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HBC exec enthusiastic about sales
HBC exec enthusiastic about sales

Despite turmoil in the U.S. credit market, there are no signs that the market for general aviation aircraft is slowing, Hawker Beechcraft Corp.´ s top executive told analysts Tuesday.

"We are enjoying a very strong U.S. market," Hawker Beechcraft chief executive Jim Schuster said.

International sales are also strong. Half of the company´s record $ 5.2 billion backlog orders are outside the U.S., and the company has expanded its international sales organization.

"There´s tremendous excitement coming out of this Dubai Airshow that suggests we´re going to see a lot of growth" in the Middle East, Schuster said.

The air show opened Sunday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and runs through Thursday.

"We feel very, very good about the prospects for this business," Schuster said.

Schuster spoke to analysts about the company´s third-quarter financial results released last week.

The company recorded third-quarter sales of 1 million. It delivered 106 aircraft compared with 95 in the same quarter a year ago.

Deliveries of T-6A Texan II aircraft are expected to resume in the first quarter of next year, Schuster said.

Shipments were suspended because of supplier compliance issues on parts specifications, the company said.

Deliveries of Premier 1A aircraft, which also were suspended, resumed in October.

The company is working hard to make its first Hawker 4000 business jet deliveries before the end of the year.

But the time frame is "nip and tuck," Schuster said. There are many details to finish before deliveries can begin. But the company still expects to deliver three Hawker 4000s this year.

"It´s going to come right down to the wire," he said.


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