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Private Jets Incredible Interiors, Brazil and Business Aviation, HondaJet at LABACE

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Private Jets’ Incredible Interiors

Washington DC-based photographer Nick Gleis has photographed over 800 private jets – ranging from the Lear 20 series to Boeing 747-400s – in a career that has lasted over 30 years. His vast collection of photographs gives a rare insight into the exclusive world and tastes of private jet owners; many of the aircraft photographed by Gleis are owned by royalty and heads of state from countries such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, China, Dubai, and Kazakhstan. Here he shares pictures of some of the most lavish private jets he has photographed and explains what his unusual career entails.

Boeing 727-200 Nick Gleis Photography

Picture: copyright Nick Gleis Photography

Picture: : copyright Nick Gleis Photography

Picture: copyright Nick Gleis Photography

Picture: : copyright Nick Gleis Photography

Picture: copyright Nick Gleis Photography

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Business Aviation’s Impact on Brazil

The Brazilian General Aviation Association (ABAG) hosts the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) this week in São Paulo – closing later today. Amid ongoing economic struggles in Brazil, the focus has been on the impact of the economy on business aviation, and the government’s plans to alter aviation laws.


This year, 22 companies are featured in the static display at Congonhas International (CGH), and 62 companies featured in the exhibit hall. This is about the same size as last year’s show, mainly due to the ongoing economic crisis in Brazil. The show is still the largest business aviation event in Latin America, representing both Brazilian and foreign companies, manufacturers, and operators.

Representing Brazil

ABAG now has 74 members, all Brazilian, representing almost every segment of general aviation. Ahead of LABACE, the association stressed Brazil’s role in the aviation market. “We aim to reinforce General Aviation’s important role in the growth of Brazil in connecting all regions of the country, being present at more than 3,500 aerodromes,” the association said in a statement.

Economically, 2014 was a difficult year for Brazil, and the aviation sector has felt the effects. There was a surge in private aircraft traffic with the World Cup soccer, with about 1,000 private jets flying in for the event according to CNBC. But once the tournament was over, aviation and tourism activities retracted and didn’t start back up again.

At the same time, the Brazilian currency, the Real, weakened over 2014, reaching its lowest point against the dollar in 10 years, according to the Wall Street Journal. As the purchase of aircraft and parts are made in US dollars, the exchange rate heavily impacted Brazilian companies.

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Hondajet Combines Debut with Orders

Honda Aircraft Company debuted its HondaJet in South America as part of LABACE 2015. Coinciding with this debut were multiple orders for the company’s light jet from both business and private jet users.

Hondajet LABACE 2015

“There is strong market potential in Brazil,” comments Honda Aircraft Company President & CEO Michimasa Fujino. “In addition to receiving multiple orders, many more individuals at LABACE have expressed interest in the HondaJet.”

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Gulfstream G500, Europe Bizav Still Sluggish, Aircraft Acquisition Planning, Embraer 3Q Aircraft Deilveries

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Gulfstream G500 Surpasses 100 Flight Hours

Ground Testing, Avionics Checks Have Begun On Second And Third Test Articles

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced that the G500 has achieved several flight-test milestones, including surpassing more than 100 hours of flight. The accomplishments come just 12 months after Gulfstream announced the all-new G500 and G600 aircraft programs in an Oct. 14, 2014, ceremony at its Savannah headquarters.

Gulfstream G500

As of Oct. 13, 2015, the G500 flight test aircraft had successfully completed more than 45 missions. The longest of those was 5 hours and 22 minutes for a total aircraft flight time of more than 100 hours. In the five months since the aircraft’s first flight, it has reached an altitude of 38,500 feet/11,735 meters and a maximum airspeed of Mach 0.80.

Gulfstream G500 display at NBAA 2014

“It’s just really exciting to see how well this aircraft is performing,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “This plane has been flying exactly as expected, which highlights our commitment to quality and our attention to detail. It also reflects the investments we’ve made in labs to support the flight-test program. The team recently flew three missions in one day, with hot refueling between flights, for a total flight time of nearly seven hours. Our test pilots have said the aircraft’s handling qualities are exceptional.”

Gulfstream G500

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European BizAv Activity Remains Sluggish

Periodic updates of what’s happening in European business aviation always serves as a good reality check to confirm—or balance—the promotional claims of the industry’s original equipment manufacturers (OEM) looking to grow their business outside the United States, which dominates the global market.

Overall flight activity in September was slightly higher than in August, but it was 4% lower compared with the same period a year ago due primarily to softness in Western Europe, according to WINGX, a market research firm based in Hamburg, Germany. For example, the U.K. year-over-year was down 8%. Secondary markets took a big hit, with Russia down 20% in September compared with the year-ago period, and Turkey was off 11%.

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Aircraft Acquisition Planning and Financing

One of the ultimate attractions of business aviation is the ability to take to the skies on a schedule that fits your company’s needs – be it through charter, fractional ownership, aircraft leasing or an outright business aircraft purchase.

If outright ownership isn’t right for your company’s needs, charter, fractional ownership and, to a lesser degree, aircraft leasing provide scalable options to achieve the benefits of business aircraft use, even if you’re flying only 50 hours a year.

Each form of business aviation usage offers certain advantages, based on the user’s needs and average total flying hours. What follows is a brief overview of some of the more popular options.


Air charter is often the easiest way to begin using a business aircraft. Typically it’s best for those flying around 50 hours or less per year. The cost of ownership is focused totally on usage. There are no upfront capital costs or maintenance fees. You simply pay for travel time, which makes charter ideal for those who only fly occasionally. Users can fly round-trip, one-way or from one point to another. The main drawbacks to charter are that access and aircraft availability can be limited during high-demand periods, and the tax benefits of aircraft ownership are not available.

Once you reach the 50- to 100-hour per year flying threshold, fractional ownership can start to be a more attractive option. You actually purchase a “share” of an aircraft, which often provides improved aircraft availability and certain tax benefits. However, the upfront costs are higher, since there is a capital expense in purchasing an ownership share of a business aircraft. You also pay a monthly fee for administrative and maintenance costs, plus a per-hour fee for usage. Fractional shares usually are sold for a fixed period of time – usually three to five years. Depending on the contract provisions, ownership shares can then be sold back to the provider at current market value.

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Embraer Delivers 21 Commercial and 30 Executive Jets in 3Q15

During the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), Embraer (NYSE: ERJ; BM&FBOVESPA: EMBR3) delivered 21 jets to the commercial aviation market and 30 to the business aviation market, for a total of 51 aircraft. The number is 50% higher than in the same period last year, when 34 aircraft were delivered – 19 commercial and 15 executive jets.

Embraer Legacy 650 at DAL

In 3Q15, Embraer delivered the first Legacy 500 midsize jet to a customer in Mexico.

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Airbus and Aerion, Business Aviation Outlook, BBA Aviation and Landmark

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

ANALYSIS: Airbus deepens role in Aerion supersonic project

Aerion’s planned production system for its AS2 supersonic business jet is evolving as Airbus‘s role in the programme begins to deepen.

Aerion AS2 in flight

At last year’s NBAA convention it was revealed that Airbus had agreed to partner with Aerion, giving the supersonic project its long-sought major OEM partner. The original disclosure involved only the Airbus Defence & Space division, but the airframer’s commercial group has already become involved, Aerion vice-chairman Brian Barents revealed on 21 September at the Wichita Aero Club – where he delivered the first major programme update since the EBACE exhibition in May.

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BusinessAviationVoice: U.S. and Foreign Market Demand at Odds

Some perspective is in order in the wake of Rockwell Collins recent guidance to Wall Street on the company’s outlook for business aviation in the coming year.

Rockwell President and CEO Kelly Ortberg indicated the company “continues to see weak [business aviation] market conditions” and expects no significant improvement in its upcoming fiscal 2016. Factored into Rockwell’s outlook is a previously announced production rate cut for the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Global 5000 and 6000 aircraft, as well as additional rate reductions in “other business jet platforms,” including models in the mid-size and light segments.

Bombardier Global 6000

But Ortberg also noted these reductions will be partially offset by—among other things—the ramp-up in production of Embraer midsize Legacy 450/500 jets, in particular.

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BBA Aviation Makes Move to Acquire Landmark

BBA Aviation has entered a $2-billion stock purchase agreement to acquire Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) Landmark Aviation from investment fund manager Carlyle Group. BBA Aviation also announced the launch of a rights issue to raise $1.1 billion in proceeds, which will be used in part to finance the acquisition.

Landmark Aviation San Diego

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Business Aviation Up In Q2, HondaJet Certification, Aerion Latin America Sales, Gulfstream G500, Legacy 450

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Business Aviation Flight Hours Up In Second Quarter

Business aviation is operating at 83% of the sector’s peak levels of 2008, according to Jet Support Services, Inc., which tracks business aircraft flight hours. Flight hours in the second quarter grew 2.9% from a year ago. Q1 2008 marked the decade’s highest activity rate, JSSI said. In the second quarter of this year, monthly usage totaled 27.75 hr. per aircraft, down from the 2008 peak of 33…
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HondaJet Debuts as Certification Wait Continues

​Honda Aircraft continued a four-month-long “world tour” in Sao Paulo with the HondaJet making its debut at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) on 11 August. But the long wait for the type to receive airworthiness approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues, with no clear timeline offered from North Carolina-based manufacturer.

Hondajet at NBAA 2014

The FAA granted the HondaJet a “provisional” type certificate in March, a step often implying that full airworthiness approval usually demanded by customers before accepting delivery is either weeks or a few months away.

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Aerion Taps Equus to Sell Supersonic Business Jet in Latin America

Aerion Corp., which is currently developing the Mach 1.5 AS2 supersonic business jet in conjunction with Airbus, has appointed Equus Global Aviation as its exclusive authorized sales representative for Central and South America, parts of the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Aerion AS2 supersonic

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Gulfstream G500 resumes flight testing following modifications

Flight testing has resumed on Gulfstream’s G500 after a break of “several weeks” to prepare the large-cabin, long range business jet for flutter tests, the company announced on 10 August at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE).
Gulfstream G500 display at NBAA

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Type Approval of Legacy 450 Completes Embraer Strategy

​Brazil’s civil aeronautics authority (ANAC) on 11 August announced the approval of the type certificate for the Legacy 450, ushering into service the seventh and last jet of a market-bending, 15-year-long Embraer quest to become a powerhouse in the business aviation market.
Embraer Legacy 450 model display

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Rolls Royce Committed to Business Aviation, Head Mounted Displays, Gulfstream New Facility, Textron Focused on Piston

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Rolls-Royce stays committed to business aviation despite £50m profit hit

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has stressed the continued importance of business aviation to the UK firm, despite falling demand in the segment contributing around £50 million ($77 million) to an expected £300 million profit “headwind” in 2016.

Rolls Royce engine

The bulk of this total will come from its commercial airliner Trent 700 programme, with weaker demand in the regional jet aftermarket also contributing – but the charge also illustrates the problems R-R is experiencing in business aviation

Not only has R-R been hit by the falling production rates of Bombardier‘s flagship Global 5000 and 6000 – which are powered by the BR710A2-20 – but it has also been losing market share to its rivals in the lucrative large-cabin sector.

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Bombardier Shares Hit New 22-Year Low on Concerns About Business Jets, Cseries

Bombardier‘s stock hit a new 22-year low Friday amid reports that its new Global 7000-8000 business jet may be delayed and erroneous concerns that a major Chinese airline has turned to Boeing instead of the Montreal company’s CSeries.

Bombardier Global jets

The shares hit a low of $1.84 in early trading, but were down just one cent in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

That followed a more than 10 per cent dip on Thursday.

The last time Bombardier‘s shares (TSX:BBD.B) plunged so low was in 1993.

Thursday’s selloff followed a Bloomberg report that cited a company official who said Bombardier‘s new leadership team is conducting “a full review of all aspects of the program, including its schedule” for its new Global aircraft.

David Tyerman of Canaccord Genuity said such a delay should not come as a surprise given that Bombardier hasn’t provided an update on the development of the Global 7000 and 8000, including the date for first flight.

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On The Radar: Head-Mounted Display

Business aviation has long been at the forefront of new technology—most of it developed to improve pilots’ situation awareness and reduce their workload—that would be the envy of commercial airline crews.

Top Max head mounted display

An example is synthetic vision, a 3D rendering of runways and terrain that gives pilots a sunny-day virtual view of the flight path in front of them. The first FAA-certified application of such a system was available as part of the Gulfstream Aerospace PlaneView flight deck in 2009. It could be as many as five years before such technology begins to make its way into commercial and business aviation as part of a voluntary safety upgrade movement spurred by the government and the Industry Commercial Aviation Safety Team.

What sort of technologies might be on business aviation’s horizon? One possibility is head-mounted displays (HMD) for pilots, which could be retrofitted in existing cockpits and for aircraft in development.

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Gulfstream Opens Additional Maintenance Hangar in Brunswick, Georgia

New Facility Expected To Bring 100 Jobs And Doubles Site’s Aircraft Capacity

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today announced it has officially expanded its service center in Brunswick, Georgia, with the opening of a newly constructed hangar. The hangar has been fully operational since May 29, 2015.

Gulfstream Brunswick GA

The nearly 110,000-square-foot/9,290 square-meter hangar at Brunswick Golden Isles Airport complements an adjacent Gulfstream maintenance facility and completions center. The new building accommodates all Gulfstream aircraft models and more than doubles the site’s under-roof capacity from a mixture of seven large-cabin aircraft to as many as 16. The expansion, which was announced in January 2014, has resulted in more than 60 new jobs at the site. Approximately 40 more positions are expected to be added this year.

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Textron Aviation turns integration focus to piston-powered aircraft

Since its founding less than 18 months ago, Textron Aviation has been quite busy. First, there was the critical task of blending two historically competitive organisations – Cessna and Beechcraft – into a unitary corporate system. Cessna also needed to concentrate on completing certification programmes of several upgraded and new aircraft in its Citation jet family.

Textron Aviation Beechcraft Baron B58

For the pistons business, on the other hand, the focus through the transition appeared to be on maintaining the status quo. A 2012 teaser by the now-defunct Hawker Beechcraft showing four new aircraft concepts on the drawing boards, including three new small turboprops and one piston-powered aircraft, has received no promotion by the new management. A diesel-powered version of the Cessna 182 is now months behind schedule, with no public timetable for delivering the new aircraft.

Despite the slow pace of progress on product development, there are signs entering this year’s EAA AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh that the next and final step in the integration of Textron Aviation plan has already started, and it is focusing on working out the pistons business.

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Flexjet Accelerates Deliveries Of Gulfstream G450s, Gulfstream G280 Ailerons, Caravan Garmin Upgrade, Nextant Aerospace

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Caravan Gets Garmin Upgrade

Under Garmin’s AML STC, Mid-Canada Mod Center recently completed and placed back into service a full Garmin G600 cockpit and avionics mod to a Cessna 208 Caravan. The G600 suite provides enhanced situational awareness with safety and pilot workload reduction. The dual-screen G600 pairs both a primary flight display (PFD) and a multifunction (MFD) display in a single 10-inch wide bezel.

Garmin G600 cockpit Cessna Caravan

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Flexjet Accelerates Deliveries Of Gulfstream G450s

Beginning To Exercise Order Options, Taking Steps to Expedite Delivery Of Entire Gulfstream Fleet

Flexjet has accelerated deliveries of the Gulfstream G450 business jets it has on order in response to what the fractional company says is heavy market demand. With the accelerated delivery schedule, six G450s will be flying in the Flexjet fleet by the end of this year.

Gulfstream G450

The G450 is part of an order Flexjet placed in October 2014 for up to 50 aircraft, also including the G500 and G650, from Gulfstream’s iconic line of business jets. Through its close partnership with Gulfstream, Flexjet will closely monitor demand and collaborate with the manufacturer to accelerate deliveries and exercise any of the additional 26 options whenever possible.

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Kaman Awarded Five-Year Contract Extension For G280 Gulfstream Program

Expected Value Of The Deal Is More Than $27 Million

Kaman Aerosystems’ UK operation has been successful in securing a five-year contract extension on the Gulfstream G280 program for the supply of ailerons and winglets to Triumph Aerostructures.

Gulfstream G280


This takes the period of program deliveries out to 2019 and firmly consolidates Kaman as a key supplier on the G280 program. The contract extension has an expected value of more than $27 million over the next 5 years.

Gulfstream G280

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A new idea for old platforms

Nextant Aerospace is a new type of company in the business aviation industry. Rather than spending a $1 billion to develop a new business jet from scratch, the company utilizes existing platforms and upgrades the engines, avionics, and performance, creating a modern aircraft at a lower cost. The process is called remanufacturing.

Nextant 400Xti

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Nextant was founded in 2007 and is part of the Directional Capital family of companies. It currently offers a light jet and will soon offer turboprop aircraft.

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GAMA 2015 Q2 Aircraft Shipment Data, Cessna TCAS Upgrade, LABACE Starts Tomorrow, Business Aviation Shipments, Citation Latitude

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

GAMA Publishes 2015 Second Quarter Aircraft Shipment Data

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the second quarter 2015 general aviation aircraft shipment numbers. Industry airplane shipments fell 9.1 percent to 1,015 units for the first half of the year, and airplane billings declined 4.6 percent to $10.4 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. Rotorcraft shipments decreased, from 502 units to 447 units, and billings were down an estimated 16.8 percent to $1.9 billion for the first six months.

The number of piston airplanes delivered fell 11.8 percent, from 526 units to 464 units. Turboprop shipments also declined 9.9 percent to 246 airplanes. Business jet manufacturers shipped 305 airplanes compared to 318 airplanes last year, a drop of 4.1 percent. Piston rotorcraft declined to 130 shipments while turbine rotorcraft dropped from 358 units in 2014 to 317 units in 2015, an 11.5 percent decline.

Fewer business jets were shipped in 2015

“While the second quarter generally improved over the first, our industry is still being buffeted by volatile global markets and contraction within the energy sector,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “Robust new product development continues in each of our member companies, accentuating the need for streamlined certification processes and efficient validation mechanisms between regulatory authorities. Finally, fair global competitiveness for all GAMA members rests on the need for a global level playing field. Therefore, Export-Import Bank reauthorization remains a key priority for manufacturers.”


Business Jets
Total Shipments 1,117
Total Billings $10.9B $10.4B -4.6%
Total Shipments 502
Total Billings $2.3B $1.9B -16.8%


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Cessna Certified to Upgrade Early Models with TCAS II 7.1

Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced it has received certification to offer TCAS II 7.1 upgrades for early model Cessna Citation business jets. Available now at company-owned service centers, this upgrade will allow operators of applicable aircraft  to comply with European airspace requirements by the end of 2015.

“With the approaching deadline for TCAS compliance in Europe, this certification allows early model Citation operators the ability to upgrade their aircraft directly from the manufacturer,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Customer Service. “The upgrades can be completed along with regular maintenance or independently, usually as a simple software change, though some may require new hardware as well.”

Starting on Dec. 1, 2015, all aircraft already equipped with TCAS and weighing more than 5,700 kg will be required to have the version 7.1 software upgrade to the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) in order to operate in European airspace.  Recent model Citations, as well as applicable Beechcraft King Airs and Hawker business jets, already comply or have certified solutions available.

Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System TCAS

Solutions offered under the new certification are for Citation models CJ2, Citation II/SP, Citation SII, Bravo, V Ultra, Encore, Encore+, Excel, XLS, Citation III, Citation VI, Citation VII, Sovereign, and Citation X.

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ANALYSIS: LABACE approaches amid regional instability

The 12th Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition will open its doors on 11 August in a region mired in political and economic instability.


The three-day annual event – held at Congonhas airport, São Paulo, Brazil – is now a permanent fixture on the aviation calendar thanks to the significance of the region to the business aircraft industry.

With an installed base of more than 2,700 business jets and turboprops, Latin America is home to the third largest business aircraft fleet by continent, after North America and Europe. While its position on the continental fleet roster is assured for some time to come, Latin America is losing its lustre as the deepening financial crisis takes its toll on new aircraft sales.

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Business Aviation Industry-wide Shipments Lagging

There are a variety of measures to gauge the state of the business aviation sector—overall it has been struggling since 2010 when the worst recession since the 1930s officially ended—and based on shipment data for the second quarter of 2015 it is sputtering.

For the period ended June 30, industry-wide airplane shipments were down more than 9%, while billings were off 4.6%, to $10.4 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. Moreover, the decline wasn’t restricted to just one segment. Business jet manufacturers shipped 4.1% fewer airplanes, for a total of 305 aircraft. Turboprop shipments fell 9.9%, to 246, while the number of piston-powered airplane shipments declined 11.8%, to 526 units.

While second-quarter shipments were an improvement over the first three months of the year, the industry continues to be buffeted by volatile global markets and contraction within the energy sector, General Aviation Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pete Bunce noted. All the same, there were notable exceptions to the disappointing second-quarter activity.

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NetJets to get first Citation Latitude in July 2016

Fractional ownership company NetJets has firmed up the delivery schedule for its Cessna Citation Latitude business jets, with the first of the midsize type set to enter its operation in July 2016.

Cessna Citation Latitude exterior

The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary – the world’s largest operator of business aircraft – placed an order in 2012 for 25 Latitudes as part a multi-billion dollar overhaul of its 500-strong fleet.

It says the aircraft, worth $16 million each, will be absorbed into its US and European fleets over a two-year period.

cessna-citation-latitude in flight

NetJets also has options for 125 of the nine-passenger model, which received US Federal Aviation Administration certification in June and is poised to enter service this month.

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