French executive charter operator and broker Aviaxess has launched what it claims to be the first frequent flyer loyalty program in the business aviation market. It is promoting the new Aviacard here at the Paris Air Show in association with its partner Breitling, whose exclusive watches are among the rewards that customers can earn through the new program.
Aviacard is intended to provide incentives for occasional users of business aircraft to become more frequent charter clients.
After logging specified numbers of flight hours, customers earn rewards such as complimentary hotel accommodations, invitations to movie previews, valet services and the aforementioned Breitling watches.
The credited hours do not expire, unlike many airline frequent flyer programs. Aviaxess intends to add to its list of partner companies, thus expanding the choice of rewards available to Aviacard holders.
The flight hours can be earned either by chartering Aviaxess’s own fleet of helicopters or by booking fixed-wing charters through the firm’s brokering division. Since 2003, the Paris-based company has been an official sales representative for Bombardier’s Skyjet International block charter program whose bookings now earn Aviacard credits.
Last year, Aviaxess introduced its own Corporate Helicard to provide discounted block charter rates for helicopter flights. The service is targeted especially at clients wanting rotorcraft connections to and from fixed-wing charters or airline services. Helicopter charter time is sold in blocks of 25, 50 or 100 at fixed rates that apply anywhere in Europe.
The hourly rates vary according to which of the Aviaxess helicopters a customer chooses to use. The introductory prices are approximately ?25,500 ($33,000) for a 25-hour block of flight time.
Aviaxess has recently taken delivery of three new helicopters: two Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350BA/B2s and a Robinson R44 Raven 2. In total, its fleet now includes 13 rotorcraft.
Through its alliance of operators initiated in 2002, Aviaxess has access to a fleet of 38 helicopters based throughout Europe.
In France, Aviaxess is based at airports and helipads close to business centers, such as the Paris-area Issy-les-Moulineaux and La Défense, and the French Riviera gateway Toulon.