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China’s Superior Aviation to buy Hawker Beechcraft
Hawker Beechcraft last week announced that it has executed an exclusivity agreement with Superior Aviation Beijing Co, a Beijing-based aerospace manufacturer, regarding a strategic combination. Should the transaction be completed, Superior intends to maintain Hawker Beechcraft’s existing operations while also investing capital in the company and its business and general aviation product line. Hawker Beechcraft entered into this agreement as part of its ongoing review of strategic options, which included continuing to operate as a standalone entity, and decided to proceed with Superior.
The transaction with Superior would not include Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC), which would remain a separate entity. HBDC will continue to operate its T-6 trainer program. Robert S. “Steve” Miller, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, said, “Superior has had a long-standing interest in the commercial aircraft business of Hawker Beechcraft, having first approached the company several years ago.” Under the terms of the exclusivity agreement, Superior will acquire Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion and make payments over the next six weeks to support ongoing jet-related operations, which will help Hawker Beechcraft to sustain the jet business until the close of the transaction. Superior’s proposal reflects its intention to make Hawker Beechcraft its flagship investment; maintain Hawker Beechcraft’s U.S. headquarters, management team and employees.
Russian Helicopters and AgustaWestland to develop new helicopter
Russian Helicopters (an Oboronprom company) and AgustaWestland (a Finmeccanica company) announced that they have signed a Preliminary Agreement at the Farnborough International Airshow last week to jointly develop, produce and market an all-new 2.5 tonne class single-engine helicopter. The agreement was signed by Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland, and Russian Helicopters CEO, Dmitry Petrov. The overall programme will be shared on a 50/50 basis, with the new helicopter being designed for the worldwide market. AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters established the joint venture company HeliVert in 2010 to assemble AW139 helicopters at a new plant in Tomilino, near Moscow.
Italian luxury tax modified in response to industry concerns
The Italian Parliament has passed legislation that significantly modifies a number of new taxes on aircraft that were first approved in December. At the urging of NBAA and other stakeholders, the new measure allows non-Italian registered aircraft to spend up to 45 consecutive days in Italy before being subject to the tax. The legislation has been approved by both the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies. The legislation has been officially published and signed by the President, meaning that it is now law in Italy.
The new legislation contains the following provisions:
- The luxury tax applies only apply to non-Italian registered aircraft that spend more than 45 consecutive days in Italian territory. Any days the aircraft spends at an Italian maintenance facility do not count towards the 45 day allowance.
- Current interpretations of the law do not indicate that the 45 day allowance is calculated on a cumulative basis. In other words, private aircraft can spend up to 45 consecutive days in Italy per trip.
- Aircraft used in scheduled or non-scheduled commercial service are exempt from the luxury tax, but may be subject to the "aerotaxi" tax.
- Non-Italian aircraft that spend more than 45 days in the country are subject to the tax on a pro-rata basis.
- Charter or "aerotaxi" flights are subject to a 100 euro per passenger fee for flights less than 1500 km and a 200 euro per passenger fee for flights over 1500 km. This tax is designed to be paid by the charter operator. These taxes are due within 60 days of the new law becoming effective.
People: Bernard Ziegler receives the Flightglobal Lifetime Achievement Award
Bernard Ziegler, one of modern day commercial aviation’s most brilliant engineers and test pilots received the Flightglobal Lifetime Achievement Award last week at a ceremony at the 2012 International Farnborough Airshow. The award was handed over by Murdo Morrison, Editor of Flight International in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the aerospace industry. This prestigious award celebrates in particular the key contribution Bernard Ziegler made to the introduction of FBW for the first time ever on a commercial aircraft with the A320 in 1988. Following his career at the French Flight Test Centre, Bernard Ziegler joined Aerospatiale in 1970 with the creation of the Airbus Flight Test Department, of which he became Director.
On 28th October 1972, Bernard Ziegler flew as a test pilot on the first flights of the A310, A320 and A340-200. In June 1993, he participated in the longest flight ever undertaken by a civil aircraft, when an A340-200, dubbed the "World Ranger", flew around the world with just one stop in just over 48 hours. The crowning success of his career was his appointment as Airbus Senior Vice President Engineering, a position which he occupied until 1997. Bernard trained to become an engineer and a military test pilot at Polytechnique, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique and the Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Réception (EPNER).