Business Aviation Activity Numbers Still Down, Pilatus PC-24 Takes Maiden Flight, Embraer 1st Quarter Sales Down

Europe’s business aviation activity continues to decline. The decrease is mainly due to the reduction of activity from Russia due to sanctions. The Pilatus PC-24 takes its first flight and Embraer first quarter sales are down.

WINGX Business Aviation Activity Monitor – April 2015

Business Aviation Numbers Still Negative, Though Eurozone Slightly Recovering

There were 62,968 business aviation flight departures in Europe in April 2015, 508 fewer than in April 2014; a 0.8% YOY decline. The declining trend in 2015 has narrowed, but is still -2.7% year to date.

France and Germany propped up the market, gaining up to 4%. However this was largely driven by Piston and Turboprop activity. Business jets flew 57% of all flights in Europe, with jet charters falling 3% YOY.

The recent growth trend in the UK came off in April, with a 1% slowdown. This was evident in diminished activity at Luton and Farnborough, although Biggin Hill was one of Europe´s faster growing airports for the month.

Collapse in business aviation activity in Eastern Europe and Russia continues, with flights inbound from the CIS down 26%. Flights from Europe to Russia were down 20% YOY, less than YTD -25% trend, so the impact may be bottoming out.

The renewed slowdown in activity is clearly not just related to the Eurozone periphery, as indicated by flight reductions in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, particularly Belgium. Mostly the drop came in AOC flights.

There were still some growth regions, notably Turkey, Czech Republic, also Austria where Charter increased 8% YOY. Inbound flights from North America were up 6%, from North Africa up 14%, from Asia-Pacific, up 18%.

Ultra long range aircraft continued to gain activity, maintaining a 6% 12 month trend. Falcon 7X ULR jets flew 14% more YOY. Gulfstream ULR jets flew less, for example Gulfstream V/500 activity was down 6% this month.

Very light jet activity slumped in April, down 11% in flight hours, mostly due to fewer Owner flights. Overall, the light jet segment flew less, but there were strong gains for certain types, including CJ1 and Phenom 300.

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Pilatus PC-24 Takes Off on Its Maiden Flight

The first ever PC-24 Super Versatile Jet took off on its maiden flight today at 10.00 local time from Buochs airport. Just under 1800 Pilatus staff, all of whom are directly or indirectly involved in the PC-24 project, were there to applaud the business jet as it taxied for takeoff. Prototype P01, call sign HB-VXA, flew across central Switzerland for a total of 55 minutes. The flight went exactly as planned with no problems whatsoever.

Pilatus PC-24 takes off on maiden flight

The PC-24 is capable of exceptional performance, and this maiden flight was a first opportunity to showcase some impressive credentials: the twin-engine business jet took off from runway 07 in just under 600 m and climbed to 10,000 feet (approx. 3000 m) in around three minutes, where the two pilots completed a series of meticulously planned tests. The maiden flight followed a route across central Switzerland – from Altdorf to Brünig via Engelberg.

Pilatus PC-24 unveiled at European Business Aviation Expo 2014

Test pilot Paul Mulcahy, who has some 11,000 hours under his belt, flew the PC-24 as pilot in command. He has already test flown countless aircraft types and has acquired a wealth of experience on twin-engine business jets. “Everything looks great so far! Beautiful handling – the PC-24 flies just as expected – a real Pilatus aircraft!”, reported our second experienced test pilot, Reto Aeschlimann, by radio from the cockpit.

Throughout the flight the PC-24 was accompanied and monitored by a PC-21. As is normal on maiden flights, the PC-24 landing gear was not retracted on this occasion. Twelve flight test engineers watched the flight from the ground as they kept an eye on a stream of real-time flight data received from the PC-24. Had the need arisen, these experts could have given the pilots crucial decision-making information: another means of ensuring the safest possible conditions for the entire maiden flight.

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EMBRAER Releases First Quarter 2015 Results

Embraer Legacy 500


  • In the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), Embraer delivered 20 commercial and 12 executive (10 light and 2 large) jets;
  • The Company’s firm order backlog ended the quarter at US$ 20.4 billion, compared to US$ 19.2 billion at the end of 1Q14 and$20.9 billion in backlog at the end of 2014;
  • As a result of aircraft deliveries, coupled with revenues from the Company’s Defense & Security business, 1Q15 revenues wereUS$ 1,055.9 million;
  • EBIT and EBITDA margins were 7.5% and 14.1%, respectively, in 1Q15, which were higher than the 7.4% EBIT margin and 12.2% EBITDA margin registered in 1Q14;
  • 1Q15 Net loss attributable to Embraer Shareholders and Loss per basic ADS totaled US$ (61.7) million and US$ (0.3370), respectively;
  • Adjusted Net Income in 1Q15 was $48.3 million, which excludes non-cash deferred income taxes and social contribution;
  • Embraer ended 1Q15 with a total cash position of US$ 1,808.0 million and total debt of US$ 2,389.3 million, yielding a net debt position of US$ 581.3 million in the quarter.

Embraer Lineage at business aviation convention 2014


in millions of U.S. dollars, except % and earnings per share data
EBIT Margin %9.6%7.4%7.5%
EBITDA Margin %13.8%12.2%14.1%
Adjusted Net Income 2129.462.948.3
Net income (loss) attributable to Embraer Shareholders91.4110.6(61.7)
Earnings (loss) per share – ADS basic (US$)0.49830.6044(0.3370)
Net Cash (Debt)(84.5)52.7(581.3)
(1) Derived from unaudited financial information

For additional information, please check the full document in their website:


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