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Monday, April 3, 2006

Supply Side

AIRINC

ARINC Direct has signed a SKYLink distribution agreement with Midcoast Aviation, one of the country's leading independent aircraft maintenance, modification, and completion providers. Under the agreement, Midcoast will sell and install the ARINC SKYLink ultra-high speed broadband communications solution for business aircraft.

Caribbean Star

Regional airlines in the eastern Caribbean might soon increase their services to the U.S. mainland. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to remove decade-long restrictions on their service to the country. The FAA elevated the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority to Category 1 status from Category 2 status, which means the FAA determined the ECCAA meets international standards for safety oversight. William "Skip" Barnette, president of Caribbean Star and its sister airline Caribbean Sun, said the region's new Category 1 status "will accelerate expansion plans already in development." The FAA Category 1 status means that Caribbean Star can begin service to the U.S., as well as other regional airlines such as LIAT. The nine-member ECCAA countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are association members.

Embraer

TAME Linea A鲥a del Ecuador, a state-owned Ecuadorian airline, took delivery of the first two 76-seat Embraer [ERJ] 170s at the manufacturer's headquarters in Sao Jos頤os Campos, Brazil. TAME is the first operator of E170/E190 aircraft in South America. TAME has ordered two E170s and one 104-seat E190, with deliveries to be completed in 2006. The Ecuadorian company also holds four options on aircraft of the E170/E190 family.

Embraer earlier this month held a meeting to further discuss its financial restructuring. The company's shareholders were set to hold a meeting on March 31 in an effort to approve its capital restructuring. The company's plan is aimed at extending voting rights to all Embraer shareholders, increasing share liquidity, adhering to more transparent standards, and broadening its base of controlling shareholders with voting rights. The new structure's main goal is to provide long-term growth opportunities for the manufacturer by facilitating access to the capital markets and increasing financing resources for future program developments. Embraer intends to expand its growth through debt and equity instruments and thereby become a stronger player in the business jet market, and also expand its defense operations.

Eurocontrol

A new forecast issued by Eurocontrol highlights the need for policymakers to plan for substantial increases in the numbers of flights across Europe as well as changes to the pattern of these flights over the coming seven years. The medium-term forecast of growth across Europe concludes that there will be over 11.4 million flights per year in Europe by 2012, 26 percent more than 2005. On average, this represents a growth of 3.3 percent each year. However the study finds that growth will not be uniform across the region, with some countries such as Romania, Ukraine and Armenia predicted to see growth of over 50 percent over the seven-year period, while others, such as Switzerland or Norway have growth predictions around 20 percent. The study also finds that growth in traffic will have a varying impact on airports across the continent. The development of high-speed trains is also predicted to have an impact on air traffic, reducing growth by about 80,000 flights or 1 percent in total over the period of the forecast. The forecast is available at http://www.eurocontrol.int/statfor/public/standard_page/forecast_reports.html.

Flight Options

Flight Options, LLC, a leading provider of fractional shares in business aircraft and a Raytheon Company [RTN], has become the first fractional aircraft operator approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to participate in an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). The goal of the program is to enhance aviation safety by encouraging flight crews to voluntarily report critical safety information, helping to pro-actively identify and correct hazards. ASAP was previously approved only for commercial airlines.

Wingspeed Corp.

Wingspeed Corp., a leading provider of affordable, end-to-end communication systems to aircraft fleet operators, announced the hiring of David Borkowski as Vice President of World Wide Sales. Borkowski will be responsible for the global sales of Wingspeed's XLLink Voice and Data Communications System product line.

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