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Cessna, Hawker share prized order
Cessna, Hawker share prized order

Asian business jet operator BJets has placed an order for up to 50 business jets worth more than $ 600 million with Wichita planemakers Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna Aircraft.

It´s the largest single aircraft order in Asia, BJets officials said.

Deliveries will take place over a five-year period beginning in the first quarter of 2008.

The order includes 20 Cessna Citation CJ2 Plus jets, nine Hawker 850XPs and 11 Hawker 900XPs. It also includes options for an additional 10 jets. With options, the order is worth more than $ 450 million to Hawker Beechcraft, the company said.

The aircraft will serve India and Southeast Asia and make BJets the largest operator of private jets in Asia, the company said.

It will offer fractional ownership, charter service and aircraft management services.

The company is based in Mumbai, India, and Singapore. Operations in India are expected to begin by the end of March. In the next five years, the company said it will hire more than 550 people, including more than 250 pilots.

BJets was founded by entrepreneur Bala Ramamoothry and the Tata Group, an India business conglomerate.

The order was scheduled to be announced today at the Singapore Airshow. The show runs today through Friday.

Also from Singapore:

• Cessna announced an order for 20 172 Skyhawk single-engine piston aircraft from Chimes Aviation in India. It includes 11 172R aircraft for immediate delivery and nine turbo-diesel models for delivery later this year.

The planes will be used for flight training by Chimes Aviation Academy in Madhya Pradesh, India. It plans to add a second location by October.

• Cessna received an order for six Model 208B Grand Caravan turboprop aircraft from Susi Air of Indonesia. The company will take delivery in 2009 and 2010. Susi operates eight Grand Caravans and will take delivery of two more in the first quarter of this year.

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