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Thu, Feb 12, 2009

Hawker Beechcraft Pitches King Airs To Newly-Frugal Execs

Tongue-In-Cheek Campaign Touts Efficiency Over Jets

After being pummeled for the past four months on the sales balance sheet, and in the court of public opinion, manufacturers of business aircraft are going on the offensive against accusations their products represent corporate largesse.

On the heels of Cessna's very public appeal for corporate executives to stand their ground against uninformed protests, on Wednesday rival Hawker Beechcraft took a more light-hearted approach... noting its King Air 350 turboprop is much more efficient than a business jet for most trips.

"If the three Detroit CEOs had arrived in Washington in the Beechcraft King Air 350, they might have received a warmer reception from their legislative hosts," Hawker Beech notes in its latest advertising campaign, addressing the recent political and media frenzy surrounding business aviation with what the company believes is a quite sensible alternative -- the King Air 350, billed by HBC as "the world's greenest and highly efficient aircraft.

"In comparison to the Gulfstream one of the CEOs was spotted in, the King Air 350 would have arrived in DC roughly 15 minutes later, yet saved approximately 220 gallons of fuel and thousands of dollars in operating costs," the company notes.

"We are having a little fun with the Detroit CEOs in this advertisement," said Charles Mayer, vice president of Marketing. "More importantly, this is an opportunity to show a sensible way for this type of business travel and the value of the aircraft manufacturing industry. Our industry not only offers valuable business tools that dramatically increase efficiency, it also contributes $150 billion annually to the U.S. economy and employs more than one million Americans."

Hawker Beech notes that with best-in-class fuel efficiency and a lower operating cost per seat-mile than any light jet, the King Air 350 is one of the greenest aircraft in the sky. It also boasts the largest cabin in its category.

FMI: www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

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