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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 20th September 2018 | Issue #479

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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

Signature Flight Support


August US flight activity ends a summer of mixed results on a positive note

2.1% increase year over year.

TRAQPak’s review of year over year flight activity (August 2018 vs. August 2017) published this week indicates that August 2018 recorded an increase of 2.1%.

The results by operational category were mixed with Part 91 activity providing the largest yearly increase, up 3.8% year over year. Part 135 activity followed with a gain of 0.4%, while Fractional activity recorded 4 fewer flights than 2017 to finish flat for the period.

The aircraft categories were mostly positive with mid-size jets posting the largest gain from 2017, up 4.2%. Large jets posted an increase of 1.9%, while light jets posted a 1.6% year over year decrease. Turboprops increased 3.1%.

download the report

click to visit Flightworx

United States:

Signature completes Las Vegas FBO renovation

Signature Flight Support has completed the renovation of its Las Vegas, NV FBO at McCarren International Airport (LAS).

The complete interior renovation of the 7,786 sq. ft. facility includes modern pod-configuration customer service representative counters, customer lobby and lounge area, new amenity bar, crew lounge, quiet rooms, restrooms, conference rooms, café, business center and management offices.

Signature completes Las Vegas FBO renovation

All furniture and decor have been replaced with modern, tasteful and environmentally friendly materials. High efficiency lighting systems, environmental controls and energy-efficient fixtures were utilized in accordance with Signature Flight Support’s corporate social responsibility commitment.


click to visit London Oxford Airport.

United States:

Modern Aviation acquires second FBO location

Fledgling FBO chain Modern Aviation has entered into an agreement to purchase XJet Holdings' FBO at Denver Centennial Airport (KAPA).

The Denver facility, which will be rebranded Modern Aviation after the acquisition closes, is the second FBO acquisition in less than 12 months for Modern Aviation, an FBO platform backed by Tiger Infrastructure Partners.

With more than 50,000 square feet of climate-controlled hangar, the facility can accommodate business jets up to a Gulfstream G650, Bombardier Global, Embraer Legacy 600, or Dassault Falcon 7x/8x. The first-class executive terminal features rentable office space, an auto spa and auto storage, a conference room, a crew lounge, private bathrooms with showers and sleep rooms.

Located just 15 miles southeast of Denver, Centennial Airport is a top 15 general aviation airport in the U.S. and is the principal business aviation airport in Denver, Colorado.


Click to visit Pratt & Whitney Canada

Altitude Attitude

Ashley Bowen Cook.

Ashley Bowen Cook, vice president at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, the Air Capital.

Shaesta Waiz unites women and STEM

Shaesta Waiz seems larger than life. The youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. The eighth woman to solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The founder of the nonprofit Dreams Soar.

To meet the petite aviator in person you’d never know she was once so painfully shy that raising her hand in class for attendance was a daily struggle. Waiz was born in an Afghan refugee camp and immigrated to the United States as a child. A first-generation college graduate, Waiz earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Shaesta Waiz.

Shaesta Waiz.

She’s down-to-earth, gracious and passionate about STEM and lifting up others. On Sept. 12, Waiz came to Wichita to share her incredible journey.

Her historic flight to promote STEM

On October 4, 2017, after 145 days, 182 flight hours, 22 countries visited across five continents, and 32 outreach events with more than 3,000 young girls and boys, Waiz completed her global solo flight in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft.


click to visit Cordwell.aero


Private jet charter company announces pilot training scholarship

The current pilot shortage in the United States is real. Its effects are already being felt across both the commercial and private aviation sectors. To counteract this alarming trend, and lighten the financial burden for aspiring pilots, a private jet charter company has launched a new scholarship program.

Joel Thomas, president and CEO of Stratos Jet Charters, a jet charter broker based in Orlando, Florida, is thrilled to be able to assist the next crop of would-be pilots, while simultaneously promoting the industry he loves.

“I’m also a pilot, so I know how expensive the training can be,” says Thomas, noting flight training for a commercial pilot can often exceed $100,000. “Aviation has done so much for me and I want to share it with others.”

To be eligible for the $2,000 Stratos scholarship, students must be on track to a career in aviation, have a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in post-secondary studies. Other application guidelines and details are available on the Stratos Jet Charters scholarship page.


click to visit Corporate Flight Attendant Training

United States:

StandardAero cuts ribbon on new Cincinnati repair facility

Anticipates 200-300 new hires to meet customer demand.

StandardAero Component Services recently cut the ribbon on a new 206,000 sq. ft. repair facility, directly adjacent to its current 236,000 sq. ft. component repair facility in Cincinnati, nearly doubling its capacity to accommodate rapid growth in customer demands during 2018 and beyond.

Hosting a ceremony to dedicate the new facility on September 14, StandardAero CEO, Russell Ford and Rick Stine, President of StandardAero Components, Helicopters & Accessories, were joined by employees and more than a dozen invited guests and dignitaries.

Once fully operational, StandardAero expects to employ 200-300 new technicians to continue to meet the growing demands of customers over the next 12-18 months. Currently, the company has 70+ open positions publicly posted for new jobs in Cincinnati.


click to visit Global FBO Consult.


Airport Coordination Ltd

Edmond Rose

Edmond Rose

The Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL) Board has announced the appointment of Edmond Rose as the company’s newly appointed CEO, effective immediately.

Edmond, a former Board member of ACL, brings 20 years’ aviation industry experience to the role, including expertise in airline regulatory affairs for Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. A former British diplomat for 11 years with postings in India and China, Edmond more recently served on Virgin Atlantic’s leadership team as Commercial Director, responsible among other things for network and schedule planning.

In his new role he will also call on his varied consultancy work advising airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers on network, strategy and regulatory topics. He has led studies on how to maximise airport efficiency and on slot allocation methods.

ACL, headquartered near London Heathrow Airport, is the world’s first independent slot coordinator, supporting 39 airports worldwide.

click to visit Bon Soiree.


GlobeAir reaches new highs

Leading European air taxi operator, GlobeAir, has soared to new highs with a record number of flights operated up 16.03% percent year-over-year, from January 1 until August 31st, 2018.

The Austrian company - that marked its 10th anniversary on September 15th - has many reasons to celebrate this year. Empty leg bookings have also increased by 23% percent during Summer.

GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner.

GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner.

GlobeAir logged 6,021 flights from January 1 to August 31, 2018 averaging 1 hour and 16 minutes. The company reports that the countries with the biggest increase in cross border revenue flights were the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland, where they saw rises of 31%, 26% in departures and 22% respectively in 2017.


click to visit Flying Colours Corp.


Pilatus hands over the first PC-24 to Jetfly

Luxembourg-based fractional owner operator, Jetfly, has taken delivery of its first PC-24 Super Versatile Jet.

Pilatus hands over the first PC-24 to Jetfly

Ignaz Gretener, VP General Aviation at Pilatus, presented the keys to Jetfly directors Cédric Lescop and Maxime Bouchard during a handover ceremony on September 17th. The aircraft - serial number 111 - is the first of four Super Versatile Jets destined for future operation at Jetfly.


click to visit BOSE Aviation.

click to visit Avfuel

United States:

Airbus delivers first aircraft from Mobile powered by sustainable jet fuel blend

Airbus’ A320 Family production facility in the U.S. will this week deliver its first aircraft partially powered by sustainable jet fuel. The latest A321 for JetBlue is due to depart Mobile, Alabama, on 20 September with 15 percent sustainable jet fuel in its tanks.

Airbus delivers first aircraft from Mobile powered by sustainable jet fuel blend.

In total, five A321 aircraft are due to be delivered to JetBlue from Mobile using sustainable fuel by the end of 2018. All of the fuel will be supplied and certified by Air BP. It will be loaded into the aircraft by Signature Flight Support, Airbus’ fueling services provider in Mobile.


click to visit Air BP/ RocketRoute.

click to visit On Air Dining.


Daher introduces TBM 900 to India

Daher is presenting its TBM 900-series for the first time in India, introducing the very fast turboprop aircraft to the sub-continent’s business aviation community.

John Giddens, TBM owner (left), with Mark Diaz, Daher TBM director of sales, departed Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees airport, destination New Delhi.

John Giddens, TBM owner (left), with Mark Diaz, Daher TBM director of sales, departed Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees airport, destination New Delhi.

The presentation will take place today (September 20th) at New Delhi business aviation Signature’s terminal at Indira Gandhi International Airport in cooperation with SRK Aviacom Pvt. Ltd, which is the Indian Area Sales Representative for TBM aircraft.


click to visit World Fuel Services.

United Kingdom:

Private jet operator Voluxis has opened a new office at Farnborough Airport.

Commercial Director Sam Heather commented: “It is an exciting time at Voluxis, with the new office and a new aircraft that we will be able to announce in the next couple of weeks. We have been based at Biggin Hill since our inception, but we opened an office in the Middle East earlier this year and now we have a second UK one here at Farnborough.

Voluxis Commercial Director, Sam Heather.

Voluxis Commercial Director, Sam Heather.

“Biggin Hill is still our headquarters, but we felt that we needed another option near London for our clients going forward. We will be announcing a new aircraft in the near future and it will be a very different offering to what we currently have - basing it at Farnborough signals our intentions for the future."

click to visit Voluxis.

Czech Republic

ABS Jets ground handling celebrates 10th anniversary and 20,000 flights in Prague

Czech business jet operator ABS Jets, based at Prague and Bratislava, has recently achieved two important milestones: its ground handling department in Prague celebrated its 10th anniversary and has handled 20,000 flights.

The jubilee flight was facilitated by Universal Weather and Aviation - for client Nortwhest Steel Fab Inc. - operating a Dassault Falcon 900 EX.

ABS Prague Ground Handling Team.

IS-BAH certified ABS Jets provides a comprehensive portfolio of services across private aviation, with ground handling operations representing a significant role. They currently provide 24/7 support for the most types of business jets, together with civil aircraft, helicopters and medevac flights. The company's facility at Prague airport includes more than 6,000 m2 of own hangar space and VIP crew lounge.

click to visit Global Jet Services.

United Kingdom:

Private aircraft operator and aviation service provider SaxonAir has once again been recognised for its services, this time at the Logistics, Warehouse & Supply Chain Awards 2018.

The Awards recognise the achievements made by companies, teams and individuals in the industry and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work.

SaxonAir CEO Alex Durand (left) with Group Commercial Director Chris Mace.

SaxonAir CEO Alex Durand (left) with Group Commercial Director Chris Mace.

With their expanding and diverse fleet of managed aircraft ranging from the ultra-long range Gulfstream G550 through to a fleet of VIP Agusta A109 Helicopters, SaxonAir are continually ensuring it meets its customers strong demands for charter flights throughout the world and enabling it to maintain a strong presence in the private aviation industry.

Chris Mace, SaxonAir's Group Commercial Director commented "We are delighted to receive this award and it goes to highlight the great efforts that our team of experienced and dedicated staff go to in ensuring that every element of detail is planned and executed to the highest of standards."

click to visit Baker Aviation | HOT-STOP 'L'

Puerto Rico:

Jet Aviation San Juan becomes first in Puerto Rico to achieve IS-BAH

Jet Aviation’s FBO in San Juan is the first in Puerto Rico to qualify for Stage 1 registration to the IS-BAH Standard (International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling), ensuring that all customers receive the maximum level of safe and secure ground-handling services.

Jet Aviation San Juan

David Paddock, senior vice president and general manager, Regional Operations USA, said achieving IS-BAH registration has been an essential objective since Jet Aviation rebranded the San Juan FBO under a management agreement in 2017. San Juan now joins the eight Jet Aviation FBOs in the U.S. and the 13 FBOs in EMEA and Asia that have achieved IS-BAH certification.


click to visit Sky Services Italy.


Nomad Aviation offers maintenance and hangarage services in Basel

Nomad Aviation has started to offer maintenance and hangarage services at its Basel, Switzerland facility.

The company, branded as Nomad Technics AG, occupies a 7,400 m2 heated hangar together with 7,000 m2 ramp space at the international EuroAirport. Hangar and ramp can accommodate aircraft up to the size of the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737 series.



United Kingdom:

Growing pilot shortage complicates sale of private jets

Owners face growing risk of not being able to use their aircraft because they can’t secure crew.

London based Colibri Aircraft, which specialises in the marketing, resale and purchase of pre-owned private aircraft, says a huge shortage of pilots in the European private jet sector is resulting in owners not always being able to use their aircraft when they need to.

The company believes this problem will get worse as airlines are retiring current pilots and recruiting from the private jet sector, and growing markets in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere are attracting more European pilots.

Colibri Aircraft says around 7 in 10 sales it works on encounters difficulties in being able to guarantee sufficient access to a pilot or crew. Five years ago, only around 20% of cases Colibri Aircraft worked on was affected by this problem.


click to visit Valcora.


ST Engineering to acquire nacelle manufacturer MRA Systems

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) has announced that the Group’s US subsidiary, Vision Technologies Aerospace Incorporated (VT Aerospace), has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire a 100% ownership in MRA Systems, LLC (MRAS) from General Electric Company.

The aggregate purchase consideration for the Proposed Acquisition is US$630m on a cash-free and debt-free basis, subject to closing adjustments for underfunded pension obligations, other debt-like items, transaction expenses, net working capital and other contingent adjustments.

With 90 years of history in the aviation industry, MRAS is an established OEM of engine nacelle systems for both narrowbody and widebody aircraft. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA with approximately 800 employees,


click to visit Weston Aviation

United Kingdom:

BACA responds to Volga Dnepr's 'no broker' decision

BACA has issued a response to Volga Dnepr's announcement that it will no longer work with cargo charter brokers:

"BACA is disappointed to hear of this decision. Specialist brokers play a vital role in arranging complex cargo flights, improving efficiency and the customer experience to the benefit of all concerned. Choice is also being taken away from the customer, who may prefer to use a broker with whom they already have an established relationship.

"Throughout its nearly 70 year history, BACA has seen cycles in which certain operators cut broker relationships, only to re-open them once the shortcomings of doing so have manifested themselves. On behalf of our members, we would urge Volga Dnepr to re-think this course of action and instead to work openly with brokers to ensure that the valuable services our brokers provide are efficiently meshed with Volga Dnepr’s cargo operations. In that way, all involved can best represent the interests of the market customers."


click to visit London Biggin Hill Airport

Tastefully Yours.

Paula Kraft

Paula Kraft, President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

4th European Cabin Service Conference

Only one week to go for the only European conference which brings together cabin crew, caterers, and pilots from around the world.

The EBAA's 4th annual European Cabin Services Conference takes place at the Hilton Grand Place Hotel in Brussels on the 27th and 28th September.

Presented in collaboration with WE-CARE (Worldwide EBAA - Cabin Attendants Resources and Expertise) the conference is designed to offer EBAA Operator Members a place to find pre-selected, professional, trained and experienced Corporate/VIP Cabin Attendants, whether on short notice for a specific flight, for a temporary replacement, or for a scheduled long-term mission.

4th European Cabin Service Conference

The conference is jam-packed with outstanding programmes and networking opportunities and sets the standard for what it means to be a qualified cabin crew member

Click here for further details and Registration

See you in Brussels!

click to visit DaVinci Inflight Training Institute


On Air Dining recruits top executive chef to oversee record growth

Leading luxury executive in-flight concierge, On Air Dining, has announced the appointment of Mark Brega as it’s executive chef.

Brega joined the company in the newly created senior position following the busiest period the award winning private jet caterer has ever seen.

Mark Brega

Mark Brega

On Air Dining has been experiencing rapid growth throughout 2018, culminating in the busiest July in the company’s history and a 60% increase in year on year business in August.


click to visit Corporate Flight Attendant Training

Saudi Arabia:

Jet Aviation provides ground handling services in Yanbu, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Jet Aviation has received authorization from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia to provide handling services at Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz Regional Airport in Yanbu, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Jet Aviation is providing round-the-clock flight support services to employees of Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, as they transit through Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz Regional Airport. The company is also pleased to welcome to Yanbu all of its business aviation customers traveling in the region.

“We have experienced increasing demand for passenger assistance at Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz Regional Airport and have expanded our service offering to ensure clients receive properly coordinated ground handling services that meet their needs,” said Khaled Al-Ghamdi, general manager of Jet Aviation in Saudi Arabia.


click to visit Travelworx.

United Kingdom:

London Biggin Hill to develop Light Aviation Centre

London Biggin Hill Airport is seeking a development partner for a new Light Aviation Centre (LAC) to continue its role as a general aviation airport, whilst growing its business aviation activity.

The new centre will include hangars with a minimum capacity of 21,000 sq ft and an aircraft apron of the same size. Much of the existing light aircraft parking, both indoor and outdoor, will be relocated to the LAC.

Will Curtis, managing director, London Biggin Hill Airport says: “We want light aviation to continue here at the airport, so we are constructing a dedicated centre in support of this activity. This will enable us to maintain safe operations, despite the growth in business aviation activity."


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More stories on our Industry tabs at the top of the page.


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click to visit Air BP / RocketRoute

And Finally

Fresh draft beer returns to Lufthansa flights after 50 years

Back in the 1960s, travellers on Lufthansa's 'Senator Service' could enjoy freshley-tapped beer during their flight. Now the beer kegs are back on board to celebrate Munich's Oktoberfest.

Business Class passengers on selected flights during October will be able to sample the draft beer - served by cabin crew in traditional costume - along with a special Oktoberfest menu.

A special 'airworthy' keg with regulated carbon dioxide pressure has been designed so that the beer can be safely served at 30,000 feet!

Fresh draft beer returns to Lufthansa flights after 50 years

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