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Monday, March 20, 2006

Supply Side


AeroRepublica of Bogota, Colombia, has placed a firm order for five Embraer [ERJ] 190s with options for an additional 20 aircraft. Deliveries will begin in November 2006. AeroRepublica will be the first to fly the new jet in the Colombian market. The airline will configure the aircraft with 108 seats in a single class layout. The aicracft will be used to serve AeroRepublica's domestic routes and to develop international markets. The jets also will play a role in AeroRepublica's new strategic partnership with Copa Airlines of Panama, which also operates the E190, to expand its network and coordinate flight schedules.

Two new Legacy 600 business aircraft have been sold in Asia, expanding to eight the Legacy 600 fleet in the region. The two new jets will be delivered in 2006. One will be operated by Jakarta-based PT Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (Premiair) and the other by an undisclosed company in the region. Asia is seeing a strong resurgence in business aircraft demand due to the economic recovery after the downturn of the 1990s.

Adam Aircraft

Craig Johnson has joined the firm as Chief Operating Officer, coming from Northrop Grumman. His experience in aircraft development and manufacturing will be a major contribution to Adam's success. The designer and manufacturer produces the A500 twin-piston aircraft, while the A700 AdamJet is currently undergoing flight test and development. The company has a $750 million order backlog, and Johnson's production experience will be employed to quickly ramp up deliveries to six aircraft per month. Adam Aircraft has 300 orders for its A700 AdamJet, which it expects to have certified by the end of the year.

Eclipse Aviation

Eclipse Aviation has begun production on its first very light jet plane. The first customer, business owner and pilot David Crowe, placed his order in May 2000. He will receive his Eclipse 500 this summer. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to certify the aircraft in late June. The company has 2,400 orders for the Eclipse 500, more than five years after it moved its operations to New Mexico. The $1.5 million twin-engine, six-seat aircraft will access smaller airports away from the hubs commercial airlines frequent. As it ramps up production to 130 jet airplanes this year, Eclipse will nearly double its work force to 1,000 employees by the end of the year. In addition to Eclipse and Adam Aircraft, Cessna hopes to have a similar jet FAA-certified by the end of the year. Cessna has 200 to 300 orders for its Citation Mustang, which is sold out through mid-2009.

Raytheon Aircraft Co.

The company has certified the newest aircraft in the Hawker family, the Hawker 850XP. With Raytheon Aircraft-designed winglets, the aircraft is the next evolution of the highly successful Hawker 800-series. It is part of a strategically planned sequence of upgrades for the Hawker fleet of airplanes that began with the Hawker 400XP in May of 2003. The winglets are constructed of lightweight, composite material and are installed to enhance aerodynamic performance while not impacting airframe inspection schedules. The range of the Hawker 850XP has been increased by 100 nautical miles. Other performance improvements include an up to 8 percent improvement in time-to-climb plus faster airspeeds and block speeds.

Island Air

Sabre Airline Solutions has automated the Hawaii-based carrier's flight operations by implementing the Sabre Flight Control Suite, which allows the recently independent airline to operate competitive schedules that serve passenger demand while meeting dispatch requirements and overcoming disruptions to schedules. The software and services upgrade was completed in less than 30 days. It includes a system for movement control and crew management. Island Air, acquired by Gavarnie Holding LLC in 2004 and now independent from the Aloha Airgroup, is Hawaii's leading regional carrier.

China's Infrastructure

China aims to spend about US$17.4 billion to expand its airport infrastructure over the next five years to meet robust air traffic demand, state media said. Beijing plans to build 44 airports by 2010 and upgrade existing facilities, especially in major cities, the Shanghai Securities News said. That will bring the number of airports in China to 186 by 2010, when Shanghai hosts the World Expo and two years after the Beijing Olympics. China's carriers are expected to have 1,580 aircraft by 2010, up from 863 now, putting more pressure on existing facilities.

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