Hawker Beechcraft Inundates the Newsroom at EBACE

Press releases from Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) filled journalists' inboxes as EBACE opened its doors in Geneva this week. One of the new strategies announced there takes a page from premium automobile brands with a "certified" pre-owned aircraft program. Under the Hawker Beechcraft Select Pre-Owned Program, qualifying turbine aircraft (sorry, pistons aren't included) purchased through HBC will be sold with all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance covered for the first year or initial 150 hours of service. The policy covers airframe, engine and avionics maintenance and also includes initial training (at FlightSafety International) for flight crews. HBC also announced first quarter results: higher sales and reduced operating losses. Net sales increased $30.6 million over last year's Q1 results to $568.2 million, largely on the strength of an increase of $61.6 million in the military trainer market. The not-so-good news was a decline in business and general aviation segments of $32.8 million — representing 34 aircraft delivered compared with 57 in Q1 of 2009. Losses for Q1 this year totaled $25.1 million compared with $46 million last year. Finally, HBC released details on its Hawker 800-Series upgrade. The 800XPR incorporates updated Honeywell TFE731-50R turbofans and HBC-designed winglets. The result is a 7 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption and increased maintenance intervals of some 30 percent. Performance increases include improved range and hot/high performance. Certification of the upgrades is pending, and HBC is offering introductory deals in the meantime.