27 MAY 2013
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Some 12,353 delegates met at Geneva last week for the 13th annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE 2013). BTN will report in full next week but a synopsis is not out of place.
Despite the grey clouds and showers there was optimism in the air – out in the static, where 52 business jets and turboprops were displayed, and in the halls. Here, 460 exhibitors took up more square footage than ever. Highlights included the unveiling of a brand new versatile light jet from Pilatus, the PC-24 – with an attractive price tag. Eurocopter showed off a VIP configured EC-175 super mid-size business helicopter and NetJets’ 75-strong firm order formally launched the new Challenger 350.
Actor John Travolta, Challenger ambassador and passionate aviator, gave a short (and packed) press conference to talk up the aircraft’s credentials. Flying the aircraft made him feel like an astronaut, he declared. Bombardier was celebrating 50 years of the Learjet at EBACE, and brought along the latest Learjet 75 for its show debut. Embraer showcased its new Legacy 500 mid-size and Dassault was celebrating 50 years of aircraft production.
At the press conferences the manufacturers highlighted that new emerging markets – in Asia, Africa and South America – are driving business aviation growth. The African Business Aviation Association, formally launched at EBACE in 2012, especially enjoyed a great show. Alison Chambers reports in full next week.
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