control) made by any person or persons on board the aircraft acting without the consent of the insured persons.”


“Many business aircraft operators will understand that they have some or all of these exposures,” explains Guy Broddin, CEO of the FinServe Aviation Insurance Group. FinServe, based in Antwerp, Belgium, is a European aviation insurance broker experienced in aviation risk management and specialised in the aviation insurance needs of Business Aviation operators and business aircraft owners. “Examples of losses attributable to the perils mentioned and excluded under clause AVN 48B, and therefore excluded under each and every standard Aircraft Insurance Policy, can be easily illustrated.”

The big problem is that aviation insurers increasingly tend to exclude all claims regarding damage to an aircraft, even if it is caused by a unknown person, whether or not it is been proven that there was any intention to damage at all, or whether or not it was intentional or accidental. Therefore, damage to an aircraft whilst it has been hangared, though it may have been accidentally caused, will often be regarded as the result of a malicious act, and thus the claim will not be paid. In many circumstances the case will be taken to court as a result.

9/11 Changed the Landscape For example, malicious acts, and sabotage in particular, can be problematic. Malicious acts are described as: “acts causing damage to an aircraft by a known or unknown person with a perverse intent due to malice against the owner or operator or any other party related to the aircraft”. Vandalism, on the other hand, is regarded as the intentional damaging or destroying of an aircraft. It does not necessarily require malicious intent against an aircraft owner or operator. Often it is largely based on a simple desire to damage.

Malicious acts, and sabotage in particular, can be problematic

Epic Elite

Months after the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States, the US Government introduced the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Of 2002, also known as TRIA. Before then, businesses were subject to their own versions of war exclusions, but, as stated above, such exclusions were not deemed to include the peril of terrorism. As a result Insurers had to pay losses incurred as a result of the events of 9/11. In the immediate aftermath of 11 September, many businesses were suddenly subject to terrorism exclusions.

Coverage, if available, was prohibitively expensive. As a result, TRIA came into force on 26 November 2002. The law, signed by President Bush and extended until December 2007, created a federal programme that bolstered insurance companies and guaranteed that certain terrorist-related claims would be paid. It required all commercial Insurers writing business in the US, including licensed aviation insurers, to make coverage available for loss from acts of terrorism as defined in the Act.

“Certified Acts of Terrorism” TRIA described a “certified act of terrorism” as a violent act that results in damage within the United States or to an air carrier as defined in the United States code, or on the premises of any US mission (for example, an embassy or consulate). The act must have been committed by someone acting on behalf of a foreign person or foreign interest as part of an effort to influence the policy or affect the conduct of the US Government by coercion, and the resulting loss must be in excess of $5.0 M. TRIA therefore did not apply to domestic acts of terrorism in the United States. Source: Hayward Aviation the UK’s largest General Aviation broker.


Covering Your Losses Today, the aviation insurance market offers two kinds of extra coverage or write-back in relation to War, Hijacking and Other Perils. They are the LSW 555C (or recent LSW 555D) Policy Form and the AVN 52E Aviation Liability Endorsement. According to FinServe’s Guy Broddin, premiums for both kinds of coverage have softened considerably as market capacity has greatly increased, reaching an unprecedented overcapacity. The LSW 555C (or 555D) Hull War and Other Related Perils Policy Form (AVHWR endorsement in the US) provides cover for most of the losses that are excluded under the AVN 48B standard insurance provision. Though not mandatory, the coverage is regarded as being hugely significant. “We advise our clients to include this coverage in their aircraft policy, no matter the size of the aircraft, if it is being operated just within Europe or inter-continentally,” says Broddin. “Premiums, particularly for larger aircraft and larger fleets, have decreased significantly over the last

few years. Enjoy these lower premiums while they last!” AVN 52E on the other hand, is a mandatory part of all liability insurance for aircraft operated in, into or over Europe. Mandatory limits are a function of the aircraft MTOM (maximum takeoff mass). Insurers will provide a liability premium offer including the AVN 52, which in the past was subject to an additional premium of 25 to 35% of the base aircraft liability premium. “Although now included under the premium, AVN 52E still constitutes a vast part of the liability premium,” explains Broddin. “As a result of rapidly growing liability risk exposure worldwide and as a result of the increasing aviation insurance capacity, owners and operators tend to buy higher limits of liability coverage. We have noticed that on more and more accounts, the AVN 52E sub-limit differs (let’s say is lower) compared with the basic policy liability limit, resulting in a somewhat lower liability premium. We advise Insureds to take notice of this when comparing offers from different underwriters.”

Other Aviation Insurance Issues For this article, FlyCorporate spoke with several respected European Insurance providers, who all agreed that the biggest challenges facing the aviation insurance industry today are: • The introduction of Very Light Jets (VLJs). •

The increasing aviation insur- ance market capacity which has led to a temporary decrease in premiums. As a result, a single major event could disrupt the entire market.

• A growing pilot shortage, which is weakening minimum pilot requirements. Addressing the latter, Ulrike Neumann, Managing Director of Axel Neumann, a Germany-based broker for international aviation insurance, states that Insurers still require 50 to 100 hours minimum experience on jets. “These requirements can be negotiated if the Insured is willing to accept higher insurance premiums and/or deductibles. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend regularly renewed training with (business aircraft training providers) FlightSafety International or CAE Simuflight.” The issue of insuring the new VLJs entering the market is closely associated with pilot training. “It’s not that difficult to get insurance for these Very Light Jets,” states Broddin, “but operating rules, additional training, pilot conditions and minimum pilot requirements will often influence premiums to a large degree. The industry is always a bit reluctant to newcomers.”

“It’s not that difficult to get insurance for Very Light Jets”


Ulrike Neumann agrees, stating that there are only a few pilots with first-rate experience. Those with lesser experience should follow the rigorous initial and recurrent courses set up by the leading training providers, including new initiatives such as pilot mentoring. VLJs operated under quality standards will not be difficult to insure at normal premiums. “Premiums will of course be very different for VLJs operated commercially with two professional pilots and those being piloted by an inexperienced private pilot with little turbine SE or ME hours or even with limited IFR experience,” says Broddin. “As VLJs make jet flight accessible to a larger number of aircraft owners, the quality and training of the pilot will determine the premium.”

How to Minimise Your Premiums A variety of issues or steps must be taken into account when attempting to minimise aviation insurance premiums. Explains Broddin: “A professional aviation insurance broker will pay utmost

attention in preparing the underwriting information to be provided to the aviation insurance market, providing complete details on pilot minimum requirements, operations standards and quality procedures.” The first step of good aviation risk management is to provide a thorough account of your operation, including many legal aspects, in order to demonstrate the professionalism of the operation and best calculate risk exposure. Neumann suggests that this account include details about the pilot and crew’s experience, and the use and status of the aircraft. “Moreover,” reiterates Neumann: “Investing in qualified pilots and providing yearly simulator training should help save money in addition to increasing safety.” Implementing International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) could be a solution as well. Twenty-

eight percent of international operators who have implemented IS-BAO have reported that one key benefit has been a reduction in insurance rates. IS-BAO is an industry code of best practice developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). Adopting the IS-BAO standard is a voluntary process. The code of practice challenges flight departments to review their current systems, programmes and procedures, recognise strengths and weaknesses in those procedures, and upgrade to a higher standard. For more information about implementation and auditing visit Finally, when it comes to trying to reduce costs, FinServe’s Broddin advises against employing multiple aviation insurance brokers. “It makes no sense to launch annual competitions between different underwriters or even brokers. This only disturbs the market, makes insurers nervous and never, ever leads to lower premiums in the midterm.”

The quality and training of the pilot will determine the premium



Selecting Your Provider Professional advice and knowledge of the aviation insurance market is essential in choosing a quality aviation insurance underwriter. Be on the lookout for an underwriter who is willing to provide the proper coverage, including all clauses and conditions as required by your type of operation or ownership, at a premium in line with market averages. There are huge differences in both the premiums and conditions offered by the insurance market. “We have seen so many standard aviation insurance policies missing a heap of essential clauses and conditions that should be included in any aviation insurance coverage in order to secure a standard private, corporate or commercial aircraft operation.

Often legal or contractual requirements in connection with leasing agreements or other agreements the owner has entered into when buying, leasing, operating, hangaring, or maintaining an aircraft (or fleet) have not been taken into account,” explains Broddin. To navigate these murky waters, you may want to consider working with an insurance broker. But make sure your broker has true international capabilities, advises Neumann. “A good international broker should be able to readily provide all the information you need. Aviation risk management today is quite complex. It requires daily work analysing the market and excellent relationships with underwriters, which only an experienced broker is able to provide.”

Make sure your broker has true international capabilities www. Ask An Expert Have questions or need advice concerning Business Aviation? Ask An Expert at

“The main coverages in 21st century aviation insurance policies – excluding those related to war, hijacking and other perils, including terrorism – are for partial, major partial or total hull loss, meaning damage to the aircraft; liability for injury or death of passengers; and third-party liability, meaning liability for bodily injury, death and property damage external to the aircraft.” Flight Safety Foundation, March 2007


Game Plan What do you get when you blend aviation business expertise with a successful sporting strategy and connections? Liz Moscrop talks to Keith Campbell, Director of Operations for Cloud 9 Aviation. Mix crowded airports with long security lines and an insatiable general appetite for celebrity and you produce an uncomfortable travel day for many famous people, who are as inconvenienced as the rest of us. They have the added angst of being accosted by members of the public. As a pilot with years of experience ferrying VIPs, Keith Campbell is well aware of their flight requirements.

Using private jets has become much more common

Cloud 9 Aviation was established in August 2007 by Campbell, Andrew Mason, Peter Villa and Graeme Souness, the former Scottish footballer. Souness is best known for a glittering career playing and managing premiership clubs in the United Kingdom. Tired of the hassles of jetting from A to B on scheduled services, Souness realised others may feel the same way. He has since introduced several professional footballers to the convenience of private aviation. Says Campbell: “It was Graeme Souness’ idea, he has shown many of the big players the benefit of private jets.”

England striker Wayne Rooney is one such convert. Confidentiality is king in this sector, which also embraces many ordinary users who do not wish their travel to be made public. (Rooney has given permission for his name to be used in this article.) Using private jets has become much more common, largely thanks to market development by companies such as NetJets. The ethos of Cloud 9 is to expand the market downwards, allowing new entrants to enjoy personal and/or business aviation at a much lower starting level. Cloud 9 is a flight booking service, with access to a network of handpicked brokers. Its programmes start with a 15 hour card which requires a deposit of £43,000 (€60,000). This is converted to 18,000 points. Each service costs a set amount of points. Using a smaller jet costs 1,200 points while larger jets are more expensive. Points are also charged for other services, for example, a chauffeur costs the account 22 points. Members are charged by flight hours, which includes fuel and onboard services.


Clients are only charged for flights by the hour. The minimum advance booking is four hours. “Our card is the lowest entry level in the market and has encouraged lots of people to sign up. Our market competitors require you to sign up for at least 25 hours and take deposits of £80,000 – 90,000 (€111,000 – 125,000). We are seeing professional business people and the football and celebrity markets start to use our service,” says Campbell. There are five different cards on offer and accounts can be settled at any time. There is a twelve-month expiry date on usage. However, Cloud 9 will contact members in month eleven if they have not used the service and ask them to take their money back. “We want people to use their cards in twelve months. We do not want an unknown liability in future. As we cannot predict fuel prices. We are not rigid on that, if someone has almost used their allowance, we can go over slightly, say to fourteen months.” Users can take comfort in knowing exactly what they are spending. “We take members’ deposits and guarantee a price. We source aircraft for a fixed rate, which we underwrite. We look for the most competitive deal in the marketplace, offering true value for money. We get five or six quotes for different types of aircraft. The price varies daily because of supply and demand.”

Going the Extra Mile Campbell believes this new market needs to be educated about the programme Cloud 9 offers. “One thing we have noticed is the under-utilisation of the services we offer,” he says. “Our clients don’t always avail themselves of what’s out there and take the standard VIP service. Our female community is more proactive than our male community in this regard. Some of the men see us like a taxi service – they get on and accept what is on board. Our female members have more specific food and drink requests. We encourage them to realise that they are entitled to that. We like them to use it.

Cloud 9 Aviation assigns the same agent to each member so that a relationship evolves

“Obviously whether there is hot or cold food depends on the size of aircraft we fly. But you can be creative. The message is getting out now though. One man always asks for cold bacon rolls with brown sauce. Because these are VIPs, we make the service bespoke. We would only apply a charge in really expensive cases, for example, if clients were to ask for something specific such as Cristal champagne. We ask them to let us know their preferences via our handling agents.” The company assigns the same agent to each member so that a relationship evolves. One of the ways that Cloud 9 can keep its costs low is by sourcing an aircraft closest to the client’s departure point, so it does not guarantee a particular type of aircraft. Says Campbell: “We ask clients if they have a particular like or dislike of an aircraft, for example a tall guy in a light jet could be uncomfortable. One of our clients is claustrophobic, so that is on his record. We have no problem with that. We need to offer reasonable flexibility. We can source an aircraft in 24 hours and guarantee that it will be available.”


According to Campbell, Cloud 9’s most commonly requested aircraft is a light jet up to six seats. “We tend to fly a lot of Cessna Citation CJ2s, CJ3s and Bravos. The CJ1 is popular for the European market. Sometimes our customers have young families and they need a standup cabin, so they will take a Citation XL. People flying globally want an aircraft like a Gulfstream G550.” Campbell says that many of his clients do not know the type of aircraft they fly in, but are more interested in their comfort and range. “There is a mixture of people, some of whom have never flown in a private jet. We need to educate them, so they understand what they can do. We explain what a light jet can do, if they are flying with only four people, for example, they only need a light jet, unless they want a stand-up cabin. If there are seven passengers, they need a mid-size.”

There is a mixture of people, some of whom have never flown in a private jet

Campbell says that the service Cloud 9 offers gives clients more flexibility. “We do have clients who say they want to be in this kind of aircraft, or tell us never to send that kind of aircraft. Our service does allow them to be semi-specific. We source aircraft that meet their needs closest to their departure area. So if there is a Bravo in Birmingham and they are near Birmingham and need an aircraft of that size, we will send that.”


Efficiency It is not only the famous who use private aviation. Many companies and private individuals are turning to the service as they become frustrated with general airlines. Campbell puts this change down to efficiency in both time and cost: “It is more efficient than flying scheduled services. One of the factors in the rise of chartered aircraft service is the wealth increase in Europe. For many people and businesses, using private jets is more cost-effective in terms of time.” So how much time is saved? “We aim not to have clients in the FBO at all. We ask them to turn up 20 minutes before the flight whenever possible. In Edinburgh and Glasgow we send chauffeurs for people. They arrive at the security gates and go straight to the aircraft. It sometimes happens that they may need to wait in the FBO, but usually only if they’re early. They only have a limited time to wait.” In terms of getting to your destination at the time you want, Cloud 9 believes it can do this almost all of the time, depending on weather and availability of landing slots. “The issue at Luton (and other airports like it) is slots.”

In that instance, Campbell says that the company would try alternatives such as London City, Heathrow, Gatwick or Farnborough (Monday to Friday). Biggin Hill and Northolt are also nearby. “We can always get slots in London within 30 minutes to one hour of when we want to be there. For example, if we couldn’t get a slot for a 10.00 am arrival, we ask our passengers when they are booking whether they would prefer a 9.30 or a 10.30 am alternative. Our client has to accommodate us there, or they would not get in or out at all. The issue is not specific to us, and we are not disadvantaged because no one can get in. We give our clients options depending on the time of the day. Using “X” airport it might take you 45 minutes to get into town by car, for example. We use helicopters as support in the south of France.” Cloud 9 intends to expand and attract wealthy customers from India, China and Russia and America. It recently sponsored the Fashion Rocks show at the Royal Albert Hall, and is looking at hooking up with other luxury goods and services providers, such as holiday companies. With a seemingly insatiable world appetite for private jets, it looks like the young Cloud 9 will be in business for some time yet.

Fact What is an FBO? An FBO, or fixed base operation, is a terminal where passengers and crew can deplane and refresh. FBOs also offer services such as hangars, jet refuelling and, in some cases, aeroplane maintenance facilities.

Keith Campbell Director of Operations for Cloud 9 Aviation

We use helicopters as support in the south of France


Rapid Business Travel in the Works Aircraft manufacturers are constantly introducing new models into the business jet market. Fly Corporate’s Tim Kern has contacted the manufacturers directly to bring you the latest news on the models currently under development. The aircraft highlighted here are all currently in development, and are designed primarily for business use. Regardless, all cater to the frequent business traveller, rather than the occasional flyer. Some of the aircraft featured are more practical than others, while some jets may turn out to be mere dreams.

Some are already flying and are close to certification. Whether any design is a commercial success often depends as much on the company behind it as on its design. That is not to say that an unknown company with a great idea cannot succeed, as we have seen so many times in recent history!

Adam Aircraft 700 Far removed from its original in-line, twin-piston engine design, the Adam A700 is a high-speed, spacious luxury cruiser that seats six passengers. It also comes with a private lavatory, unusual in this class. The new innovative interior will make the ride quieter and more comfortable than the original show planes. As the first of the new very light jets (VLJs) to fly, the A700 test fleet has amassed nearly 1,000 flight hours. The company’s new management team is in place and is set to begin volume production as soon as certification is complete. EASA certification is currently scheduled for late 2008 according to reciprocal agreements with the FAA.

Adam A700


Aerion SSBJ (SuperSonic Business Jet) The future in aviation has always meant faster, at least until the Concorde debuted. The Concorde represented what might have been, had sonic boom regulations not affected its utility. The Aerion SSBJ claims an efficient 0.99 Mach cruise where speed restrictions apply. Outside restricted areas, speeds of up to 1.6 Mach should be possible, shortening trans-Atlantic travel time by about half. With a range in excess of 4,000 nautical miles (nm), Aerion Corporation claims you will soon be able to take off “from Paris at 8 a.m. for a breakfast meeting in Manhattan.” The company says such flights could be routine by the middle of the next decade.

Bell 429 Globalranger The Bell 429 Globalranger helicopter was introduced in 2005 for delivery in late 2008. Now, the light twin-jet’s exterior shape is set. Over 400 hours of flight-testing on two prototypes has honed the performance expectations for this new machine. How the large interior is configured will be determined by the needs and the taste of the customer. It will be possible to use the Globalranger as an efficient medical evacuation vehicle, an aerial law-enforcement platform, a high-priority cargo delivery vehicle, or as luxurious inter-city (or door-to-door intra-city) executive transport. With door options for the side or rear, the 429 incorporates the best of what Bell has learnt over the years about style and convenience, as well as safety and performance.

Bell/Agusta BA 609 A high-speed, vertical-flight vehicle has long been a dream for many business travellers. Bell/Agusta’s BA 609 Tiltrotor is the fulfillment of that dream. The BA 609 has been made possible because of the military’s support of the V-22 Osprey. With a helicopter’s ability to deliver an executive directly to a meeting, point-to-point transportation can be faster and more-convenient than ever. The BA 609 will carry nine passengers behind two professional pilots. It will fly through most weather conditions at a height of 25,000 feet (7,600 metres) with the speed and range of a turboprop. The vehicle is currently in flight test and increasingly visible to the public at air shows.


While Boeing doesn’t specifically target the business jet market, for some customers big is always better

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner The Dreamliner is not flying passengers yet. However, there is little doubt among many customers that this newest Boeing should be the safest machine in the sky, in addition to being an economical solution for large transport needs. With two engines, the 787 has half the fuel burn of the 747, half the floor space of the 747 (a modest 2,400 square feet or 223 square metres!), and virtually the same range and speed. The executive Dreamliner is certain to deliver VIP treatment. With the ruggedness of an airliner, it is sure to keep it’s value, and to keep Boeing’s clients happy.

Boeing B747-8 VIP For those with the need, there is simply no substitute for Boeing’s biggest business jet. With all the capability and safety of the 747, the machine’s speed, range, size (485 ton MTOW) and strength mean that nearly anything the customer wants in an aeroplane, the customer can have. This is a luxury flying hotel or convention centre that can take anyone, anywhere, as fast as civilians can go. Think of it as Air Force One for the executive, but with a moremodern airframe.


Cessna Citation CJ4 The biggest Cessna yet, the CJ4 is the top of the company’s line, in luxury as well as space. This fast (435KTAS cruise) twin-jet is two feet (60 cm) longer than the CJ3. The extra length is all translated into cabin space, to enhance the feeling of luxury. The CJ4’s excellent short-field performance brings you closer to your preferred, direct airports, saving time and complication in ground transportation at both ends of the trip. With the first flight of the CJ4 planned for 2008 and deliveries to come in 2010, we plan to keep a close watch on this aircraft.

Comp Air 12 The Comp Air 12 is the first aircraft designed by Ron Lueck to be well on the way to certification. With two pilot seats (although the aircraft is designed for single-pilot operation) the interior can be fitted out to seat six or eight passengers. There is also room for a private lavatory in the proposed layouts. The Comp Air 12 will deliver maximum utility and luxury to its customers. A large door, tall cabin, and lots of space make fast graceful travel available. For those with far-flung operations, or just an adventurous spirit, the Comp Air 12 can operate from remote grass and gravel strips.

The Comp Air 12 will deliver maximum utility and luxury to its customers


Embraer Embraer brings its airliner experience to the small end of the market with the Phenom 100, Phenom 300 and Lineage 1000. Embraer’s airliners have influenced the philosophy of the company’s smallest machines. The inherent economies of high-cycle design, premium comfort, outstanding performance, and low operating costs are key design drivers for these jets, and should make the Phenoms some of the toughest and longest-lasting investments in the class.

Phenom 100 Space, passenger convenience, generous windows, quick turnaround, ease of maintenance – all these features are incorporated into the company’s smallest package yet, the Phenom 100. Embraer has created what could be the largest VLJ in the business (six or eight seats, single-pilot certified), with the elegance of a custom airliner and the hangar requirements of a business turboprop. With over 100 flights since July 2007, the first Phenom 100 is currently accumulating flight hours on its way to certification in mid-2008. Deliveries are planned immediately after certification.

Phenom 300 Designed for two pilots but certified for single-pilot operations, the Phenom 300 addresses the needs of expanding companies. It supplies hard-working luxury to as many as eight passengers (behind the two pilots) while safeguarding its resale value as the needs of your company grow. The Phenom 300 is expected to fly for the first time in mid-2008 and enter service in mid-2009.

Lineage 1000 The Lineage 1000 is possibly the aircraft that marks boundary of functional decadence. Quick turnaround, top performance, high utilisation, and low maintenance are the hallmarks of Embraer’s largest small jet. It will be configured for up to 19 people in five distinct privacy zones. There will also be space for as many as three lavatories and a stand-up shower. The range, with eight passengers on-board, will be 4,200 nm with NBAA IFR reserves. The aircraft is capable of flying at 41,000 feet (12,500 metres). Based on the Embraer 190 commercial jet platform, the reliability of the Lineage 1000 is already proven by hundreds of thousands of flight hours. The 1000 is expected to enter service in the second half of 2008.


Epic Aircraft’s philosophy is to make corporate travel simple, just fill everything up and take off

Epic Aircraft Dynasty The composite Dynasty turboprop can hold six, including one or two pilots, plus enough fuel to take them and their baggage 1,800+ nm (with optional long-range tanks). The Dynasty provides comfort and convenience, jet speeds, and turboprop operating costs. It couples these features with the ability to access smaller airports, nearer the desired destinations, saving additional time and adding convenience for customers. Certification is expected in 2010.

Epic Aircraft Elite Jet The Elite is the twin-jet in Epic’s development stable. It will carry as many as six passengers and two pilots over 1,600 nm in a convenient composite configuration. Because of Epic’s “fill it up and go” philosophy, everyone can sit where they wish, even with a full fuel-load. This efficiency is not appreciated until you fly in another aircraft that does not have this feature. In a four-passenger configuration, the long trips are made more comfortable with the optional lavatory on-board. The Elite’s fast cruise speed of 412KTAS makes the trips seem even shorter. The Elite can negotiate the shortest runways of any jet featured in this article, adding another dimension to convenience.

Evektor Aircraft EV-55 Outback This all-metal, high-wing twin-turboprop is made for versatility. As a land plane that can travel long distances and operate from tall wet grass, to a 360 kilometre/hour (225 miles/hour) long-range seaplane, the possible configurations of the EV-55 are sure to meet the needs of many users. Comfort, safety, ease of operation, traditional field repair, and reliable power plants ensure the Outback’s passengers can always get there, and that they will not end up stranded. It is good in routine service also, carrying up to nine, including the pilot or pilots.


The F1 Kestrel’s customers are anxious for 2010 to arrive Farnborough Aircraft F1 Kestrel With a prototype flying since mid-2006, Farnborough Aircraft plans to give the world “the fastest certified single-engine turboprop passenger aircraft.” The F1 Kestrel will be certified for single-pilot operation and provide seating for as many as six passengers (five if fitted with the optional private lavatory). Pilots have the choice of a target cruise speed of 352KTAS or a maximum 1,500 nm range as they cruise at up to 31,000 feet (9,500 metres). With turboprop utility and jet speed, the F1 Kestrel’s customers are anxious for 2010 to arrive, when the company plans to deliver its first certified machine.

Grob spn Switzerland’s Grob introduced the spn in 2006, but it has not attracted the attention it deserves. With a 41,000 feet (12,500 metre) ceiling, 415KTAS fast cruise (at FL290), and a gross-weight climb of over 4,300 fpm, this 1,800 nautical mile range composite machine should be a contender. Single-pilot certified, with room for six (plus a lavatory) or eight passengers, the spn operates with a balanced field length of just 3,000 feet (900 metres) and is also designed for operation on gravel or grass. This versatility, combined with the interior luxury design from the Porsche Design Studio, will make a decision to choose an alternate much more difficult. The first flight of test aircraft #3 was on 29 October 2007. The programme is on track for certification in mid-2008.

Honda Aircraft Company HondaJet More than 20 years ago, Honda engineer Michimasa Fujino set out to design “a business jet that would be simply the best.” Now, as President and CEO of the Honda Aircraft Company, he watches it fly. The HondaJet, with metal wings and a composite fuselage, is designed to be quiet, fast, efficient and comfortable. Its Natural Laminar Flow fuselage and special GE-Honda engines, married to over-the-wing engine mounts, have achieved those goals. The fuselage is wide, all the way aft, important in the two pilot, five passenger (plus private lavatory) seating configuration. Technological breakthroughs in the unique and elegant package allow single-pilot operation, both high (43,000 feet or 13,000 metres) and fast (420KTAS) cruise, and mild low speed handling characteristics. Deliveries are expected in 2010.


The PiperJet has the largest engine of any of the new crop of single-engine machines

PiperJet The PiperJet addresses many traditional business jet problems and addresses them in unique ways. The result is a capacious, fast jet with high performance and low operating costs. The PiperJet has the largest engine of any of the new crop of single-engine machines. As the engine is mounted high and away from the passengers it is easily available for maintenance and inspection. The result is quiet and safe, as the engine location provides geometric protection rotor burst. Integrated flight controls make single-pilot operation easy. Other design considerations, including advanced training-link suspension, should make the ride on the ground as smooth as in the air.

Supersonic Aircraft International Quiet Supersonic Transport SAI plans to deliver a quiet, supersonic, transcontinental jet to the world some time in 2015. Designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, SAI’s aerodynamic technology (22 patents are pending) claims to produce a sonic “click,” less than 1% as loud as a traditional “sonic boom.” With two pilots up front, the QSST will carry the twelve people in the back for long-distance trips of 4,000 nm at altitudes up to 60,000 feet (18,300 metres) and at cruise speeds up to 1.6 Mach, twice the speed of airliners or fast business jets. If you can wait for delivery, you will make up the time, fast!

If you can wait for the QSST, you will make up the time, fast!


Spectrum Aeronautical Spectrum Aeronautical is employing new manufacturing processes in its composite S-33 and larger S-40 jets. The new aircraft should allow heavier payloads and better performance, including emissions and range. Certification for the Spectrum S-40 is scheduled for 2009, with the enhanced S-33 following in 2010.

S-33 Independence The S-33 can be configured for “optimum mission flexibility.” The jet allows optimal trade-offs between range, speed, and payload, to suit the needs of both long- and short-haul trips. That the S-33 can economically handle shorter trips makes it particularly useful to companies that have multiple locations within regions. A typical business configuration allows for five passengers and a belted lavatory, plus two pilots. However, seating can be configured up to a two pilot, eight passenger arrangement. Single-pilot operations are approved.

S-40 Freedom The S-40 Freedom uses Spectrum’s proprietary manufacturing system and couples it to the new GE-Honda FH-120 engines. Spectrum claim it offers the lowest emissions in its size class. The Freedom’s low fuel consumption also makes it increasingly attractive worldwide. Two pilots will typically fly seven passengers in roomy accommodations, including a belted lavatory. Eight passengers can be accommodated in a more utilitarian configuration.

The Freedom’s low fuel consumption makes it increasingly attractive worldwide


Absolutely nothing in the sky will beat it

Worldwide Aeros Corporation - Aeroscraft Aeros ML866 There is a huge crowd trying to be fastest in the business jet market. But the slowest machine offers something all the others cannot, 464 square metres (43 square feet) of floor space! The Aeroscraft represents new thinking that may bring a new era of luxury and indulgence to the air. Cruising at 100 knots or hovering over corporate headquarters, the Aeroscraft will be able to provide the amenities and convenience of a luxury yacht and high-tech office. As an advertising tool, absolutely nothing in the sky will beat it. -

Some competent and well-publicised models (for example, the D-JET and Cirrus jet) have been excluded from this list as they are not really designed for the business traveller. Other likely business aircraft have also been excluded because they are already certified (for example, the Eclipse 500, Cessna Mustang, and Swearingen SJ 30-2) and are thus no longer “in development.”


Business Aircaft Gallery

For an overview of all business aircraft currently in production, visit Flycorporate’s Business Aircraft Gallery at


Hawker 4000 Makes its Long Anticipated Debut by Jack Carroll

Imagine being a Hawker Beechcraft sales representative who has been assigned to the new super-midsize Hawker 4000 for the past several years. With its impressive performance numbers, list of creature comforts and competitive cost, the reps had no trouble bringing in orders and deposits. But then the delays set in and the challenge for Hawker representatives was to keep existing orders on the books.

The reps had no trouble bringing in orders and deposits

Hawker Beechcraft’s lead customer, NetJets, ordered 50 Hawker 4000s (then called the Horizon) to great fanfare at the Paris Air Show some years back. With the ongoing delays, NetJets cancelled their order. Reps for established aircraft in the super-midsize category, such as Bombardier’s Challenger 300 and the Gulfstream 200, kept up their sales pressure during the 4000’s troubles, effectively poaching from Hawker Beechcraft’s order book.

Hawker’s sales team continued to work their territories and orders kept coming in for the 4000, not in spectacular numbers, but steady. Their hard work was rewarded in December 2006 when the FAA awarded a provisional type certificate to the Hawker 4000. In the same month, NetJets signed a deal reinstating its order for 50 of the aircraft and noting the programme’s accelerated progress.


A year later, the Hawker 4000 is finally nearing full certification. Brad Hatt, President of Commercial Sales, believes certification will be achieved by the end of 2007 or early January 2008. Hatt is quite candid in summing up the reasons for the long delay.

“Finally, we simply did not have enough engineering resources then to handle three major projects at the same time. Another aspect is the fact that whenever you come up with an original design, it takes a lot longer to work through the approval process with the FAA.”

“There are three points to make: I think we launched the programme too soon back in 1996 when, really, we were just out of the wind tunnel. I’d say we were probably two or three years early. And we simply didn’t have enough initial design work done on the aeroplane to warrant the aggressive schedule we put out.

According to Hatt, once the provisional type certificate was awarded in December 2006, most of 2007 was spent adding a number of features to the 4000 and fixing the limitations imposed by the FAA.

“At the same time, and this is key, we already had two major projects in the works. These were another clean-sheet design, the Premier light jet, and the T-6 Texan II military trainer. These were our top priorities, well ahead of the Hawker 4000.

“Right now we’re just about finished with our Honeywell EPIC avionics suite. And in the meantime, we’ve flown the demonstration aircraft worldwide more than 700 hours this year, making sure our operational readiness is up to speed,” says Hatt. The 4000 has also flown with NetJets on many proving missions.

4000 Meets all Performance Projections With a lot of pride in his voice, Hatt reports: “The good news is that, from a performance standpoint, the 4000 does everything we wanted and more. We have been working closely with NetJets in the United States to ensure the aircraft meets their needs. Two of their mission-critical airports are Hilton Head in North Carolina and Aspen in Colorado. At Hilton Head, the airport has a really short runway, only 4,300 ft (1,300 m). We flew out of that strip with eight passengers on an 80° F (27° C) day and were able to fly non-stop to Los Angeles. In the summer we took off from Aspen with four passengers and were able to fly non-stop to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. In the end, we met all NetJets criteria for their US operations.”


Across the Atlantic, NetJets Europe, itself on a major roll for the past few years, placed an order for 32 Hawker 4000s. As Hatt explains: “They were looking to pay in the $20.0 M range, have a standup cabin and be able to take along a flight attendant. Until their first deliveries begin they are using aircraft such as the G450 and Falcon 900EX. That’s really overkill for most of their missions. The 4000 has the capacity and range to handle needs of the typical NetJets customer in Europe at a much lower cost. We also have the short field capability that is so important in the region and can get up to altitude quickly.” Quickly indeed! The Hawker 4000 can climb from sea level to 37,000 ft (11,300 m) in a little over 14 minutes. This is a very handy feature when operating up and over the Alps, for example. You might think the main competitor for the 4000 would be the Citation Sovereign. Not so according to Hatt. “I would have to say Bombardier’s Challenger 300 and the Gulfstream 200, both with standup cabins, 3,000 nautical mile range and priced at around $20-$23 M are the major competitors.” So how did Hawker Beechcraft manage to hold-on to their customers and prospects? Says Hatt: “First of all, we have a breakthrough product here. And regarding delays, I spoke to each of our customers personally. We all went out of our way to provide accurate, honest updates and communicate with them continually. They were willing to wait simply because they appreciated the 4000’s overall capabilities and outstanding performance.


“The process of keeping the customers happy has not been without its bumps in the road. But that’s all in the past. Right now, we are pushing hard for full certification by the end of 2007. We have to work around the holidays, which tend to shorten our year a bit, but we will make our schedule at the end of December or early January.” According to Hatt: “Deliveries will start immediately following full certification. We have the first three aircraft completed and ready to go and we’re loaded on the production line. In fact we have S/N 024 at the beginning of the line, on what we call the first jig. The first three aircraft are for US customers, the fourth goes to the United Kingdom and then deliveries start in the rest of Europe and South Africa. From an international standpoint, and factoring out the NetJets orders, about 70% of the 4000’s sales are coming from the non-US market.” Deliveries to NetJets in the US are set to begin in the second quarter of 2008.

About 70% of the 4000’s sales are coming from the non-US market


NetJets Europe Bullish on Hawker Beechcraft. During the time that the Hawker 4000 programme encountered its own problems and delays, NetJets Europe was battling to convince skeptical Europeans that fractional ownership was the sensible way to fly. In recent years it has succeeded admirably in building its business in Europe. So much so that it is now solidly in the black, undoubtedly raising the spirits of NetJets owner, Warren Buffett. The company has been on a buying spree, announcing an order for 32 Hawker 4000s at EBACE 2006. NetJets Europe is now the largest operator of Hawker Beechcraft business jets in the region, with 24 Hawker 400XPs and 40 Hawker 800XPs in operation. Deliveries of the 4000 to the European operation should begin by the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Robert Dranitzke, Director of Marketing for NetJets Europe. Did NetJets Europe simply follow the dictates of its parent company for the Hawker 4000 purchase? “Not at all,” says Dranitzke. “We have to evaluate what is appropriate for our market, which is very different from the US.

The key thing for us is to analyse what our customers need. Which city pairs are they most interested in? Are they looking for hot and high performance? Do they need to get in and out of short fields? Occasional long-range trips over water? We have had our pilots flying the 4000 in Europe and it has more ticks on our checklist than any other aircraft we have evaluated. The climb rate, range, quiet cabin, you name it; the 4000 is a winner on all counts. I think Hawker has delivered a truly phenomenal aircraft at a cost of just under $20 M for our initial deliveries.” As for the programme delays, they really did not affect NetJets Europe, according to Dranitzke. “We’ve had a long relationship with Brad Hatt and the partnership with Hawker Beechcraft is vital to our business. Sure, in retrospect you could say that they were a bit too ambitious with a clean-sheet aeroplane. But from our side we never had any concerns and are happy with the delivery schedule we now have. And it perfectly fits the gap between, say, the 800XP at about $13.5 M and the Falcon 2000EX for around $29.0 M .

Hawker 4000 production is essentially sold out through the fourth quarter of 2008

We now have 135 aircraft and expect the 4000 to perfectly complement our fleet.” The Hawker 4000 will be NetJets Europe’s entry-level large cabin aircraft. According to Dranitzke: “We have a large order book of customers who can’t wait to get on this aircraft. We’re quite bullish on this market, expect our growth to continue at a high rate, and will report a record 2007. I’d have to say the 4000 was well worth the wait and we know our customers will think so as well.” If you are thinking about putting down a deposit on a Hawker 4000, you had better do it quickly. The company reports a backlog of 106 units (including the 50 for NetJets, Inc. and 32 for NetJets Europe). This means Hawker 4000 production is essentially sold out through the fourth quarter of 2008. For Hawker Beechcraft there is really no need to speak of the past, just future sales and more success for the Hawker 4000. Brad Hatt and his team can finally rest on their laurels a little. At least until the next clean sheet design arrives. As the saying goes, “Good things happen to those who wait” and the Hawker 4000 is now ready to prove it.


Hawker 4000 Quick-Study • Best short field performance in super-midsize class with a 4,500 ft (1,372 m) takeoff length (ISA, SL, MGTOW) • Climbs from sea level to 37,000 ft (11,278 m) in 14 minutes • Maximum cruise speed Mach 0.84 • Certified ceiling of 45,000 ft (13,716 m) • Honeywell Epic avionics suite with digital CNS radios and five high-resolution 8 x 10 inch (20 x 25 cm) LCD displays • Advanced composite fuselage construction • 72 inch (183 cm) standup cabin, 77.5 inches (196.8 cm) wide • Flat floor leading to the baggage area • 95 cubic ft (2.7 cubic m) aft baggage compartment accessible through the cabin or exterior door • Standard eight-place executive cabin configuration with fully articulating seats in double club arrangement


Aerion SSBJ

Putting a Price on Speed by Taunya Renson-Martin If part of the rationale behind using business aircraft is time savings and efficiency, then supersonic business travel is the ultimate solution – for those willing to pay the price. Only three years ago, plans to develop a supersonic aircraft were all talk, or so it seemed. To much fanfare, two companies simultaneously announced their intention to produce hyper-speed business jets. One was Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI),

which announced its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QSST). SAI hopes to get the QSST to market within the next seven years. The other was Aerion Corporation, which, with a 2012 deadline, has gone into overdrive in the past six months.

Aerion Corporation has gone into overdrive in the past six months


Aerion’s Technological Breakthrough Aerion Corporation describes itself as an advanced engineering group. Based in Reno, Nevada, Aerion was formed in 2002 with the aim of reintroducing commercial supersonic flight. Its Board includes a host of aviation and finance luminaries including Robert M. Bass, Chairman of Aerion and President of the investment group Keystone, Inc; Brian E. Barents, Vice Chairman of Aerion and former President and CEO of Galaxy Aerospace and Learjet; Dr Richard R. Tracy, who pioneered Aerion’s supersonic natural laminar wing concept and serves as Aerion’s Chief Technology Officer; Michael L. Henderson, COO of Aerion and Boeing’s former programme manager for high-speed civil transport; and Robert L. Morse Jr., a principal of Oak Hill Capital Management, Inc. The company’s supersonic business jet design incorporates patented supersonic natural laminar flow (NLF) technology to substantially reduce drag (resistance)

at supersonic as well as high-subsonic cruise speeds. The design also allows for the development of an aircraft that can use existing engine technology from popular business aircraft powerplant developer, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

and equivalent economics. The Aerion supersonic jet, for example, will be able to cruise efficiently at speeds from .80 to .99 Mach over the continental US, where speeds are limited by regulation to below Mach 1.

The Aerion jet promises to be fuel efficient at cruise speeds just below the speed of sound. This will allow it to perform short- and long-haul overland missions with, according to Aerion: “the same economies as today’s large business jets”. Range at high subsonic speed is more than 4,500 nautical miles while range at supersonic speeds exceeds 4,000 nautical miles.

According to the company this is a key difference from other proposed supersonic designs that are optimised mainly for supersonic flight, and which rely on a possible future change to current speed regulations. The success of the Aerion programme is not predicated on a rule change because the aircraft will be able to perform even under current regulations.

One issue for companies evaluating the development of supersonic aircraft, including bizjet manufacturers Gulfstream and Dassault, is the regulatory restrictions that prohibit supersonic flight over land. Aerion maintains that its proprietary technology will allow its aircraft to operate under today’s regulatory speed restrictions with better performance than current large jets

The Aerion jet could operate at speeds above Mach 1 over certain national or regional corridors, including parts of Canada, Australia and Siberia. In these areas the aircraft could fly at unrestricted speeds up to its maximum speed of Mach 1.6. In other regions, governed by ICAO regulations, the aircraft would be capable of operating at boomless cruise speeds up to Mach 1.15.

Aerion SSBJ


Let’s Make a Deal In a move designed to increase excitement about its new product, Aerion formally announced the price tag for its high-speed aircraft in November. They also revealed their sales partner would be Zurich-based ExecuJet Aviation Group. ExecuJet is providing exclusive sales representation for all areas of the world outside the Americas. To that end, ExecuJet is offering 40 early delivery positions to those customers. The jet is priced at $80 M in 2007 dollars. Interested buyers can secure positions by refundable deposits of $250,000. “Market demand has driven our decision to begin accepting deposits,” said Brian Barents, Aerion’s Vice Chairman. “As confidence in the Aerion programme has grown, we have been approached by a number of prospective customers wanting to secure positions. We would be remiss to ignore their enthusiasm and interest.” One of those customers was Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Noaimi, Head of the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, who signed a letter of intent at the Dubai Air Show in November. “We have often said that Mach 1.6 is the new speed of leadership,” commented Barents. “Sheikh Rashid will be one of the first world leaders to routinely fly above the speed of sound.” Speaking at the show, Sheikh Rashid commented: “This week we have seen orders for the biggest and the fastest aeroplanes. In the new global economy there is a place for both. For me, speed confers great advantages. It will simply speed up the pace of business activities, and allow me to take key business associates to more places, discussing more opportunities.”

Pictured from left to right - Niall Olver, CEO ExecuJet Aviation Group; Brian Barents, Vice Chairman Aerion Corporation; Jamal Al Hai, Chairman ExecuJet Middle East; Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Noaimi, Head of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department.

In early November, Niall Olver, Chief Executive Officer of ExecuJet, predicted that initial international demand for the Aerion jet would come from Europe and the Middle East. “With increasing demand from emerging markets such as Russia, India and China.” By early December, Execujet and Aerion were already announcing that Letters of Intent had been secured from customers in key markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA. The commitments exceed more than $1.50 billion (€1.05 billion). “Based on the homework we did prior to entering into this agreement with Aerion, we are not surprised at the number of people coming forward,” boasted Olver. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

From Dream to Reality Since the Aerion supersonic business jet was formally unveiled in October 2004, it has undergone wind tunnel and other tests to help move the aircraft into the advanced stages of design.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg”

And although Letters of Intent are being accepted, the official development programme has yet to be launched. A formal launch and the beginning of construction will not take place until Aerion is able to recruit an aircraft manufacturer to serve as programme integrator. Aerion says it is in discussions with candidate companies and anticipates an agreement within the first half of 2008. That would allow the Aerion supersonic jet to enter service as soon as 2014.

No Room for Boom Aerion’s no-boom supersonic flight takes advantage of the lower speed of sound at altitude (574 knots at standard atmospheric conditions) than on the ground (660 knots at standard conditions) due to lower temperatures at altitude. Avoidance of a supersonic boom, to comply with ICAO rules, requires only that the aircraft speed is subsonic relative to the air mass near the ground. To be conservative, a cut-off altitude of 5,000 feet (1,525 metres) is selected as the criterion for adjusting aircraft speed to avoid a boom at ground level.


The Aerion jet creates shock waves, but they dissipate when they reach the cut-off altitude where the speed of sound equals the aircraft’s speed. This phenomenon has been conclusively demonstrated by NASA in an extensive series of flight tests.

Aerion is banking on the rationale that the ability to operate efficiently at subsonic and supersonic cruise speeds will be particularly attractive to operators flying a substantial number of mixed routes, such as those combining overland and over-water portions. For example, Chicago to Paris or Frankfurt to Dubai.

Aerion Supersonic Business Jet Specifications Dimensions Exterior Length



19.6 m/64.3 ft

Height Wing area

7.1 m/23.3 ft 111.5 sq m/1,200.2 sq ft

Interior Maximum height

1.9 m/6.2 ft

Maximum width

2.0 m/6.6 ft


9.0 m/29.5 ft

Cabin size will be between today’s super-midsize and large business jets. It will be able to accommodate 8 to 12 passengers in a variety of configurations.

Performance Maximum cruise speed

1.6 Mach

Long range cruise (supersonic)

1.5 Mach

No boom cruise (supersonic)

Greater than 1.1 Mach

High speed cruise (subsonic)

.99 Mach

Long range cruise (subsonic)

95 Mach

Range (NBAA IFR)


Greater than 4,000 nm (7,408 km) at 1.5 Mach


Greater than 4,000 nm (7,408 km) at 0.95 Mach

Powerplants Engines

Two PW JT8D-219


The Dassault Falcon 2000DX by Rod Simpson The choice of fi ne business aircraft has never been greater and the industry that manufactures them has built an enviable reputation for quality and after-sales service support. Dassault is the longest-established business jet producer. By the time Cessna first flew their prototype Citation 500, Dassault had already been building Falcons for nearly half a decade in France. Dassault’s product line, which started with the hugely successful Falcon 20, followed by the smaller Falcon 10 and the tri-jet Falcon 50, now embraces three principal models in several flavours. These include the Falcon 7X, the Falcon 900 (both powered by three turbofans), and the twin engine Falcon 2000. To date, Dassault has delivered more than 1,800 business jets, with current annual output of around 180 units. The manu-

facturer is developing a new supermidsize aircraft in the Falcon 20/Falcon 50 class and, reputedly, a supersonic business jet.

Falcon 2000 Development With the completion of production of the Falcon 10 light jet, Dassault has concentrated on the larger business jet segment. Their entry level aircraft is the Falcon 2000 which has been in production since 1994. More than 350 have been delivered and the company has progressively improved it since first deliveries took place.

Every production business jet is targeted at a particular niche and Dassault’s Falcon 2000DX is no exception


Every production business jet is targeted at a particular niche and Dassault’s Falcon 2000 is no exception. The Falcon 2000 is classified as a Large Jet which puts it into roughly the same category as Bombardier’s Challenger. The Embraer Legacy 600 and the Gulfstream G350 also find themselves in this group but they are in the next echelon, are heavier and have substantially longer cabins. Dassault’s objective with the Falcon 2000 was to appeal to loyal users of the Falcon 20 and Falcon 50 who would appreciate a wider and taller cabin but had no need for the long range provided by aircraft such as the Falcon 900 or Gulfstream. Dassault first announced their Falcon X project study in June 1989 at the Paris Air Show. The aircraft officially became the Falcon 2000 in the following October. Confirmation of a go-ahead for manufacture of a prototype came in 1991. At the time, the company was already producing the super-large Falcon 900.

Building a Product Line With the Falcon 2000 firmly established in the market, Dassault was already contemplating variants of the basic design. In October 2000, the company announced that there would be a second, longer-range, model to be called the Falcon 2000EX. This aircraft, which first flew on 25 October 2001 and was certificated in March 2003, has higher thrust PW308C engines and a 5,500 lb increase in gross weight. The extra weight comes from bigger tanks which hold an additional 4,550 lbs (2,064 kgs) of fuel to give the 2000EX a 3,800 nautical mile (nm) range (compared with 3,040 nm for the standard Falcon 2000).

Development of the new model was fast-tracked by using the same forward fuselage and wings. Consequently, the factory was able to progress quickly from manufacture of the first prototype airframe sections in February 1992 to the first flight on 4 March 1993. The rapid process of designing the Falcon 2000 was greatly assisted by Dassault’s long experience in conceiving advanced combat aircraft, such as the Rafale, and by using the CATIA computer-aided design system to create a completely new tail section to blend with the forward fuselage derived from the Falcon 900. Compared with many new business aircraft projects, the Falcon 2000

Despite its longer legs, the 2000EX does not compete with the longer-cabin, three-engine 900DX which has a 4,200 nm range, or the 900EX with 4,500 nm capability. At the same time, Dassault was making rapid progress with its revolutionary EASy cockpit system (see box). The first Falcon 2000EX EASy went into flight test in January 2003 and was FAA-approved in June 2004. The 2000EX model is scheduled for further enhancement with winglets (as the 2000LX) which should take its range up to 4,000 nautical miles.

programme progressed remarkably smoothly towards FAA certification. The FAA Type Certificate was awarded in February 1995, just under two years after the maiden flight. Dassault was able to announce that the certificated aircraft’s performance was better than initial estimates for range, climb, airfield performance and stalling speed. First customer deliveries took place in 1995 and 48 of the aircraft were in service by the time of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in September 1997. The 100th aircraft was delivered to the Little Rock completion centre two years later and Dassault disclosed that nearly half of new Falcon 2000 sales were to operators of smaller business jets who were trading up to an aircraft with a larger cabin. The Falcon 2000 has also proved to be a popular aircraft with fractional ownership programmes. NetJets alone have ordered over 100 units.

The Falcon 2000DX test aircraft made its maiden flight on 19 June 2007


This is an aircraft with ramp appeal

The Falcon 2000DX Having extended the range of the 2000EX, it was time for Dassault to upgrade the specification of the basic model 2000. At the NBAA Convention in November 2005 they revealed that the basic model would be replaced by the Falcon 2000DX. The strategy was to replace the engines with the same PW308C power plants used on the 2000EX, to fit the EASy cockpit as standard and to increase range by around 200 nm through the use of new, more fuelefficient engines and a simplified fuel

system. The Falcon 2000DX test aircraft made its maiden flight on 19 June 2007. Pending EASA and FAA certification, the first customer deliveries are expected to be made in the second quarter of 2008. The Falcon 2000DX is intended for the customer who wants the comfort and facilities of an intercontinental business jet but does not need the extended range of either the 2000EX or the 900 series. This is an aircraft with ramp appeal. No Falcon owner will be ashamed of leading friends or business associates up the solid drop-down stairs of

the 2000DX. If you really need a high density corporate shuttle, the aircraft will fulfil the mini-airliner role and is approved for up to 19 forward-facing seats in the main cabin. But that is certainly not what this Falcon is intended for. Several interior layouts are possible and, with over 26 feet (almost 8 metres) of cabin to play with, there is plenty of scope. It is also wide enough at 7 feet 8 inches (2.3 metres) to give a feeling of spaciousness and, with 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 metres) of headroom will be comfortable for all but the tallest executives.


Dassault’s cabin layouts have two seating areas with the forward part having four facing club chairs with a folding table for each pair. The rear cabin section can be fitted with another four seats around a conference table next to the cabin wall, providing an access walkway along the other wall. Alternatively six narrower chairs can be placed around the table. Another option for this space consists of two chairs with a three-seat divan along the wall. At the back of the cabin is a full-size, fully enclosed lavatory. This and all of the furnishings in a Falcon are fitted out to the highest standards. Leather and polished wood feature strongly and the cabin design maximises available storage space. The luxury furniture is designed to be functional but also to remain fresh and attractive during many years of hard use. At the front of the cabin, separated by a partition, are a coat cupboard and a galley, positioned opposite the main entry door.

A flight attendant has plenty of space to heat and serve pre-prepared meals and drinks. There are another two storage closets between the lobby area and the cockpit. The main baggage storage is in the rear fuselage behind the lavatory. Luggage is normally loaded through an external door on the outside of the aircraft but there is a door in the back of the lavatory to allow access during flight, although getting in there can demand some agility if the hold is fairly full. Dassault builds the Falcon series in its factory at Bordeaux-Merignac, France with components coming from other subsidiary plants. The aircraft are then flown in their basic configuration to the Dassault Completion Center at Little Rock, USA for interior completion and painting. This facility is being expanded to handle the increasing flow of Falcons. Dassault also uses Jet Aviation at Basel for completion of aircraft for European buyers who prefer fitting out at a European location.

Customers select their preferred interior from a choice offered by Dassault, however, the architecture of the Falcon 2000DX allows for variations in cabin layout. Business aircraft operators are increasingly demanding sophisticated communications and entertainment systems, the most popular being the Rockwell Collins Airshow 21 system. This can be fitted to the Falcon 2000DX to make it into a flying office. This single system enables you to manage high speed datalink communications, secure Ethernet LAN and wireless LAN with internet connection, satellite telephones, fax equipment, satellite television, audio-visual presentation and entertainment equipment and moving map displays. The Airshow system also manages the air conditioning, lighting, seat adjustment, passenger address, security systems and other functional cabin electronics including water supply and lavatory waste management.

The architecture of the Falcon 2000DX allows for variations in cabin layout


Operating utility Clearly-, the Falcon 2000DX is a state of the art piece of equipment but, with a new price of over $27M, the big question must be whether it can meet your business objectives. The Falcon 2000DX is certainly the shortest-range model in the Dassault range, but that does not mean that it is a poor performer. It has a maximum speed of 476 knots and a range of 3,250 nm which means that very long stages, such as London to New York, Paris to New Delhi or Washington to Lima would require a refuelling stop. However, the Falcon 2000DX can easily operate between most European city pairs such as Madrid to Stockholm, London to Ankara and Paris to Moscow. Los Angeles to Honolulu is also within its capabilities as would be Brussels to Riyadh or Buenos Aires to Caracas. Of course, all business jet missions must take into account weather conditions, passenger and baggage load and an allowance for emergency reserves when calculating possible flight distances.

Reliability is an important issue but the Falcons have an excellent dispatch record and their systems allow them to operate in most weather conditions. In common with other manufacturers, Dassault is well aware that poor spare parts and maintenance provision are the quickest way to destroy your reputation so they have regional parts distribution centres across the globe. New facilities have recently come on-stream in Moscow, Mumbai and Dubai and another is due to open in Shanghai soon. They are also expanding their Dassault Falcon Service facility at Paris Le Bourget to add space for up to an additional six Falcon 900s. The Falcon 2000 has proved itself to be cost effective in service with cost-per-mile edge over its main rival, the Challenger. Today, the main problem for aspiring customers is to contain their impatience as they wait in a long delivery queue for their new Falcon.

The Falcon 2000DX can easily operate between most European city pairs


The Front Office All aircraft in the Falcon range are now equipped with Dassault’s Enhanced Avionics System (EASy) flight deck which has been available since 2003. Built around the Honeywell Primus Epic navigation and communications management system, the EASy cockpit was created using Dassault’s fighter aircraft experience to reduce cockpit workload, maximise inter-crew support and improve situational awareness through intuitive displays of the aircraft’s systems and position on the cockpit displays.

The main problem for aspiring customers is to contain their impatience The Falcon 2000DX has a head-up display which displays flight path symbology. This allows the pilot to concentrate on flying the aircraft while receiving all necessary information in their line of sight. Dassault has also concentrated on reducing the number of buttons and controls and ensuring that those which remain have quick and simple functionality. Among the tools available to the pilots is a sophisticated map-merging facility which allows crews to overlay the information they really need on the map display with information on potential threats (such as high terrain). The purpose of this cockpit management technology is to enhance safety by making sure that the crew can deal with the inevitable and stressful bad weather challenges and ensure the security of their passengers.


Landings: Paris, France

by Jeff Apter

CEOs and executives landing at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport have the advantages of being in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and of using Europe’s most prestigious, dedicated business-aviation gateway. But once your business aircraft has landed, what facilities can the airport offer? How secure is the facility and what is being done to update a site founded more than a quarter of a century ago but which, in its early years, suffered a degree of neglect? Le Bourget Airport

“By the time the A380 is delivered, we will be able to welcome it here”

Just fifteen years after it was established in 1923, Le Bourget was Europe’s busiest airport. In 1980, when the stateof-the-art Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport opened as Paris’ second airport hub, Le Bourget became the French capital’s dedicated Business Aviation airport. At the time Europe’s Business Aviation sector was in its infancy. But the boom in the sector over the last few years has seen the formulation of an ongoing plan to constantly update the site and ensure it meets the expectations of today’s top business traveller.

Le Bourget has three runways. At 3,000 m (9,843 ft) Runway 1 can be used for all types of aircraft including the two Boeing 777s that use the airport each week. The 2,665 m (8,743 ft) Runway 2 and 1,845 m (6,053 ft) Runway 3 round out the options available. The recent order of the first business-configured Airbus A380 super jumbo does not faze Le Bourget’s Chief Executive, Michel de Ronne. “By the time the A380 is delivered, we will be able to welcome it here”, he told FC in an exclusive interview.


Two runways are permanently in operation and are used alternatively according to the direction of the wind. The airport can handle 45 movements an hour with round-the-clock landing operations. Night take-offs are restricted to emergency operations and government business. For Michel de Ronne, the airport’s longterm redevelopment is going “according to plan” and has received ISO 14001 certification. Perimeter fences around the airport have been strengthened and access to the reserved zone, including the aircraft parking areas, has been restricted. Thorough personnel and vehicle inspections are carried out at the 15 handling companies and FBOs that operate at the site. Le Bourget’s owner is Aéroports de Paris (AdP), the Paris area airports authority. AdP opened its flagship terminal building in May 2006 at the entrance to the airport. Half of the new terminal is now occupied by the FlyingGroup with negotiations for the lease of the second half of the building underway. De Ronne declined to name the company involved in the negotiations. The building provides 3,200 m2 (34,048 ft2) of space on four levels. It includes a state-ofthe-art meeting room and conference facility with modern communications systems situated on the lower ground floor. The facility is available to the 100+ aerospace and other companies located at Le Bourget. A public car park offers room for 60 vehicles.

Another large building with hangar and office space will be ready for occupation in June. “There have been no drawbacks, we have not needed to revise any of our plans and we are already seeing significant increases in movements and passengers”, said de Ronne. Le Bourget has no real competitor as the Business Aviation airport for Paris. However, de Ronne believes his real competition lies in providing advantages for FBOs and business airlines that base aircraft at the site. The extensive maintenance and training facilities and other aerospace related industrial activities at the site add value for the companies based at the airport. At the end of October 2007, AdP reported an 8.6% year-on-year hike in movements from 61,000 to 66,000. The month of October saw a 23% increase in traffic compared to October 2006. But, said de Ronne, this was exceptional and mainly due to the Rugby World Cup hosted by France. “Our annual increase will be around 7% in the medium term, bolstering Le Bourget as Europe’s busiest business airport.” Access to the Business Aviation zone has been improved with a new entrance from the A3 motorway, providing an alternative to the main entrance.

De Ronne confirmed that the next stage in the Le Bourget upgrade plan is the refurbishment of the former K1 hangar located in the main part of the Le Bourget complex. Until September 2006, K1 was occupied by Air France Industries. De Ronne says that the building, comprising 9,000 m2 (96,875 ft2) of hangar space and 2,000 m2 (21,528 ft2) of office accommodation will be finished in June 2008. Negotiations are continuing with potential clients but de Ronne declined to name names. There are no precise plans for other, similar buildings to be offered for occupation but this could change, he said.


Le Bourget FBOs FBOs are becoming increasingly common in Europe as Business Aviation expands. Le Bourget is no exception with a number of world-class FBOs operating from the site. In a recent survey, Le Bourget was the only airport to have four of its FBOs in the list of Top 40 FBOs in Europe, the

Middle East and Asia. Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) at position 9 was top of the list for Le Bourget. Universal Aviation was ranked 24th, Euralair Airport Services came in at number 28 while Signature Flight Support was ranked 34th. Other Le Bourget FBOs were not included in the survey. The main FBOs operations at Le Bourget are listed below in alphabetical order.


Aero Services

Dassault Falcon Service (DFS) DFS is widely regarded as Le Bourget’s top-ranking FBO and one of the world’s best. Passengers have their own VIP facilities including lounge, bar, television, newspapers, conference room, projector and sound system. A new VIP lounge is expected to come on-stream in 2007 along with upgraded facilities for pilots. Limousine access to aircraft is available with prior permission.

Operating hours Operations manager

Operating hours Operations manager


+33 1 48 35 84 85

98 43

+33 1 48 35 87 77


In-house hangarage accommodates aircraft up to a Falcon 900 or similar size (with notice). Plans are underway for a new hangar that will be able to handle four 7X or six F900 jets. DFS’s maintenance facilities, which include modifications and interior upgrades, are available for all Falcon models. Other services include private and guarded parking. DFS operates charter services with one Falcon 900EX, one F900, two F2000s and an F50.

3 5 0


06.00 – 23.00 Monday – Friday 08.00 – 19.00 Saturday and Sunday Hubert Giraud +33 1 49 34 20 28


+33 1 49 34 21 08



Jose Mestre





06.00 – 22.00 (24 hour operations available on request)


Aero Services provides executive ground handling services for business aircraft. They also operate a charter fleet comprising an Airbus A318CJ, a Learjet 45, three Falcon 900s, five F50s one F20 and one F10. Their handling wing was completely refurbished in June 2005 and offers modern, round-the-clock, passenger, crew and aircraft facilities. Aero Services provide a VIP lounge and conference room and full communication and secretarial services. Parking can accommodate up to a Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A380, and hangarage up to a Boeing 707.




Le Bourget Airport groundplan



ference facilities, refreshments, crew room and meeting room. Limousine access to aircraft is available with prior permission. In-house hangarage caters

A refurbished building at Euralair’s FBO is due open for passengers at the beginning of 2008 while an updated dedicated VIP lounge, office services and Operating hours conference facilities will Operations manager be inaugurated in March. Telephone Dedicated passenger facilities include lounge and office services, con-

Fax Email Web

Based in Antwerp, Belgium, FlyingGroup is a relative newcomer to the Le Bourget FBO scene. The company occupies the recently refurbished terminal at the airport’s entrance. FlyingGroup has recently linked up with FBO-chain Millionaire. FlyingGroup’s FBO passengers have their own VIP facilities including lounge and office services and, with prior

Signature Flight Support

9.00 – 21.00 weekdays (24 hour operations available on request) Denis Bourgois +33 1 4934 6231 +33 1 49 34 62 60

permission, limousine access to aircraft. At the moment there are neither hangarage nor maintenance facilities. However, in the middle of 2008, FlyingGroup will open new office space, Operations manager maintenance faTelephone cilities and a large Fax hangar following a complete converEmail sion of the former Web Euralair building.

98 43


for aircraft up to a BBJ or similar size. Third party maintenance is provided by Omega Aerotechnics up to B737s and all Cessna types.

Pascal Ravel +33 1 74 37 25 22 +33 1 74 37 25 58

and a conference centre at Terminal One. NetJets Europe has named Signature Flight Support as its Europe-wide preferred handler in a non-exclusive arrangement. In-house hangarage accommodates up to Global Express. Third-party maintenance is provided by DF, the Cessna Citation Service Centre and Uni Air (for Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft).

Signature Flight Support’s purchase of the six-story Le Terminal building gives it three facilities at Le Bourget. Le Terminal comes with about 1.2 hectares (3 acres) of aircraft parking ramp and two adjoining hangars. The purchase follows Signature’s acquisition of the PrivatAir FBO, now renamed Signature Flight Support-Terminal One which serves the airport’s transient traffic. Le Terminal has been renamed Operating hours Signature Flight Support-TerOperations manager minal Two. Signature’s original Telephone Le Bourget FBO, which began operating in 1998, will serve Fax base tenants exclusively. Email Signature’s facilities include Web VIP lounge and office services

3 5 0


06.00 – 22.00 (24 hour operations available on request) Christophe Couret +33 1 41 69 10 00



+33 1 41 69 10 10


Encore – Euralair Airport Services




“Miles Davis, but not too loud and a glass of the wine you recommended last time. Oh, yes, and keep me up on the Japanese stock market, too.” At your service.

Comlux Aviation lays the world at your feet in Aircraft Charter for private trips, business travel and exclusive groups. We also set a new mark of distinction in Sales and Acquisition as well as in Aircraft Operation. Comlux Aviation AG Talstrasse 82 8001 Zurich, Switzerland Phone +41 (0)43 888 72 50 Fax +41 (0)43 888 72 52

Komlux Avia 1st Basmanny pereulok, 5/20, str. 2 107078 Moscow, Russia Phone + 7 495 785 81 24 Fax + 7 495 785 81 25


konkret, zürich



The charter specialist and air ambulance/medevac operator Unijet, has expanded its fleet from six to nine aircraft. The airline has added long-haul capacity as it notes a big increase in charter

Operating hours Operations manager

passengers. Two CJ3s started service in 2007, joining a CJ2, two Falcon 50s, two Falcon 900EXs, a Hawker 800XP and a Global Express. Unijet has a Falcon 7X on order but delays have put back delivery by at least two years.

In 2006, the operator’s FBO underwent a major refurbishment with particular attention to the VIP lounge. Unijet is holding talks to move to a new site within Le Bourget during 2008. The terminal at the entrance to the airport is not the subject of its negotiations.

06.00 – 22.00 (24 hour operations available on request) Dannys Famin


+33 1 48 35 90 90


+33 1 48 35 90 65





98 43

In April 2007, Universal completed a restoration of its operations, just four months after a fire damaged its lobby and offices. The hangar was untouched by the fire and back-up services ensured the incident did not affect aircraft handling operations and day-to-day business during the restoration work. Passengers now have their own facilities, including lounge and office services with Wi-Fi, lounge, prayer room and fully equipped conference room. Limousine access is available to aircraft. In-house hangarage is able to accommodate up to two BBJs or one DC8 or similar size.


Universal Aviation

Operating hours

Operations manager

08.30 – 20.30 (24 hour operations available on request) Pierre Bidart


+33 1 48 35 96 38


+33 1 48 35 85 46

Email Web

3 5 0





Universal Aviation






Downtown Paris

Only five miles separate Le Bourget from the city centre. Access by taxi, car or quality limousine, booked by the FBO, is usually about 45 minutes away, depending on traffic. The northern section of the RER suburban line B is just a few minutes away by taxi. The RER takes passengers directly to the centre in about 20 minutes. The line can be crowded.

It will come as little surprise that one of the world’s most prestigious capitals, a symbol of good taste, offers a plethora of luxury hotels, fine restaurants and places to meet over a drink and fantastic view. FC looks at some of the best places to sleep, eat and entertain in Paris.

Hélifrance A helicopter service takes passengers from Le Bourget to the Paris helipad at Issy-les-Moulineaux, just south-west of the city centre. Flights take 10-15 minutes according to air traffic. Telephone Web

+33 1 48 35 90 44

Conference Facilities When Le Bourget holds its air show every two years, it becomes the Paris area’s third biggest exhibition space. In between shows (the next is in June 2009), the business airport offers a large, fully equipped meeting room in the completely refurbished building at the airport entrance.

For bigger meetings or trade shows, the Paris city centre offers a very wide range of convention sites. The major hotels all offer meeting, convention and exhibition facilities. The biggest centrally located exhibition site is the Paris Expo/Porte de Versailles Centre. For more information on conference sites visit

Paris Expo/Porte de Versailles Centre Telephone Web

+33 8 92 68 30 00


Before you fly a business aircraft


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Hotels It may come as a surprise to learn that France’s official hotel scale stops at four-star luxury. The French government plans to align itself with international practice and create a five-star category of top hotels. However, several Paris hotels that offer rooms at more than €600 ($855) a night already categorise themselves Palaces.

This is not an official term and even the hotels themselves cannot agree on who is eligible for a place in the Palace category. But this does not stop top agencies from awarding internationalclass five-star labels to these hotels. The French government scheme will establish a system of common standards and stars for each level of accommodation ranging from the simplest bed and breakfast to luxury presidential suites.

In the end it is not that complicated. Establishments officially labelled fourstar luxury meet very high international standards. There are no four-star hotels in the Le Bourget area. However, the following list outlines just some of the central luxury hotels, all around 45 minutes by car from Le Bourget airport (depending of course on Paris traffic!). All the listed hotels have top-class restaurants.

Four Seasons Georges V

Plaza Athénée Paris

31 avenue Georges V 75008 Paris 245 guest rooms and suites.

25 avenue Montaigne 75008 Paris 145 rooms and 43 suites.


+33 1 49 52 70 00


+33 1 53 67 66 65


+33 1 49 52 70 10


+33 1 53 67 66 66



Hôtel Le Bristol 112 rue du Faubourg St. Honoré 75008 Paris 161 rooms including 73 suites. Telephone

+33 1 53 43 43 25


+33 1 53 43 43 26


Four Seasons Georges V

Hôtel de Crillon

Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

10, Place de la Concorde 75008 Paris 147 guest rooms and suites.

5 rue de la Paix 75002 Paris 177 guest rooms and suites.


+33 1 44 71 15 00


+33 1 58 71 12 34


+33 1 44 71 15 02


+33 1 58 71 12 35



Le Meurice

Ritz Paris

228 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris 160 rooms and 36 suites.

15 Place Vendôme 75401 Paris Cedex 106 rooms and 56 suites.


+33 1 44 58 10 10


+33 1 43 16 30 30


+33 1 44 58 10 15


+33 1 43 16 31 78




Post-meeting drinks

Le Chiberta

The best hotel cocktail bar in Paris is probably at the Plaza Athenée for their amazing drinks.

3 rue Arsène Houssaye 75008 Paris

Another top location is the 33rd floor of the Hotel Concorde Lafayette at the Porte Maillot.

Oyster bar and French contemporary food. Just off the Champs-Elysées. Telephone Web

+33 1 53 53 47 00

Business lunch or dinner While all the luxury hotels have top class restaurants, notably Le Meurice, which recently received a third Michelin star, the French capital maintains its reputation as a major gastronomic treat. Paris has over 30,000 restaurants and cafés. Listed below is a non-exhaustive selection of a few of the most prestigious locations to eat and entertain.

L’Hotel 13 rue des Beaux-Arts 75006 Paris On the Left Bank with a new chef and wonderful food. Oscar Wilde died here (not from food poisoning!) Oscar Wilde era décor. Very intimate. Telephone Web

+33 1 44 41 90 00

Market 15 avenue Matignon 75008 Paris


Jean-Georges Vonderichten’s Market is located in the prestigious Avenue Matignon, official home to the French prime minister and several embassies. The Raw Bar offers a simple formula of raw vegetables and fish dishes. Deluxe pizzas and meat dishes are also available.

14 rue de Marignan 75008 Paris Another Alain Ducasse restaurant, Spoon is located in a hotel which is not as well known as the restaurant. Reputedly the first restaurant in Paris to offer pick and mix choices of food and condiments. Open for lunch and dinner.

Telephone Web

Telephone Web

+33 1 56 43 40 90

+33 1 40 76 34 44

L’Arpège 84 rue de Varenne 75007 Paris

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 7 rue Montalembert 75007 Paris Located in Hotel Pont-Royal. You can eat at the bar Japanese-style, but it’s very French food, tapas style. No reservations, so turn up quite early or quite late to ensure you get a table. Telephone Web

+33 1 42 22 56 56

A three-star restaurant in Paris’s chic 7th arrondissement. Very simple and relaxed yet suitable for important meetings. Experience Alain Passard’s great modern French food and impeccable, discreet service. Telephone Web

+33 1 47 05 09 06


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