UK firm launches block-charter program

 - September 25, 2006, 10:15 AM

UK operator Club328 has launched a block-charter program called SkyClub. The entry-level package gives customers 10 hours in six-seat Raytheon Premier Is for £30,000 ($52,500).

In December, Club328 bought four low-time pre-owned Premier Is from Raytheon Aircraft. The first two had entered service by the middle of last month and the other two were due to join the Southampton-based operation by the end of this month.

SkyClub customers can also buy blocks of hours in Club328’s other aircraft: a 15-seat Dornier 328Jet and a 12-seat Dornier 328 turboprop twin, as well as a Hawker 700 and 800. Having recently acquired the assets of AvCraft, the company wants to add more 328Jets to its fleet.

Club328 would not provide prices for SkyClub membership covering the other aircraft types or larger blocks of hours. It said that other packages would be priced according to each client’s requirements and factors such as whether a mix of aircraft might be required for different trips, the customer’s flight profile and the airports that are to be used.

Officially, SkyClub customers need to give 72 hours’ notice to guarantee that their aircraft type is available. However, Club328 said that aircraft would likely be available with 24 hours’ notice. If the chosen type is not available with 72 hours’ notice, the operator will provide a free upgrade or offer a smaller aircraft at a reduced per-hour rate.

SkyClub customers purchase flight hours annually, and they can roll over any number of unused hours into the following year.