Inside these posts: Aviation services

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Execs return to private planes as economy improves

Private planes at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, N.J. (AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky)

U.S. executives, including those at government-owned General Motors, are getting back on corporate planes as the economy slowly recovers.

While airlines still account for the majority of corporate travel, many businesses are gradually returning to private planes. They are eager to avoid airport hassles, flight delays and other potential logistical snags associated with commercial flying. For some companies, corporate jets are also a better value.

“We appear to be off the bottom,” said Dan Hubbard of the National Business Aviation Association trade group that represents companies that own and charter planes. “We seem to be seeing things stabilize at this point.” Get the full story »

Boeing to test China biofuel

Boeing Co., in cooperation with Air China Ltd. and others, plans to test a commercial-jet biofuel in China produced from a locally grown plant by the middle of 2011-part of an effort to commercialize cleaner fuels world-wide and bolster China’s potential as a biofuel provider.

Boeing first tested a biofuel on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 jet in early 2008 in London. It has since conducted similar tests a few more times, each time experimenting with different types of biofuels on different engines. The China demonstration flight, expected to be conducted by May or June next year, would be Boeing’s sixth such demonstration flight using a biofuel, said a Boeing executive, Al Bryant, in an interview Monday with The Wall Street Journal. Get the full story »

Airlines want 20% export financing cap

Leading airlines have called on Europe and the United States to cap export credits on the sale of passenger jets at 20 percent in the latest ripple of a growing spat over multi-billion-dollar subsidies.

U.S. and European airlines say their Gulf rivals get subsidies and export credits that allow them to grow at a breakneck pace and take market share. Get the full story »

Commercial aviation grounds AAR 4Q earnings

AAR Corp.’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings dropped 21 percent as the aircraft leasing and maintenance company waits for its commercial aviation business to pick up.

The company has warned that recovery in its commercial-airlines business has been less robust than expected. The recession skewered that market, with a drop in travel and tight credit forcing AAR’s commercial-airline customers to cut back. However, the company’s sales to defense contractors have held up. Get the full story »