ExcelAire Exec Bullish on Charter Demand in 2010
David Rimmer, executive vice president of Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based ExcelAire, told AIN that he believes the aircraft charter industry is now entering its next upcycle. He said he is “cautiously optimistic” that charter demand will continue to improve this year, barring “any new surprises in the economy.” He claimed the attacks on business aviation from politicians in Washington are now but a distant memory, bringing even the shiest customers back. According to Rimmer, ExcelAire was on the lower end of the 20- to 60-percent erosion in charter demand last year, adding that his firm is now “holding steady.” ExcelAire has seen charter demand for super-midsize and heavy business jets increase over the past few months, with the Embraer Legacy 600, Bombardier Globals and Gulfstream GV topping its list of most requested aircraft. Charter rates are beginning to firm up, Rimmer said, though some of the more “desperate” charter operators are still discounting heavily, with “some rates barely covering fuel costs.” At present, the most common form of charter discounting, however, are breaks on daily minimum charges, he said.