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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 7th February 2019 | Issue #497.
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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

Signature Flight Support

United States:

Fractional leads slight rise in January flight activity

TRAQPak’s review of year over year US flight activity (January 2019 vs. January 2018) indicates that January 2019 recorded an increase of 0.7%.

The results by operational category were mixed with Fractional activity, again, posting the largest yearly increase, up 4.9% year over year. Part 91 activity posted an increase of 1.0%, while Part 135 activity declined for the 8th straight month, down 0.9%.

The aircraft categories were mixed with mid-size jets posting the largest increase from 2018, up 5.0%. Large jets posted an increase of 0.6%, while light jets posted a 0.9% year over year decrease. Turboprops decreased 1.8%.

full report

click to visit Success Aviation Services.

United States:

Airbus Helicopters North America rings in 2019 with milestone anniversaries

Longstanding support to customers goes back 50 years in the US and 35 years in Canada.

Airbus Helicopters North America is celebrating two milestone anniversaries of operations this year.

Airbus Helicopters, Inc., based in Grand Prairie, Texas, is celebrating 50 years of sales and support for US helicopter operators, while Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd., located in Fort Erie, Ontario, is marking its 35-year milestone.

Airbus Helicopters North America rings in 2019 with milestone anniversaries.

“For 50 years, our customers and the local communities in which we are based have relied on us as a strong partner for advancing the aviation industry in North America,” said Chris Emerson, head of the North America region. “This represents 50 years of experience, expertise, customer experience, innovation, and technology - a strong foundation that has secured our leadership position today and that will prepare us for success in the next 50 years.”


click to visit Marathon Aviation


Avflight expands into Canada at Winnipeg International

Avflight Corporation has expanded its chain of FBOs by transitioning Kelly Western Jet Centre at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (CYWG) to Avflight Winnipeg on January 30, 2019.

This marks the company’s first venture into Canada and brings the chain’s total to 21 full-service FBOs across North America and Europe.

“Winnipeg is a key location for the Avflight Network,” said Garrett Hain, Avflight’s vice president of finance. “This acquisition will help connect Avflight customers to business in Winnipeg and serve as the network’s gateway to Canada.”


click to visit Travelworx.

United States:

Jet Edge International awarded $11.9m judgement against Phenix Jet/ACP Jet Charters

On January 30, US District Judge Jesus G. Bernal awarded Van Nuys-headquartered Jet Edge International an $11.9m verdict against a former employee for breach of contract and duty of loyalty.

Following a seven-day trial, a jury found Paul J. Schembari liable for $4.6m in compensatory damages and $7.3m in punitive damages. Schembari is CEO of Guam-based Phenix Jet.

The action dates back to 2016. That year, Jet Edge entered into a joint-venture memorandum of understanding with Tokyo-based Sojitz Corporation. Jet Edge contended that it hired Schembari as an assistant director of operations at the behest of Sojitz per terms of the joint venture. The litigation contends that Sojitz used the memorandum and Schembari’s employment to “steal Jet Edge’s confidential information and customers.”

Sojitz established Phenix Jet International in 2017, with Schembari listed as its representative director. Several of Jet Edge’s Asia-based clients soon moved their business to Phenix Jet. Jet Edge’s $75m case against Sojitz is still ongoing.

Click to visit Pratt & Whitney Canada


Satcom Direct supports Skyservice to generate first STC for Learjet 45 SD Data Link Unit upgrade

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) authority has awarded Skyservice Business Aviation an STC for installation of the Satcom Direct Data Link Unit (DLU) upgrade on the Learjet 45 type.

SD supported Skyservice through the TCCA STC process, and with the EASA and FAA submissions whose approvals are expected in the second quarter of 2019.

Of the three Skyservice Learjet 45 aircraft, one is already benefitting from the system installation, with the next two scheduled for SD DLU upgrade in early 2019.


click to visit London Oxford Airport.

United States:

Airbus Helicopters and Helisim break ground on expanded North American training center

Airbus Helicopters and Helisim broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art helicopter pilot and maintenance crew training center in Grand Prairie, Texas, on Tuesday 5th February.

With an initial investment of $40 million, the Helisim Simulation Center will provide introductory and recurrent training to thousands of pilot personnel each year. The first stage of the new facility is scheduled for completion later this year when the first new Thales Reality H Level D full-motion flight simulator will be delivered.

Helisim, a joint venture of Thales and Airbus Helicopters and a global leader in helicopter training, will develop and operate the simulation center.

The center will house the first Level D full-motion flight simulators in North America for Airbus H145 and H175 helicopters, two high-tech civil helicopters, which are now entering wide use in the Americas.


click to visit Cordwell.aero

United Kingdom:

In response to growing demand, Harrods Aviation has secured extra hangar parking for the winter period.

Hangar 60 will provide a secure, heated area of approximately 33,000 sq. ft. with direct access to the apron.

Harrods Aviation’s Operations Director Kerry Besgrove comments, "We have a short term hangar parking solution for our customers who wish to park their aircraft at one of London’s busiest and most convenient business airports.

"We are wholly committed to meeting our customers’ needs, and with the UK winter well on its way, the timing of this new hangar space couldn’t be better."


click to visit Corporate Flight Attendant Training


Babcock Offshore

Simon Meakins

Simon Meakins

Babcock International (Babcock) has appointed Simon Meakins as Director of its UK Offshore business, which provides crew change and search and rescue services to the oil and gas industry.

Simon, who trained as a helicopter pilot during his time with the RAF, has been with the business since 2011 and moves into the role of Director from his previous position as the company’s Director of Flight Operations.

Babcock Offshore operates a fleet of more than 20 S-92 and H175 aircraft in the UK on behalf of several Oil and Gas companies.

They also operate two specialist Search and Rescue helicopters which are dedicated to supporting the men and women working offshore in the North Sea with rapid response and high-quality medical care.

Simon takes over the role from Rob Dyas who has moved to a new position with Babcock in Canada.


click for information.

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click to visit Air BP.

United States:

Boeing partners with Aerion to accelerate supersonic travel

Aerion's AS2 will be the first supersonic business jet to market. Boeing to provide financial, engineering and industrial resources.

Boeing has announced a partnership with Aerion, the next-gen supersonic aircraft pioneers headquartered in Reno, Nevada.

As part of the agreement, Boeing made a significant investment in Aerion to accelerate technology development and aircraft design, and unlock supersonic air travel for new markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aerion AS2

Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight test resources, as well as strategic vertical content, to bring Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet to market. The AS2 is designed to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.4 or approximately 1,000 miles per hour. With the ability to fly up to 70 percent faster than today’s business jets, the AS2 will save approximately three hours on a transatlantic flight while meeting environmental performance requirements. The aircraft is slated for first flight in 2023.


click to visit Sky Services Italy.

lick to visit Bon Soiree


Flying Colours Corp celebrates thirty years of business

Flying Colours Corp., the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business is celebrating thirty years of successful MRO and interiors operations.

Launched as an aircraft painting business by current President, John Gillespie, the small start-up quickly developed into an aircraft sales business before evolving into a fully-fledged MRO and interiors business in 1989.

John Gillespie Founder and President of Flying Colours Corp.

John Gillespie Founder and President of Flying Colours Corp.

Since inception the privately owned, family run company has grown the business from a small hangar dedicated to painting turbo-props and small jets at Peterborough Airport to an international company known for its strong maintenance capabilities, creative cabin-interior design resulting in functional, yet stylish completions, refurbishments including Flying Colours branded CRJ ExecLiner, avionics expertise and ability to handle complex special mission projects.


click to visit Avfuel

click to visit AviationManuals

United States:

Sheltair Aviation’s westward expansion launches in Colorado with FBO services at KBJC

Sheltair Aviation has announced that it will be serving the general aviation community with a full-service FBO at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), opening a state-of-the-art temporary facility while a permanent multimillion dollar FBO complex is under construction that will offer a new terminal, build-to-suit hangar and office space opportunities.

Under construction - a rendering of Sheltair's permanent facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

Under construction - a rendering of Sheltair's permanent facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

The agreement marks Sheltair’s first corporate presence west of the Mississippi and reflects the national strength of a company that, for more than thirty years, has grown its reputation for service and safety at airports along the Eastern Seaboard.


click to visit Voluxis.

United States:

Latitude 33 Aviation expands fleet with two Citation Latitudes

California-based charter, management and sales company, Latitude 33 Aviation, has taken delivery of two factory-new Cessna Citation Latitude jets, further expanding its fleet of charter aircraft.

Latitude 33 Aviation expands fleet with two Citation Latitudes.

The increase to the premium aviation company’s midsize and super-midsize aircraft portfolio provides increased availability for nonstop coast-to-coast and international flights. The two state-of-the-art, midsized aircraft will join the high-end operator’s existing fleet of managed aircraft, bringing Latitude 33 Aviation’s total fleet size to over 30 private jets.


click to visit Global Jet Services.

British West Indies:

Avfuel brands Turks and Caicos FBO: Heron Aviation

Avfuel has welcomed Blue Heron Aviation (MBPV) to its branded network of independent FBOs, offering operators a gateway to paradise with the benefit of Avfuel programs, including Avfuel Contract Fuel and AVTRIP rewards.

Heron Aviation.

Under private ownership since opening its doors in 2014, Blue Heron Aviation has used first-in-class facilities, professionalism and customer care to attract the majority of the island’s discerning travelers. Its experienced staff provides the warm island hospitality vacationers deserve when landing on its ramp, with a level of personalized service and attention to detail unmatched by others.


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

United States:

Ohio State University Airport joins Paragon Network

The Ohio State University Airport at Don Scott Field (KOSU), is now an elite member of The Paragon Network.

Situated 10 minutes from Ohio State University and 15 minutes from The Columbus Zoo and Murfield Village Golf Club, the state-of-the-art FBO features a private pilot lounge, sleep rooms with DirecTV, an on-site restaurant, pilot shop and more.

Ohio State University Airport.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Paragon Network’s elite group of FBOs,” said General Manager Michael Eppley. “Our airport is not only well positioned in the Columbus market, but in addition we offer a premier facility with a competitive price. I look forward to working with the other FBOs in the network and sharing the benefits of choosing us as their preferred FBO in Columbus. We work hard to not only meet, but exceed each customer’s expectation every visit. Joining up with these exceptional FBOs will provide us the opportunity to take our great safety and service standards to an even higher level.”

Paragon Network

click to visit World Fuel Services.

United Kingdom:

SR Technics expands its line maintenance services in UK

Zurich-headquartered MRO service provider, SR Technics, has announced further expansion of its UK line maintenance network with the opening of a new line station at Birmingham (BHX).

Thanks to the addition of the new station, SR Technics is now present at all major international gateways in the UK, serving many international customers.

In addition to the network growth during the last twelve months, SR Technics has offered increased capabilities for latest generation aircraft including the Airbus A320neo and A350XWB as well as the Boeing 787 and 737MAX.

click to visit On Air Dining.

United Kingdom:

British pilots launch campaign to end scandal of statutory maternity pay

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) is calling for airlines to encourage women in to the industry by improving maternity pay. BALPA says the current level of statutory maternity pay, offered by most airlines, is an obstacle that puts women off joining the profession.

BALPA launched its industry wide ’Baby on Board’ campaign with a parliamentary event, to demand an end to statutory maternity pay and the implementation of a better, more appropriate offering for pilots.

British pilots launch campaign to end scandal of statutory maternity pay

Statutory maternity pay is £145 per week from weeks 7-39, which can mean pilots taking a 90% pay cut. BALPA is calling for full pay for the first 26 weeks maternity leave and half pay for the remainder of their statutory maternity leave.


click to visit Flying Colours Corp.


TAG Aviation SA has renewed its prestigious WYVERN Wingman certification after once again successfully passing the rigorous safety audit conducted by WYVERN.

To achieve Wingman status operators must actively show their commitment to leading safety practices and maintain a strong safety culture. They must also provide consistently up-to-date accurate safety data in the WYVERN online database and successfully pass on-site audit every two years where flight, maintenance and company business practices are evaluated against “The Wingman Standard”.

“Retaining our WYVERN Wingman rating is a hugely important endorsement and demonstrates our on-going commitment to upholding advanced safety practices as we strive to exceed industry expectations”, said Erwan Clolery, Safety and Compliance Monitoring Manager, TAG Aviation Geneva. “Successful attainment of the prestigious Wingman Certification reaffirms TAG Geneva’s status within an elite category of operators and is testament to our advanced level of safety expertise and quality operating standards.”


The WINGX Report:

New Year hangover sees weaker activity, especially in large cabin aircraft

There were 54,481 business aviation departures in Europe during January according to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor published today.

The figure is down 0.8% YOY, with a 2.1% drop in business jet sectors. The last 12-month trends in business aviation are up by 1.4%, and 10% above the 2016 trough, but still 11% behind the January 2008 peak.

There were mixed YOY trends in Europe´s busiest markets, with France and UK narrowly up; Spain showing robust growth; flights declining from Germany and Switzerland, and a 9% slump in demand out of Italy. In other markets, there was a big drop in activity from Turkey.


click to visit London Biggin Hill Airport

United Kingdom:

London Biggin Hill appoints its first CEO

Will Curtis, Managing Director of London Biggin Hill Airport, has announced that he will step down on 31st March 2019 after overseeing six years of unprecedented growth in the business.

He will be succeeded by David Winstanley, who will take up his appointment on 1st March 2019 as London Biggin Hill’s first CEO. David will lead a management team that has made London Biggin Hill one of the most successful business aviation airports in Europe and home to a growing community of aviation maintenance businesses.

David Winstanley.

David Winstanley

David began his career in the Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller and rose to become a wing commander. He joined Birmingham Airport in 2007 and took on positions of increasing seniority, becoming COO in 2014, a position he held until April 2018.


click to visit SIX WEST

Guest Article

Clive Wright, Chairman, Advisory Board, Osprey Flight Solutions.

Clive Wright, Chairman, Advisory Board, Osprey Flight Solutions.

Data-led risk management: a 21st century tool for aircraft operators

Aircraft operators, from the largest scheduled carriers through cargo aircraft, air ambulances and down to single business jet owners, need a modern, effective risk management tool covering security, safety and regulatory issues that also ensures maximum efficiency and profitability for an operation.

Data-led risk management provides precisely that capability: substantive, tailored analysis, delivered in an objective, exceptionally fast and near real-time manner. Modern computer capabilities, enhanced through advanced data gathering and AI techniques such as machine learning, provide the operator at the simple click of a button with a bespoke, detailed risk assessment, fully quantified and qualified via substantive supporting data.

This is the unique tool offered by Osprey Flight Solutions. Every flight covered in depth, yet imposing a negligible burden on the operator, resulting in improved efficiency and accelerated assessments.

Data led risk management in detail.


click to visit Flightworx

Tastefully Yours.

Paula Kraft

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

Be My Valentine

It’s time we spiced things up a bit! Oh no, not that kind of spicing things up; I’m talking about the romance department, and aphrodisiac foods that may come in handy before next Thursday, St. Valentine's Day.

First you may ask, are aphrodisiacs real? do they really have the power to induce an amorous mood? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there's no such thing as an aphrodisiac. But I'm here to tell you that history and cultures around the world tell a different story.


Through the ages, some of the world’s most tempting foods were treasured as aphrodisiacs. Some of these foods have a suggestive shape. Many have arousing aromas or a sensual mouthfeel. Some foods of love raise body temperature. And some make the eater’s lips plump-up with kissable softness.

Just in case you're a doubter, it won’t hurt you to read on a bit and decide for yourself.

I am a believer because there really is science behind the notion. My aphrodisiacs list is quite long and contains foods that range from sweet to spicy and everything in between.

To tease you a bit with information, here is a trivia tidbit for you; Add vanilla to your next culinary concoction to evoke euphoria, or add a bit of Chile to really heat up the senses. I'm going to tell you a bit about erotic foods that will trigger some Valentine excitement for you.

Aphrodisiacs may well be the one thing that crosses all barriers; race, culture, ethnicity, and age.


click to visit DaVinci Inflight Training Institute


VistaJet advances business aviation flight safety

Osprey’s breakthrough Flight Risk Assessment system will integrate with VistaJet’s
proprietary flight operations software.

VistaJet has announced a further step in advancing its flight operations software with the adoption of Osprey Flight Solutions data-led risk assessment technology.

Ever since its launch in 2004, VistaJet has placed the utmost attention on operational and flight safety and to date has completed over 146,000 flights globally, having safely flown over 367,000 passengers to more than 1,900 airports worldwide.

By integrating Osprey’s leading safety system, VistaJet is able to instantaneously and intuitively riskassess every single flight directly through its proprietary operations software and support operational decision making. The platform delivers immediate intelligence on the aviation environment, collecting data from 200,000 sources in 60 languages. A team of analysts combines the data with machine learning algorithms, painting a real-time view of global safety.


click to visit Weston Aviation.


FAI welcomes seventh Global Express

German Special Mission and VIP-Charter Operator FAI rent-a-jet AG has welcomed its seventh Bombardier Global Express, MSN 9016, to the company’s 26-strong fleet.

Following a 240-month inspection, the Global Express will undergo a complete interior refurbishment at the company’s growing MRO division, FAI Technik in Nuremberg. Further planned upgrades include the installation of a new cabin management system, KA-Band Ultra-High Speed Wi-Fi Internet and new exterior paint. It is anticipated that the aircraft will be introduced to the market for sale or lease by the end of March 2019.

The aircraft’s custom interior will be designed by FAI’s design partner, award-winning German design specialist, Tim Callies. Tim, who is well known in the business aviation industry for his work on Boeing BBJ’s, Airbus ACJ’s and Global Express business jets will work with the future aircraft owner to select custom features to suit his or her own particular taste and lifestyle.


click to visit VALCORA

Stories you might have missed.

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

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And Finally

Etihad flies His Holiness Pope Francis home after historic UAE visit

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has flown His Holiness Pope Francis home after a historic three-day visit to the capital Abu Dhabi. The trip, heralded as a triumph in inter-faith dialogue and a celebration of peace, made world history as the first ever visit of a pontiff to the Gulf region.

Leaving on an Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Pope leaves behind a legacy of tolerance and peace. During his visit, the pontiff joined Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders for the Human Fraternity conference, a meeting of some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders with the aim of charting a path for global peace.


In recognition of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, the visit reaffirms Abu Dhabi’s position as a multi-cultural, multi-faith global capital. Etihad Aviation Group, one of the city’s leading employers, echoes this diversity with more than 150 nationalities represented across its 23,000-strong workforce. The Pope’s visit is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity and spirit of co-operation witnessed throughout the company.

The crew who flew the Pope home were comprised of 15 different nationalities, representing the cultural diversity at the heart of the Etihad Aviation Group.


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