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FlightCom: November 2021



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COMMERCIAL JETS Much like other sectors of the aviation industry, business aviation is still facing unique and unprecedented challenges arising from Covid-19. REGIONAL AFRICAN FLIGHT activity, in every region, contracted considerably in late-March 2020 and 18 months later, remains well down, as seen in year-on-year reports. International travel in particular is taking longer than expected to return to preCovid levels. In Southern Africa the Covid crisis was ameliorated by the crisis at SAA which left the door open for private sector operators such as Global Airways to step in a operate routes for SAA subsidiary Mango Airlines using ACMI leased Airbus A320s.

industry survey they found that 80% of operators say purchase plans have not been affected by Covid-19. Notably, the 29th annual Global Business Aviation Outlook forecasts 7,300 new business jet deliveries over next decade valued at $235 billion. This indicates that the five-year purchase plans for new business jets are largely unchanged from a year ago.

the frenetic rush has now decreased to lower than preCovid levels

In addition private sector commercial operators such as Star Air Cargo have had to work at 100 percent capacity, and in some cases expanded their operations, to meet the demand for pure cargo flights in the absence of belly cargo space on airline flights. However this frenetic rush has now decreased to lower than pre-Covid levels reports Peter Annear, the CEO of Star Air cargo. The key question is – how long with the industry take to recover? Honeywell forecasts business jet usage will recover to 2019 levels by the second half of 2022. In an

In a surprisingly optimistic outlook, Honeywell's Global Business Aviation Outlook forecasts more than 7,000 new business jet deliveries worth $235 billion from 2021 to 2030. This is down 4% in deliveries from the same 10-year forecast a year ago. Despite the dip, 4 of 5 business jet operators in the survey indicate that purchase plans have not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Short-term reductions in both deliveries and expenditures due to the pandemic aren't expected to have a lasting impact on the business jet industry. The longer-range forecast to 2030 projects a 4% to 5% average annual growth rate of deliveries in line with expected worldwide economic recovery. This figure is higher than in 2019 due in part to Covidrelated declines in 2020.

FlightCom: November 2021



Purchase plans for used jets show a moderate decline in this year's survey. Operators worldwide indicated that 25% of their fleet is expected to be replaced or expanded by used jets over the next five years, down 6 percentage points compared with survey results from 2019. Breakdown by Region Middle East and Africa – Higher purchase plans were reported, following a five-year low in 2019. • 16% of respondents said they will replace or add to their fleet with a new jet purchase, up from 12% last year. • Respondents plan to schedule more new business jet purchases within the first year of the survey compared with 2019. About 26% of operators in this year's survey plan to purchase new business jets within the next year, up from 20% in last year's survey. • The share of projected five-year global demand attributed to the Middle East and Africa is 4%, in line with the historical range of 4% to 6%. • North America – Compared with 2019, new aircraft acquisition plans in North America are flat.

• About 32% of operators responding to the survey plan to schedule their new purchases within the first two years of the five-year horizon. This is 4 percentage points lower than in last year's survey. • Purchase plans for used jets are lower, down

FlightCom: November 2021

• An estimated 64% of worldwide demand for new jets will come from North American operators over the next five years, up 4 percentage points compared with last year's survey.

Europe – Operators have slowly been replacing aging aircraft in the fleet. • Europe's purchase expectations decreased this year to roughly 24% of the fleet, down 4 percentage points compared with last year's results. • About 24% of operators plan to schedule their new purchases within the next two years, down 6 percentage points and below the worldwide average of 30%.

the Honeywell research is surprisingly positive.

• New jet purchase plans remain unchanged in North America in this year's survey. Over the next five years, 15% of the fleet is expected to be replaced or supplemented with a new jet purchase.


8 percentage points when compared with last year's survey but back to historical levels as last year saw a five-year high.

• Europe's share of global demand over the next five years is estimated to be 18%, 1 percentage point lower than last year. Used Jets

Plans to acquire used jets in the next five years dropped by about 6 percentage points from last year's survey. Twentyfive percent of used business jets will trade hands over the next five years, compared with a five-year projection of 31% in 2019. Conclusion In conclusion, the Global Business Aviation Outlook reflects current operator concerns and also identifies longer-cycle trends. However, compared to the airline industry the Honeywell research is surprisingly positive. 





Guy Leitch

The first Citation flew in 1969 and with its turbofans, accessible entry price and undemanding handling, it revolutionised the bizjet market. The success of the Citation range has made the name Citation synonymous with business aircraft.


ESSNA HAS NOW DELIVERED more than 7,200 Citations. From its entry level Citation Mustangs to the Citation Longitude, the Citations fulfil almost all the small and midsize market requirements. Whereas Cessna used to be defined by its marketleading single engine pistons, particularly the Cessna C172, which is still the most produced aircraft ever built, the Citation series has come to define Cessna’s market dominance in general aviation.

family characteristics intact by making each successive Citation an incremental upgrade of a smaller or older model. Thus the original CJ has now been replaced by the Citation M2, yet they both retain the same construction number sequence. The current Citation range starts from the Citation M2, up to the Citation Longitude, which is a natural outgrowth of the Latitude, which in turn is a development of the Sovereign+.

the first CitationJet was delivered in 1993

One of the key reasons behind the Citation range’s success is its worldwide service and support. Cessna has by far the largest network of both OEM and licensed service centres across the world – and is well represented across Africa. The Secret to the Citation’s Success

One of the secrets to the Citation’s success is that Cessna kept the development costs down and the

The roots of the current smaller Citation family can be traced back to the first CitationJet which was delivered in 1993 and of which an impressive 359 were delivered. An updated version, the CJ1, was introduced in 2000 which included an updated avionics suite and a higher maximum takeoff weight. Also introduced in 2000 was the larger CJ2. This was a five-foot stretch of the CJ1, allowing a maximum of eight passengers rather than the seven passengers that the CJ1 could carry. Another hugely popular line for Cessna has been the Citation Excel, with the Citation XLS+ still being produced. Including all variants, the family has sold almost 1000 Excels.

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COMPANIES Cessna's Citation range has an aircraft type and size that covers almost the entire bizjet market..

The Evolution of the Species The original Excel came about as a mix of other aircraft. Customers wanted a larger cabin cross section than the Citation V line, so Cessna used a shortened version of the Citation X fuselage. The wing was based on the Citation V Ultra’s wing, and the tail was from the Citation V. The engines were variants of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW500 engines that were also used on the Citation Bravo and Citation Encore. There have been two upgraded versions since the

original Citation Excel. The Citation XL was introduced in 2004 and had uprated engines and a glass cockpit. The current in-production Citation XLS+ entered service in 2008 and includes updated avionics, uprated FADEC engines, and a modified nose. The addition of a plus sign (+) to denote an upgrade is termed ‘plussing’ by Textron. Where an incremental upgrade has been introduced for the CJs, these aircraft have been included in the numbers for the original model. A jump in the families, from CJ3 to CJ4, have all been kept as separate entries. The largest member of the CitationJet family is the CJ4. Citations hold the record for the highest number of deliveries of an aircraft type in a single year. In 2009, Cessna delivered 125 Mustangs – an all-time record and one that doesn’t look like being beaten.

The early Citations revolutionised the bizjet market.


FlightCom: November 2021

Cessna’s largest Citation was expected to be the Hemisphere. However development has been suspended and the current top of the range is the Longitude. The Longitude uses the same

COMPANIES fuselage cross section of the Latitude but uses a T-Tail rather than the Latitude’s cruciform tail. Cessna also swapped the engines from the Silvercrests to Honeywell HTF7700Ls, and the range is a very useful trans-continental 3,500nm.

In the cockpit, three inches of legroom has been added to the co-pilot position for enhanced comfort. Additionally, cabin entry threshold materials have been improved for durability and maintainability.

With the Longitude, and the possible relaunch of the Hemisphere, Textron has an almost complete aviation solution. It builds small single-engine piston aircraft that are used in flying schools around the world. Through its Bell Helicopter subsidiary, it makes helicopters. Through Beechcraft it builds business turboprops and, through Citation, it builds business jets.

Citation XLS Gen2 The Citation XLS Gen2 cabin has also received many subtle but significant improvements such as the new lighted airstair door with a curtain for weather protection on the ground and improved acoustics in flight. Passengers enjoy natural lighting and a new pedestal seat design enhances passenger comfort with individual controls, new styling and optional quilting, while the forward couch features an optional folddown capability, which allows passengers to access baggage in flight.

The first Citation flew in 1969

The Gen2 Cessna is now taking orders for the Citation M2 Gen2 and the Citation XLS Gen2. The latest updates to the Citation M2 platform strengthen the model’s focus on pilot and passenger comfort as well as productivity. The M2 Gen2 brings an enhanced cabin experience. Its role as a business jet is enhanced in that productivity has been bolstered with the latest cabin technology such as wireless charging and USB-A ports at each seat. In the cabin, ambient accent lighting, re-mastered illuminated cupholders and additional in-flight accessible storage improve the passenger experience.

Communications connectivity is the new buzz-word in bizjets. The XLS Gen2 features a state-of-theart intuitive wireless cabin management system that includes a touchscreen moving map monitor, wireless charging, USB charging ports at each cabin seat and optional Bongiovi Immersive speaker-less sound system. More than 1,000 560XLs have been delivered over the past 25 years, many to the most demanding fractional ownership operators and charter operators. Cessna’s range of business jets is demonstrably hitting the market’s sweet spot. 

Cessna's Longitude is the top of a very successful range.

FlightCom: November 2021



FlightCom: November 2021


YES AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE YES AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE PTY LTD is an Approved South African Civil Aviation Authority (Part 145) Aircraft Maintenance Organization AMO 1345, a leading MRO, located at OR TAMBO International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a hangar area over 35,000 square feet. Approved Capabilities; • Airframe – Boeing B727, B737CL, B737NG (last quarter of 2021) • Engine – JT8D Series, CFM56-3 and CFM56-7 Series We offer excellent, cost-effective Maintenance and Engineering Services on a 24/7 basis with highly skilled experienced engineers. Our dedicated Structural repair team, can complete minor to major repairs and modifications at our facility, including on-site jobs. Base Maintenance includes; • Scheduled A, B, C and D checks • Structural Inspection, repair and/or modifications • Engineering Modifications/Upgradation on the aircraft, engines and related systems including Avionics Interior and Structures. YeS”…’n in with “ Let’s Beg

• Major component Change • Corrosion Prevention and Control Program Applications • Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins Compliance • Trouble Shooting • Borescope Inspections We are committed to complying with the regulatory authority requirements in the industry to meet and exceed customer expectations and aim to maintain the highest standard of aviation safety, compliance of procedures and attaining total customer satisfaction, by continuously monitoring and optimizing the quality system and operational procedures, in the industry. Our Quality Management System & Safety Management System includes; • SA CAA Approval • DR Congo CAA Approval Hangar 5, Safair Complex, Northern Perimeter Road, Bonaero Park, 1622, South Africa Tel: +2711068000. Email: accmanager@ Website: 

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LEADING MRO IN THE AFRICAN REGIONS We provide Excellent Cost-Effective Aircraft & Engine Maintenance and Engineering Services/solutions on a 24/7 basis with highly skilled experienced Engineers & Technical experts at a quick TAT. Multiple Civil Aviation Regulating Bodies Approved Organizations.

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Engine/APU Services

Base/Line Maintenance Services Scheduled Checks A, B, C & D Structural Checks, Repair & CPCP Engineering & Modification Program Field Assistance Engine, APU & Landing Gear & Major Component Change STC compliance AD’s & Service Bulletin Compliance Return to Services, End of Lease (EOL) Dismantling/Teardown Program Parking and Storage CAMO /Technical Services Fleet Management Interior Modification & Upgradation

• Boroscope Inspection (BSI) & Blend repair • Top-Case Repair • QEC/LRU Major Component Change • Lease & Lease Return Service • Technical Assistance

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Structural Sheetmetal Battery Paint Oxygen Wheels & Brakes Avionics Interior

Engine » P & W JT8D - All Series » CFMI CFM56 -3/7 Series

YeS Inhouse Training Facility Type Training Courses » Boeing 727/737 – All Series » Theory/Practical-Categories B1/B2/C » Difference Fleet Courses as appropriate

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Tel : +27 11 068 0000 / +27 82 774 7228 (AOG) Email : / Website :

FlightCom: November 2021



NBAA ROUND-UP After a decade of stagnation, the pandemic may have fundamentally changed the business aviation industry with virus-driven safety concerns spurring a robust recovery. THE INDUSTRY HAD BEEN in a 10-year state of doldrums after the financial crisis of 2009, followed by the beginning of an upturn in 2019. Then COVID-19 hit, and with it came a sharp reduction in flight hours, sales and new aircraft production. But the downturn was shorter than expected. A year ago, no one expected the market to be as strong as it is today. Instead, the pandemic has acted as an accelerator to business aviation, says Eric Martel, Bombardier president and CEO. “The market is pretty robust right now,” Martel says. “It slowed down last year, but now it’s accelerating to a place we’ve never seen before.”

Analysts aren’t expecting deliveries to exceed 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024.

Charter companies report 20% and beyond increases in activity, fractional providers are experiencing 30% to 40% and higher increases in memberships, pre-owned inventory is at historic lows, utilization is back to and above 2019 levels, and major manufacturers report a book-to-bill of about 2:1, or two orders for every business jet delivery. That has led to longer backlogs for new aircraft, firming prices and, for the first time in a decade, an appreciation of values for certain pre-owned models, according to Aircraft Bluebook‘s analysis.


FlightCom: November 2021

Private flight provider Wheels Up says it has seen a 146% surge in flight legs and 47% increase in memberships. The boost in business has led NetJets to pause all fractional sales and leases of Embraer Phenom jets, as well as Cessna Citation XLS and Citation Latitude aircraft. “The waitlist for card purchases is well over 1,000 now and we are actively taking deposits for shares of future Phenom and Latitude deliveries well into 2022,” Patrick Gallagher, NetJets president of sales, marketing and service, said. A strong economy, healthy stock market and low interest rates have buoyed the industry. But the largest driver has been COVID-related health concerns of first-time users of private aviation, those who previously could afford to use private aviation but did not, Cai von Rumohr, Cowen senior aerospace research analyst, wrote in a note to investors. The new entrants are seeking alternatives to commercial airlines to keep their families or executives safe and better schedules with the pullback of airline service. The pre-owned market is especially robust, with inventory at record lows and many aircraft selling before they officially hit the market, brokers say. In

COMPANIES some cases, owners of preowned aircraft are getting multiple offers.

The 2021 NBAA -BACE expo.

The decline in inventory is a global issue, led by the U.S., which kept state borders open and was less affected by international border closures. Owners also have been hanging onto their aircraft as they struggle to find a replacement with few preowned choices available, especially of the newer, lower-time aircraft, experts say. In September, 1,154 business jets were for sale, or only 5% of the business jet fleet. For new business aircraft purchases, first-time buyers historically made up 10% to 20% of sales. Now, the figure has risen to more than 30%. Embraer reports a 34% increase in new buyers, while Bombardier and Textron Aviation report similar increases. “We see a lot of new people coming our way for the first time,” says Martel. Working with new buyers means a change in the purchase process. “You have to introduce them to tax advisors and broker dealers and bring them along with that process,” says Michael Amalfitano, Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO. Besides an upswing in the business jet market, the turboprop market has been robust as well, Ron Draper, Textron Aviation president and CEO, said in September, although it’s not as strong as the jet market. That overall upswing suggests an extended upcycle through 2023, and longer should the Delta variant of the virus stick around, Cowen’s von Rumohr says. At the same time, experts are not predicting a return to the highs of 2007 and 2008, when the industry delivered 1,300 business jets in a year. In the first half of 2021, deliveries of piston, turboprop and business jet aircraft rose 16.8% over 2020 levels

but declined in every category compared to the first half of 2019, with deliveries overall down 8% for the same period, according to a General Aviation Manufacturers Association report. So far, the upturn in activity has not led to an increase in production by the manufacturers, who say they are waiting to see whether the demand will last. They also want to build backlogs and firm pricing. “An increase in price will not only just help all OEMs, it [also] would help the industry to get a little healthier financially and build up backlogs, [and] provide more certainty going forward,” Draper says. The growth in the number of high-net-worth individuals will also boost the industry, experts say. The number has risen dramatically with new creation of wealth. The biggest challenges for the business aircraft industry are twofold: the supplier network and a shortage of skilled labour. The two are related. The fundamental problem comes down to the availability of skilled labour and skilled technicians, Draper says. The supply chain will limit how much manufacturers will be able to increase production. When manufacturers call suppliers to increase production rates, suppliers often say they need skilled workers. It is a problem that isn’t going away soon, he says. 

FlightCom: November 2021



BLACKHAWK UPDATE Blackhawk Aerospace said it reached a total of 1,000 XP Engine+ upgrades sold since the company’s beginnings in 1999. Blackhawk said its upgrades are designed to “increase the performance, speed, usability and reliability of high-performance turboprop aircraft for a lower cost than buying new.” Blackhawk is now offering PC-12 engine upgrades.

BLACKHAWK UPGRADES have been applied to Caravan, Cheyenne, Conquest and King Airs, all featuring factory-new Pratt & Whitney Canada-made engines with extended time between overhauls (TBO). “Reaching the 1,000th Engine+ Upgrade customer is something we never could have dreamed of back at our start in 1999,” Blackhawk CEO Jim Allmon said. “I continue to be blown away by our incredible team, our loyal customers and our dedicated industry partners,


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all of whom Blackhawk could not exist without. One-thousand upgraded aircraft is a monumental accomplishment, but still only the beginning.” Blackhawk has changed dramatically over the past two years, moving from one company to four. It now operates divisions focusing on engine and propeller upgrades, technologies for avionics upgrades and aircraft maintenance, composites, and solutions, including military and special-mission use.

COMPANIES The company offers the opportunity to exchange timex Pratt & Whitney PT6A engines on King Airs and replace them with engines with more horsepower to increase aircraft performance. Blackhawk has performed a deep market assessment to select the next project, the Pilatus PC-12, replacing their original engines with the PT6A engine and adding new propellers—most likely a Hartzell propeller—and Garmin’s digital information systems, Allmon says. The PC-12 market is starting to age, with many approaching their first or second required overhauls. More than 600 legacy PC-12s are in service. Via supplemental type certificate (STC), Blackhawk’s PC-12 XP67P Engine+ upgrade replaces the turboprop single's stock Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B engine with the higher-thermally-rated PT6A-67P model. Flight testing of a PC-12 with the new engine is expected to start late in the first quarter of next year. The XP67P upgrade includes a new PT6A-67P engine but retains the PC-12's original Hartzell fourblade aluminium propeller. Blackhawk plans to certify additional propeller options in the future. With 1,700 aircraft in service, the PC-12 is the second best-selling turboprop single, behind the Cessna Caravan. For more than 600 of the PC-12s eligible for the XP67P upgrade, many of which are at or close

to overhaul, it is an optimum opportunity to install an engine upgrade, according to Blackhawk. Operators upgrading before TBO expiration will receive an engine core credit of $95 per hour for any engine time remaining. Featuring improved metallurgy, the XP67P engine allows for a higher internal turbine temperature (ITT) limitation of 850 degrees C versus the stock -67B’s 800-deg C limitation on takeoff. Maximum continuous ITT for climb and cruise is 760 deg C for the -67B and 820 degrees C for the XP67P. The PT6A-67P is a 1,200-shp engine that produces 142 more thermodynamic horsepower than the stock PT6A-67B, and the higher ITT and thermo produced by the -67P engine enables operators to use full torque to more efficient cruising altitudes. A stock -67B engine starts losing power at 13,000 feet, but the XP67P can maintain full power to 23,000 feet. “Building upon the success of our existing Caravan engine upgrades, adding the Pilatus PC-12 platform to our growing list of STCs was a natural evolution for the aftermarket engine upgrade business that Blackhawk was built on,” said Blackhawk president and CEO Jim Allmon. “We look forward to welcoming PC-12 owners and operators into the Blackhawk family.” 

Blackhawk celebrates its 1000th engine upgrade.

FlightCom: November 2021




HONDAJET 2600 Honda surprised attendees at the 2021 NBAA-BACE by revealing the HondaJet 2600 concept–an all-new, long-range light jet with trans-continental capability. The Hondajet 2600 concept model.

UNVEILING A FULL-SIZE cabin mockup at the show, HondaJet designer and company founder Michimasa Fujino says the inspiration for the potential new family member emerged during work on the Elite–the enhanced HondaJet HA-420 variant. “We became aware of the need for a new kind of aircraft based upon a different market segment. The conditions in the business aviation industry have


FlightCom: November 2021

signalled the need for rapid cross-country travel and the ability to carry more passengers and payload. And the dire necessity of cutting carbon emissions,” Fujino said. “In response, we developed the HondaJet 2600 concept. The aircraft is designed to fly up to 2,625 nm with as many as 10 passengers and one crew–making it the longest-range single-pilot business aircraft in the world.

COMPANIES “This concept will unlock an entire new frontier of possibilities, new destinations and an opportunity to reduce aviation's carbon footprint,” says Fujino, who adds the aircraft is designed to be 20% more fuelefficient than comparable light jets and over 40% more efficient than other midsize competitors. Derived directly from the baseline HondaJet, the new design incorporates the same overwing engine mounts, composite fuselage structure and natural laminar-flow wing features. However, the aircraft is stretched, with an overall length of 57.8 ft. compared to 42.6 ft., for the HA-420, and has a far bigger span of 56.7 ft.–around 16 ft. greater than the baseline jet. The high-aspectratio wing is designed to give the aircraft a maximum cruise altitude of 47,000 ft., and a takeoff distance of 3,300 ft., with a maximum takeoff weight of 17,500 lb. The modular design cabin, with a pressure altitude of 6,360 ft., will be reconfigurable to accommodate eight, nine or 10 passengers and one or two pilots. The fuselage cross-section is more ovoid with a height of 62.5 in., providing additional headroom in the cabin. “We are featuring more electrification and automation to make the flight easier, safer, and more enjoyable,” says Fujino. Citing an advanced steering augmentation system as an example, he adds that the system “helps the pilot to detect changes in aircraft yaw rate and

provides directional assistance to nose wheel steering for increased stability and tracking. This increases handling quality, reduces pilot workload and enhances safety.” Other features include autobrakes, a runway overrun awareness and altering system, autothrottle and electric spoilers, steering and brakes. The flight deck will be based on the Garmin G3000 avionics suite. “We are target targeting a high degree of commonality with seamless transition from the HondaJet Elite type rating to the HondaJet 2600,” says Fujino. The all-important choice of engines has yet to be disclosed. It remains unclear if Honda’s long-standing collaboration with GE Aviation, which resulted in development of the HF120 turbofan for the HondaJet, may be extended to provide a more powerful engine for the new project, or whether another all-new engine solution will be sought. The timeline for development has also not yet been disclosed, although industry observers say the recent termination of Bombardier Learjet 75 Liberty program effectively creates a hole in the light jet market. The guideline price for the new HondaJet is expected to be in the $10-12 million range. 


CHALLENGER 3500 Bombardier has announced the Challenger 3500 as an upgrade to the Challenger 350. The Challenger 3500 redesigned interior includes Nuage seating, voicecontrolled cabin, wireless chargers and 24-in., 4K displays. Customers also have an option of selecting sustainable materials for the cabin’s interior.

FlightCom: November 2021



The Challenger 3500 is a 350 with a fresh interior.

BOMBARDIER ANNOUNCED in late September 2021 that it received a firm order for 20 Challenger 3500s valued at $534 million at list prices from an undisclosed customer, its largest order in 2021. Volumes could be written about the ups and downs of Bombardier’s journey through the aviation business, but there is one straight line that runs through the story: the Challenger large-cabin business jet. From the Challenger 601 that came on board when Bombardier acquired near-bankrupt Canadair in 1986, to today’s Challenger 650, the aircraft has been a steady seller, with its wide fuselage, solid performance


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and reliability, and reasonable costs. But the market is changing. For most of its life, the Challenger has had only one real competitor, Dassault’s Falcon 2000, which has followed a similar path of offering an attractive mix of cabin, performance and price through several refreshes since it was introduced in 1994. But the competitive sands are shifting. Unveiling the new G400 ahead of NBAA-BACE, Gulfstream President Mark Burns noted that "the large-cabin, entry-level point has long been kind of abandoned by most of the marketplace.”



STAR AIR CARGO Star Air is a key independent airline support operator on the African continent. It incorporates Star Air Cargo and Star Air Maintenance as separate entities. The business focusses on aircraft leasing, including aircraft with crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) charter, and cockpit and crew training for its own operations. Star Air Cargo supplies Boeing 737 freighters and passenger aircraft to airlines around the world.

STAR AIR CARGO BEGAN as a small charter operator in the early nineties. The business grew using light aircraft for scenic flights and overnight cargo runs. It originally operated piston aircraft to operate courier freight and carry small high value or time sensitive cargo (hence the Cargo name) for DHL Express and other companies. Typically, an early client was the Sunday Independent newspaper, which flew newspapers from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth in a Piper Aztec.

Boeing 737-200, ZS-OWM. This aircraft, along with a Dornier 228, was placed on contract in East Africa. During the decline of the Rand against the US Dollar at the start of the millennium, some of the founding business partners divested, leaving Peter Annear to build the company into its present size by leasing five Boeing 737s. These include two series-200s and three 'Classics'. The current fleet consists of six Boeing 737-300 freighters and two 737-300s for passenger operations. The passenger aircraft can be tailored to the client’s needs by configuring the seating to all

can cost up to $150 000 per gear leg

The company’s first heavy jet was acquired in 2002: a

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COMPANIES economy or a combination of economy and business class. The Boeing fleet is equipped with integral stairs, minimising ground handling costs and requirements and making the aircraft far more flexible for remote African operators. For contracts that are six months or longer, Star Air can brand the aircraft for customers to maintain uniformity between their fleet and leased aircraft. In June 2019, Star Air Cargo was acquired by Comair, who agreed to pay U$5.14 million to acquire the group. However it was realised that the acquisition by Comair would adversely affect Star Air’s ability to be a truly independent supplier of service to all airlines. And then, due to the financial constraints imposed on Comair by the COVID-19 lockdown and the subsequent business rescue process, the Comair deal was cancelled in October 2020. Star Air Cargo values its independence and has a variety of quality clients. At various times they have supplied: Rwandair, Air Botswana, Air Malawi, Air Tanzania, LAM Mozambique Airlines, Air Namibia, SA Express, Mango and Airlink. The company holds

Star Air supplies aircraft with full Aircraft Maintnenace Crew and Insurance leases.


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its own A1 charter license and employs 16 full time cockpit crew and 16 full time cabin staff. CEO Peter Annear is also a type rated 737 captain and remains a keen general aviation pilot with a Mooney Ovation.  Star Air Cargo and Maintenance's Peter Annear and Marcel "Lieb" Liebenberg (left).

SA Flyer 2021|11


Boeing 737-300 Cargo Aircraft available for wet (ACMI) lease. Based at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg South Africa.

Contact: or Tel: +27 11 234 7038

FlightCom: November 2021



PILATUS AIRCRAFT THE PILATUS PC-24 is a light business jet produced by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. Following the PC-12 single turboprop success, work on the jet project started in 2007 for greater range and speed. Powered by two Williams FJ44 turbofans, the PC-24 kept the rugged airfield capability of the PC-12. To date, Pilatus have produced and delivered over 130 PC-24s, with a strong order book and sales outlook for the coming years. Throughout its 40-year lifecycle, Pilatus plans to produce in over 4,000 aircraft. The global PC-24 fleet have accumulated over 50,000 hours and based on customer feedback Pilatus have incorporated some new features into the latest production serial numbers, some of which can be retrofitted in earlier serial number PC-24s. New executive seats provide more comfort and feature the ability to fully recline to a flat position. Seats are now also attached to the cabin’s flat floor with quick -release mechanisms to facilitate rapid seating configuration changes on the ground. In lieu of the standard forward left-hand coat closet, operators may now choose to install a galley with options for a microwave oven, a coffee or espresso maker, a generous work surface, dedicated ice storage, and capacity for standard catering units.

For PC-24 flight crews, Pilatus and Honeywell have continued to develop and refine the Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE). A touch-screen avionics controller replaces the multi-function controller as standard equipment. The PC-24’s flight control system now incorporates Tactile Feedback and the standard auto-throttle system also includes a new Automatic Speed Protection function. Other features such as Honeywell’s SmartRunway and SmartLanding, FMS Takeoff and Landing Data (TOLD), Controller to Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC), KMA-29A Bluetooth 3D audio panel and Honeywell RDR-7000 are now also offered as optional equipment. Locally, the African based PC-24 fleet continues to grow, and Authorized PC-24 Service Centre, Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa, is underway with a hangar extension at its facility at Rand Airport. The expansion will provide ongoing support for the PC-24 fleet well into the future. Contact: Tel: 011 383 0800 Raymond Steyn 082 652 3439: Tim Webster 083 251 0318: Gerry Wyss 082 318 5089: Pascal Wyss 082 511 7312 

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT CIRRUS AIRCRAFT unveiled a re-imagined Vision Jet™ – the G2+ Vision Jet – featuring optimized engine performance for expanded mission capabilities, Gogo® InFlight WiFi for a connected cabin experience, and bold, new colorways for added ramp presence. The G2+ Vision Jet is the latest demonstration of the company’s dedication to relentless innovation, and joins a host of industry-leading technologies offered in the best-selling jet in general aviation, including Autothrottle, Safe Return™ Emergency Autoland and the Perspective Touch+™ by Garmin® flight deck. With the G2+ Vision Jet, the Williams FJ33-5A engine has been finely tuned with a newly optimized thrust profile that provides up to 20% increased performance during take-off. The optimized performance joins the expanded flight envelope to FL310, launched with the G2 Vision Jet in 2019, offering enhanced performance to increase range, carry more and enjoy


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added reassurance in hot temperatures and high elevations – providing access to additional airports at popular destinations across the globe. From the striking exterior, pilot and passengers step into a remarkably spacious interior designed around the largest cabin in its class, featuring premium leather, bolstered seats, noise reduction and an immersive experience made possible by the panoramic windows unique to the Vision Jet. The worldwide fleet currently includes more than 265 Vision Jets with over 500 Type Ratings issued for the aircraft. Deliveries for the G2+ Vision Jet are planned to begin in August 2021. For more information contact Eugene Prenzler email: or Cell: +2767-232-5395 











To learn more about G2+ Vision Jet, call 067-232-5395 or mail CSA Aviation (Pty) Ltd Africa’s only Cirrus Platinum Partner


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REFURBISHMENT EXECUTIVE AIRCRAFT REFURBISHMENT has over the years earned its global reputation for quality and attention to detail. Francois Denton and his expert team will advise clients on all aspects of the aesthetic and technical refurbishment process from beginning to end and nose-to-tail. Operations Management forms part of their dayto-day processes that ensures that production runs smoothly and effectively. Their policy of keeping in close contact with the customer keeping them up-todate on the progress of their aircraft has proven to be a winner. Each component of the aircraft is scheduled into production thereby ensuring customer satisfaction while maintaining the highest quality standards. Executive Aircraft Refurbishment will custom design and develop aircraft interior with foam building to the client's exact specifications, whether leather or fabric upholstery the professional team will deliver the finest quality results all manufactured on-site by their large team of highly experienced individuals. Executive Aircraft Refurbishment refurbishes single components such as seats, interior roof panels, window panels, lower side walls and armrests, air vents, and light fittings. They will remove and refit single components with care and to perfection. Components such as interior plastic panels and trims are not only repaired and reconditioned but also strengthened to produce a product that will stand the test of time. Interior carpeting is all custom manufactured with only the best quality wool carpets and professional edging. Non-textile flooring, such as coin-dot flooring for galleys, cargo and baggage holds, all fall comfortably within their teams expert scope. At Executive Aircraft Refurbishment quality and safety is their priority and this is no more evident than in their seatbelt repair, existing seatbelts can be re-used with their webbing replacement service. Webbing is available in a variety of colours to meet an aircraft’s specific needs.


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After re-webbing, the team conduct an in-house restraint test on their Safety Belt Restraint Test Rig, whereby test loads are applied to safety belts, before issuing the clients with the required certification. Interior cabinetry is a speciality at Executive Aircraft Refurbishment, whether the choice is Formica® lamination or veneer, in a gloss or matt finish the cabinets will always be in line with the latest trends and client specifications. The team can also assist with repairs and alignments of doors and drawers. Burn tests are conducted on all materials used in accordance with FAR25.853 and FAR23.853 test regulations and all required burn certificates issued. Executive Aircraft Refurbishment boasts a paint shop large enough to get the job done with state-of-theart equipment, and an experienced team who pride themselves in attention to detail. From paint stripping to a complete respray, custom line paint scheme designs to customer specifications, the experienced paint-shop team will deliver a complete nose-to-tail makeover on any aircraft. No component is too big or too small, they will respray components like wheel rim assemblies and landing gear and in addition offer a mobile touch-up team. All paint colours are matched and mixed in-house ensuring total satisfaction, as well as supplying and applying exterior decals for the personalized touch. Each and every paint job is sealed with PRC® aerospace sealants. Hangar 10 (Interior Shop) and 31 (Paint Shop) Gate 5 Lanseria International Airport Johannesburg TEL: +27 10 900 4149 CELL: 082 547 8379  Leather covered yoke.

Seat Belts.


Tel: +27 (0)10 900 4149 | Mobile: +27 (0)82 547 8379 | Hangar 10 (Interior Shop) and Hangar 31 (Paint Shop). FlightCom: Lanseria International Airport, South Africa, Gate 5 North Side. November 2021




STAR AIR MAINTENANCE Star Air Maintenance is one of those largely unseen centres of competence based on the east side of OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg. STAR AIR MAINTENANCE (SAM), is an independent Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO), and has been operating since June 2008. With 59 permanent staff, it is headed by both Peter Annear and Marcel 'Lieb' Liebenberg.

(AMEs), the company carries out third-party heavy maintenance as well as taking care of Star Air Cargo's contract and charter fleet of Boeing 737s. The AMO is further licensed to work on McDonnell Douglas MD-series aircraft and DC-9s.

Lieb is a heavy jet maintenance veteran with valuable experience as both a Tech Rep and an AME running major C-Checks for many African airlines. The company occupies the old east-side fast jet testing centre at Hangar K7 which can accommodate four B737-300s within the Denel compound at OR Tambo International Airport.

Unlike his contemporaries in larger maintenance bases in South Africa, Lieb is usually found in his overalls directing work from the shop floor. His hands-on style is rare in this high technology industry where paperwork skills have become as important as mechanical knowledge.

With 25 fully qualified Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

"A vital part of today's large jet maintenance is to keep overheads down", says Lieb. "Staff thus need to be

For longer leases Star Air will rebrand its aircraft to customer requirements.


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COMPANIES kept busy, and that means supervising workflows and making sure there is always something to do. Due to events such as the current supply chain crisis there could be delays in obtaining spare parts, and some tasks may take longer than others, so it is important to avoid periods where our engineers may be idle whilst waiting for colleagues to finish off." "There are some costly ADs and SBs related to heavy jets. Boeing 737s for example require landing gear removal and overhaul every ten years. That can cost up to $150 000 per gear leg. A C-Check can come in at around US$43,000 for labour if the aircraft does not require heavy maintenance. It is unscheduled maintenance that makes the C-Check costly. Boeing's Corrosion Preventative Control Program (CPCP) is a good example. It has several three, four and eight year calendar-based cycles and these can require an extra and substantial 3500 hours of additional work. Lieb's experienced approach to workflow and tasking has a valuable spin-off. With knowledgeable and experienced management, the customer Tech Reps can benefit from integrated work packs that avoid repetitive work shared by both the major C-check and the CPCP requirements, thus reducing the final bill.

Star Air Maintenance also offers its clients the option of sourcing their own parts for a nominal handling fee. Star Air Maintenance subscribes to Partsbase, a database and tracking organisation that's able to source new and used components from around the world. Lieb says his relationship with the CAA is excellent and he finds their inspectors helpful when needed to resolve issues. "We occasionally need CAA approval to move aircraft stranded because of a technical issue and have found the Authority’s personnel very helpful in such cases," Lieb adds. Whilst Star Air Maintenance would like to grow their AMO, Lieb is wary of growing too fast. "Having more people makes it easy to lose day to day control, unless systems are in place. At the moment we happily bring in experienced and skilled contract engineers when needed.” “Some things we have chosen to outsource as running several departments is costly and requires dramatically more regulatory monitoring and oversight. Thus, we contract out our safety equipment needs and some other tasks like borescope inspections - at least for the time being," Lieb says. In this way Star Air Maintenance is able to operate with maximum efficiency and pass these cost benefits on to clients. 

Star Air Maintenance ensures maximum aircraft availability and reliability.

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MAINTENANCE Star Air Maintenance Pty Ltd (SAM) is a subsidiary company of Star Air Cargo Pty Ltd, that provides all the AOC’s maintenance requirements up to C check. We are based at O R Tambo International Airport and our team of highly qualified engineers offer line maintenance to third parties.

SA Flyer 2019|11

Boeing 737-200 Boeing 737 Classics Based at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg South Africa. Contact: or 72

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Tel: 011 395 3756 and 011 973 5512

Guardian Air is a trusted aircraft management, maintenance and VIP air charter company. Providing a suite of specialised services to meet the discerning needs of aircraft owners, global business travellers, tourists and adventurers. GUARDIAN AIR, operating from Lanseria International Airport in South Africa, offers Global VIP charter, comprehensive aircraft management and maintenance solutions to aircraft owners and organisations alike, as well as air ambulance services to two major, private emergency medical care companies. Guardian Air (PTY) Ltd started as an aviation asset management company in 2009. Today through their subsidiary, Guardian Air Asset Management, have international and domestic operating licences issued by the South African Department of Transport as well as a or aeromedical transfers. As aircraft owners themselves, they can identify with their customers’ needs. Guardian Air aircraft is serviced by their own in-house maintenance division, Guardian Air Maintenance (PTY) Ltd. Aircraft types endorsed on the operating licence: Beechcraft King Air 200 Hawker 700A/800A Dassault Falcon 20 Dassault Falcon 50EX Dassault Falcon 900EX Please contact our 24/7 operations team for VIP charter, air ambulance services or any other enquiries.

Guardian Air lives by this motto: “Throughout the company, there has been a big push in being transparent.”

Guardian Air is a trusted VIP air charter and aircraft management company, providing a suite of specialised services to meet the discerning needs of global business travellers,tourists and adventurers.

loc Lanseria International Airport Tel +27 11 701 3011 24/7 +27 82 521 2394 Web lic CAA/I/N283, AMO1401 FlightCom: November 2021 73