Leading US fractional-ownership company NetJets has confirmed its order for 50 Hawker 4000s, giving Raytheon Aircraft’s super mid-size business jet a welcome boost as it approaches much-delayed final certification.


The aircraft will be delivered between 2007 and 2013, and the deal, worth over $1 billion, includes a 10-year guaranteed maintenance programme. NetJets already operates 24 Hawker 400XP light jets and 65 mid-size Hawker 800XPs.

Raytheon expects final certification of the all-new Hawker 4000 – formerly the Horizon – by year-end, following completion of function and reliability and icing flight tests. One test aircraft has completed more than 200h of operational readiness testing.

The company plans a slow production ramp-up to minimise service-entry problems, delivering 11 aircraft next year, 16 in 2007 and 24 in 2008 before stabilising at 30 a month from 2009 onwards, says Hawker president and general manager Brad Hatt.

The Hawker 4000 deal is NetJets’ first major fleet announcement since it placed a $360 million order for 50 Hawker 400XPs and eight more 800XPs in December 2003. Faced with increased demand from shareowners and holders of Marquis Jet Cards, the company has been struggling with a shortage of aircraft.

“When the market recovery began in mid-2004, we were conservative about whether it was robust,” says NetJets president Bill Boisture. “By the time we convinced ourselves it could be sustained and went to the market to get lift, the backlogs at the manufacturers meant we were looking at long lead times to get aircraft.” He expects the situation to improve during 2006 and into 2007.


Source: Flight International