Falcon 900LX Selected by UK Ministry of Defence for VIP Transport
Two Dassault Falcon 900LX business jets will enter service with the Royal Air Force, providing VIP transport for senior defence and government officials. Due to begin operating this summer, they will replace a fleet of four BAe 146 aircraft, upgrading range capability and substantially reducing operating expense, fuel consumption and emissions.
The aircraft are being acquired directly by aircraft management and services company Centerline AV Limited of Bristol, UK, which will operate and support the 900LX units on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Centerline will initially operate the aircraft with mixed civilian and RAF crews.
The 900LX’s will replace the esteemed BAe146 in what the UK MoD terms ‘Command Support Air Transport’—transporting senior defence and government officials and occasionally members of the Royal Family. The aircraft were acquired in an open tender against various other business aircraft models.
The 900LX is known for its robust construction, reliability, superior handling and excellent short-field capability. Its classic trijet configuration is valued by many operators for its ability to allow more direct overwater routings with an extra margin of safety.
“Dassault Aviation is honoured to have been selected to provide these two Falcon 900LX’s to Centerline for use by the UK Ministry of Defence, and we look forward to strengthening this relationship over the coming years,” said Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. “With more than 550 airplanes sold to date, the 900-series aircraft is a proven performer and is entrusted with critical missions throughout the world by governments and leading businesses.”
The 12-14 seat 900LX has a range of 4,750 nm (8,800 km). As with all Falcons, the 900LX benefits from Dassault’s fighter heritage, which ensures superior aerodynamics and responsiveness during flight. The aircraft’s EASy II flight deck, with its large screens, sharp graphics and intuitive features, assures optimal crew coordination and situational awareness.
Dassault Aviation has a factory service network encompassing 40 locations worldwide, including major facilities in the UK operated through its TAG Maintenance Services brand.
First Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 Enters into Service Following FAA Certification
Textron Aviation celebrated the first delivery of the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 light jet on 4 April 2022, following the completion of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification. Elite Team Offices, headquartered in Clovis, California, recently took delivery of the first production Citation M2 Gen2. The milestone comes less than six months after Textron Aviation announced the latest model during the 2021 National Business Aviation Association – Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition.
“We redefined the entry-level light jet segment when we brought the Citation M2 to market in 2013, and with this integration of next generation interior technology and design, we know the M2 Gen2 will continue to be among the most popular light jet models,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Customer Experience. “We’re thrilled to get this airplane into the hands of the customers who helped shape it. Guy Stockbridge and his Elite Team Offices operation represent the ideal customer for the M2 Gen2: a first-time aircraft owner whose missions demand a versatile aircraft with performance and cabin amenities often found only in larger jets.”
Stockbridge, owner of Elite Team Offices, started his enterprise as a home-based landscape maintenance business in 1987. Today Elite Team Offices employs more than 500 people across its landscape, landscape management, renewable energy civil grading, vertical and development construction companies spread across the entire nation.
“We are excited beyond explanation on finally owing our own light jet and what it will do for me, my wife, our teammates and clients,” Stockbridge said. “Knowing we can get to any project we have across the United States in hours seems unbelievable and amazing at the same time. We are looking forward to flying out of Wichita in our new M2 Gen2 jet straight to one of our solar projects in Arizona and be at home in the same day. What a blessing!”
Textron Aviation’s investment in reimagining the interior of the Citation M2 platform strengthens the model’s focus on pilot and passenger comfort as well as productivity. With a thoughtfully designed interior from front to back, the M2 Gen2 brings an enhanced cabin experience that includes premium interior styling, ambient accent lighting, remastered illuminated cupholders and a newly designed optional folding side-facing seat that converts into additional cargo storage.
Productivity has been bolstered with the latest technology in the cabin such as wireless charging capabilities and USB-A and USB-C ports at each cabin seat. In the cockpit, three inches of legroom has been added to the co-pilot position for enhanced comfort. Additionally, cabin entry threshold materials have been improved for durability and maintainability.
The Citation M2 Gen2 has a maximum cruise speed of 404 knots true airspeed (464 miles per hour) and a range of 1,550 nautical miles. The aircraft can operate at airports with runways as short as 3,210 feet and can climb to 41,000 feet in 24 minutes. The Citation M2 Gen2 is designed for single-pilot operation and features two Williams FJ44 engines, updated touch-controlled Garmin G3000 avionics and seating for seven passengers.
Cessna Citations has delivered more than 5,000 light jets delivered throughout the world, from the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2, to the upgraded efficiency and comfort of the CJ3+ and the versatile CJ4 Gen2.
Qatar Airways Launches New Brand Refresh Campaign
Qatar Airways launched a new brand refresh campaign inviting people to ‘Let’s Fly’ as the world reopens and travellers once again take to the skies in search of new experiences and memories. With trips postponed, family occasions missed and friends disconnected over the last two years, the new campaign encourages people to start an exceptional journey of discovery from the moment they step onboard a Qatar Airways aircraft.
Embracing the iconic Qatar Airways colour, a burgundy carpet inspires travellers to journey to the locations of their dreams, while a new specially created song, also titled ‘Let’s Fly,’ invites them to let the airline ‘take you somewhere new’ to experience ‘burgundy sunset sky’, again leveraging on the distinctive brand colour of the airline. When passengers enter the aircraft, their trip becomes a reality and the memories begin as they are welcomed by the award-winning cabin crew who are the embodiment of the Qatar Airways’ five-star service.
As one of the only airlines to never stop flying during the pandemic, Qatar Airways has regrown its network to almost 150 global destinations, with around 500 daily flights taking people to where they want to go. Inspiration and excitement of every form lie in wait – strolling through parks on an unforgettable city break, tiptoeing across the sand on the relaxing beach vacation of a lifetime, getting up close with wildlife on an African safari or simply reuniting with family and friends after time spent apart.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “The world has faced many challenges over the past two years and, as people begin to once again travel for leisure, we hope this latest brand campaign will inspire people to have the confidence to take to the skies once more and experience an exceptional journey with the World’s Best Airline. It is our mission to invite travellers, wherever they are in the world, to create memories for our passengers and ensure the journey is part of their experience, not just a way to get to their destination. We really do roll out the burgundy carpet for everyone on board to showcase the unparalleled levels of product and service excellence experienced when flying with Qatar Airways.”
Qatar Airways is the first global airline in the world to achieve the 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. This follows the success of HIA as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.
For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and at HIA, head over to qatarairways.com/safety
Photo credits: Respective brands
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