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MONDAY MAY 3, 2010 – EBACE EVE
Gulfstream G650 is now the World’s Fastest Business Jet after reaching 0.925 Mach yesterday.
Hawker Beechcraft announces New Single Turbo-prop is in-work. It will compete with the likes of the TMB850, the Caravan and the PC12.
Bombardier Stand-Down attracts many attendees to the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Palexpo Centre.
Rain was forecasted for the entire week; today though was a puffy white/gray cumulus cloud day with blue skies and alpine sunshine. Let’s hope the meteorologists are wrong on all of their predictions!
JetBrokers and JetBrokers Europe hold a very productive summit meeting in Montreaux.
The convention hotel bar is burgeoning with eager delegates all wanting to do business!
The plot thickens tomorrow…watch this space.
TUESDAY MAY 4TH, 2010 – EBACE DAY ONE
Even though we all woke to the news that the airspace over Ireland and the Western portions of Scotland was closed due again to ash-cloud activity, the convention hall was buzzing with expectant optimisim. This is rather jumping about a bit, by my typing this, but I heard a comment from one of my fellow party revelers at the Altitudes Cigar, Champagne and Jazz affair tonight that “…with EBACE, we no longer need to attend the NBAA show in the U.S.” A little narcissistic possibly, especially since EBACE is probably only 3/8’s of the size of our home-grown NBAA convention, however the Static Display is almost as big as the one in the U.S.A; I did feel that this comment was too good not to share. Talking about the static display, the rain again held off, but there was a pretty icy wind cutting through the packed apron outside of the convention halls, that kept many inside instead of walking the lines of aircraft that are on show here.
Even though Honda is very much evident again at this year’s EBACE, many of their sales execs are having to deliver the bad news of more delays with their aircraft to their clients, with the GE/Honda engine being the continuing cause of the delay – 2012 is now projected, but as my mum always say’s “we’ll see…”
The exhibit hall is populated by many familiar companies who are the main-stay’s of the NBAA convention. Interestingly Cessna prominently featured a display of all of their piston/light aircraft models in the forecourt of their booth display. Indispersed amongst the booth aisles are companies that we never get to see or hear about when back on U.S. soil. Charter/management is heavily represented here making it appear that aircraft ownership is still a tough sell on this side of the Atlantic. Of course many here at this show live in the hope of meeting the Russian Oligarch, or the Arabian Sheikh who will be the ‘golden customer’ that will bring riches through their cash tills. Dassault announced that they delivered the first of a four-aircraft order today at the show – a Falcon 7X which will work in the private jet program that is now being offered by Saudi Arabian Airlines; the only Russians I saw were wearing micro skirts and gargantuanly tall high-heels as they clicked about the exhibit halls advertising FBO’s and Handling Agents that are sprouting-up behind the former ‘iron curtain.’
Something else not as evident at the big NBAA show, but prominently featured here, were all of the various helicopters that are on offer as a real solution to the overpopulated urban streets and the inter-city short hops that are so common on this side of the Atlantic.
At the sophisticated and swanky reception hosted by Dassault in the historic Edouard Sarasin Manor House, glasses of Chateau Dassault, Perrier champagne and various tray-bourne confections were passed out, while distinguished guests jostled and danced for eating and drinking room. After being greated by the stoic Jean Rosanvallon on the doorsteps of the manor house, we got to meet a French America’s Cup winner, a Collegiate Chief of Staff, an Aviation Museum Director of great note, plus other illustrius people. Two relevent conversations were with EBAA Chief Executive Brian Humphries, and our own NBAA President Ed Bolen. Both industry association leaders were quite vocal on the issue of Carbon Credits and how they are preparing to work against their implementation; also how they are each individually trying to promote the benefits of business aviation. Brian finds the science of global warming to be extremely questionable, while Ed would love to see Warren Buffett to become one of business aviations’ most prominent advocates to promote the benefits of business aviation.
By 11:30 back at the lobby bar at the Crowne Plaza, the crowd re-took their seats to wind-down from the excitement of the various parties that closed the night of Day One at EBACE. This was a day where more than 10,000 attendees walked through the exhibit halls. More tomorrow.