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Fri, Feb 20, 2009

Hawker Beechcraft Fires Back At Media, Politicians On Bizjets

Emboldened Planemaker Goes On The Offensive

Many of America's most successful companies are under fire for owning business aircraft. Despite a massive outcry from an arguably misinformed public, those execs still need to fly... and Hawker Beechcraft Corporation says it's here to help.

After initially taking a light-hearted approach in regards to the furor against corporate aircraft, Hawker Beech goes on the offensive in its latest advertising campaign. The company says it plans to reach out to corporations who are under intense pressure to divest their business aircraft.

"Many in the media and some politicians have misrepresented business aircraft as a symbol of excess instead of an increasingly necessary business tool," said Charles Mayer, vice president of Marketing at HBC. "This negative stereotype is damaging the ability of American corporations to compete globally and, at the same time, jeopardizing thousands of American aviation jobs."

"Frankly, we are puzzled by this approach given the importance of aviation to the American economy," Mayer added. "It not only represents more than 5.5 percent of total GDP, but is an industry that America dominates globally. It is time to embrace our strongest industries, not destroy them."

In the first of a series of advertisements, HBC pens an open letter to Starbucks sharing support for the company's business aircraft needs via the headline, "Dear Starbucks, You Still Need To Fly. We're Here To Help."

As ANN reported, Starbucks put its brand-new Gulfstream G550 up for sale last month, after flying less than 20 cycles on the aircraft.

"Starbucks is a uniquely American success story with thousands of locations in more than 40 countries," Mayer said. "Like most successful corporations, Starbucks relies on business aircraft to manage and grow its business worldwide. We are here to help them fly even more efficiently than before by showing them how to right-size their flight department."

Mayer points to the Hawker 4000... which, like larger and much costlier aircraft, is ideally suited to intercontinental flights. With its industry-first composite construction that is lighter and stronger than aluminum, and its ability to carry eight passengers in stand-up, stretch-out comfort, the Hawker 4000 does most of what many corporations' bigger jets do, but at half the price.

"By right-sizing their fleet to the revolutionary Hawker 4000, Starbucks would give up almost nothing in capability, but gain a dramatic increase in efficiency -- something the media, politicians and even their shareholders will appreciate," Mayer said.

HBC's advertising campaign went public on Thursday, in national business publications including the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Financial Times and others.

FMI: www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

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