|US Airways Jets at CLT|
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Gulfstream hosted a press conference today at EBACE13 to announce setting 30 new aviation records. The G280 was the star of the year setting 22 world records including Honolulu to Savannah at an average speed of 569 mph. The G650 had the fasted speed of 587 mph averaged from Washington to Geneva. These records are for aircraft in their class, not outright, but it’s still exciting to have new aircraft pushing boundaries during a turbulent period for the industry. Jonathan Gaffney, the president of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (discussed in my round the world musings), was on hand to present the awards.
|Gulfstream G650 on Static Display|
|Gulfstream G650 Cabin with 28in Windows|
|Gulfstream Family on Display|
Monday, May 20, 2013
Uncertain, that’s the key word to describe the mood at EBACE13 (2013 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition). In press conferences today, major airframe manufactures kept mentioning their grand plans will be dampened by the uncertain climate for business aviation. Boeing only sold three Boeing Business Jets, a 737, 747, and 787, in the past 12 months. Airbus sold more, but didn’t give a number or distinguish between wide or narrow bodied.
|EBACE13 Static Display|
New models are coming out. Embraer’s Legacy 500 made its European debut. The full Gulfstream product line, including the newer G280 and G650, is also on display. The G650 seems to have the highest demand with delivery slots over four years out. As Airbus explained, most customers don’t want to wait more than one or two years for delivery, so the G650 backlog is all the more exceptional. This short order to delivery time frame also means that Airbus has not sold any NEO A320 series private jets, likewise Boeing has not sold any 737MAX private jets.
The second hand market is good for buyers. Dassault kept mentioning their research on second hand sales and expect those prices to increase before the new aircraft market picks up again. Demand is down as well with private departures slightly below 2012 numbers and well below 2007 figures.
- There are 52 aircraft on display, 670 exhibitors, about 7,000 attendees, and press from 70 countries.
- “Our industry faces headwinds” is the pun of the conference. Funny the first time, but every speaker used it today.
- Embraer made a short film with Jackie Chan to promote the new Legacy 500. It wasn’t very good, but looked like it cost quite a bit. The president of Embraer Executive Jets really liked it, so that’s what matters.
- Serge Dassault, Bloomberg billionaire rank #79, was in attendance. He loves his new Falcon 7X.
- Only Airbus printed out their slides. Everyone else just has reporters taking pictures of every PowerPoint slide. Accordingly the Airbus presentation felt relaxed, at least until reporters started pushing on the ACJ318 and Prince Al-Waleed selling his A380 before interior work started.
|G650 - Only 17 In Customer Operations|
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I grabbed an upgrade heading home from Mother's Day in South Carolina. The IAD-DEN flight on a 757 had an option of steak or pasta. I went with the steak and it was very tasty and tender. It also came with a salad, shrimp seviche, and chocolate chip cookie. United has been serving higher quality meals in first class recently and the trend is continuing. I hope this is the quality I can rely on soon.
|Steak Dinner IAD-DEN|
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
NASA has confirmed that iPhone's and other portable electronic devices interfere with instruments. There are numerous other incidents of suspected, but unconfirmed, interference too. Most passengers suspect the requirement to turn off their phones is unnecessary, but it turns out there is some evidence behind this one. Don't worry, there are plenty of other rules at airports and in air that don't make any sense and you can complain about.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Savannah airport doesn't have enough traffic from a single airline or alliance to justify an airline club. The airport instead runs its own shared lounge for United Club, Admirals Club, Delta Club, US Airways Club, and Amex Platinum card holders. The terminal has free wifi, but the lounge adds a relaxing environment, a coffee machine (like the US Airways Club ones), extra bathrooms, Bryd's cookies, and small Coke products. Just remember your club card because they can't search on frequent flyer numbers. The club is discretely labeled, right before gate 12.
|Savannah Airport Club|