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NBAA 09: Hawker Beechcraft’s Boisture sees 'protracted conflict', but reasons for optimism

In a military style press conference, Hawker Beechcraft leadership struck a confident note amid a tumultuous year that has taken its toll on the airframer.

Hawker Beechcraft chief executive Bill Boisture, dressed in a black military-style flight suit, saw a "protracted conflict", with the business jet market seeing recovery in late 2012 or early 2013. However, he is confident about the future of the marketplace and his company's ability to navigate industry "turbulence."

The question, Boisture said, is "not if we prevail, but when we prevail".

Boisture emphasized that the fundamentals of the business jet industry remain the same, with the goal of delivering efficiencies in time and cost to customers that airlines cannot meet.

"The airlines have fallen and they cannot get up," said Boisture.

Shawn Vick, Hawker Beechcraft executive vice-president, said the company has either met or exceeded its second and third quarter delivery targets across its business jet aircraft.

The company says it delivered 111 aircraft in the first half of 2009, 80% to non-US markets.

The company believes 2010 will be a difficult year, but adds that the re-engined and wingletted Premier II is on pace to fly in the quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, Hawker Beechcraft has selected two new Aircell (booth 5194) connectivity systems for its line of midsize Hawker business jets. Customers taking delivery of Hawker 750s and 900XPs in 2010 can install their choice of Aircell's High Speed Internet or SwiftBroadband solutions.

Hawker Beechcraft is the first business jet manufacturer to offer its customers a choice in connectivity solutions - one that operates over satellites and the other using air-to-ground technology.

"More so than ever before, we're seeing companies work hard to keep employees connected and productive while they travel and Aircell is a critical part of that effort," says John Wade, Aircell senior vice-president and general manager. "By far, Aircell High Speed Internet is the fastest system available to Hawker operators - it feels just like internet at a hotel or coffee shop," he adds.

Both systems will be available to Hawker Beechcraft customers as modular add-ons to the Aircell Axxess cabin communications system. A Hawker 750 demonstrator is flying with Aircell High Speed Internet and the first Hawker 750 demonstrator with Aircell's SwiftBroadband solution will enter service next month. Production systems for the various Hawker models will be available beginning in 2010.

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