Hawker Beechcraft has reported continued strong aircraft sales in the first quarter resulting in net bookings of $1.1 billion during the three months ending 30 March and a record backlog of $6.8 billion. However, a hitch with the super-mid-size Hawker 4000 resulted in the Wichita, Kansas-based airframer posting a $1.5 million operating loss for quarter. "The loss was the consequence of an $18.4 million charge related to early production Hawker 4000 aircraft," says the company. "This resulted from an increase in the cost to conform the early aircraft to the final type design." During the first three months Hawker Beechcraft delivered 20 jets - six Hawker 900XPs, two 800XP/850XPs, three 400XPs and nine Premier IAs and 29 King Air twin turboprops compared with 32 jets - 10 800XP/850XPs, seven 400XPs and 15 Premier IAs and 28 turboprops during the same period last year.


Canadian engineering company MJET has begun work on the its first VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ200 that will incorporate the Elisen Elite AFS 500 auxiliary fuel system. The aircraft will be operated by Corpac Canada of Calgary, Alberta when it enters service in January 2009. "MJET will completely reconfigure Corpac's aircraft and transform it from a 50-seat airliner into a 15-seat VIP business jet. The AFS 500, designed specifically for the CRJ100/200 series provides an additional 4,500lb [2,040kg] of fuel," says MJET.


Mercury Air Group has begun flight operations at the Royal Terminal in Kuwait - the largest private aviation terminal in the Middle East. The 9,290m2 (100,000ft2) fixed-base operation, owned by Royal Aviation Kuwait, cost $42 million to build and according to the company "raises the bar [for FBOs] in the Middle East".

Source: Flight International