Charter Industry Changes May Have Significant Effects

 - July 8, 2008, 1:23 PM

Charter volume is dropping significantly in some markets, according to information provided to AIN by charter industry insiders. Recent increases in the size of the business aviation fleet are contributing to this problem, said William Quinn Jr., chairman of Aviation Management Systems in Portsmouth, N.H. “If the demand stays the same or even grows just a smidgen,” he explained, “the supply is going [to grow] at a far greater rate than the demand. Most all of the fractional players have matured to the point where they are beyond the so-called critical mass. So their need for charter has dropped off considerably in the past three to five years and I think that will continue. We are also in an election year, and that tends to cause people to back off on making buying and spending decisions.” Changes in the charter business may be having an effect on one of the largest charter/management companies, Sentient Flight Group. Charter industry sources report that Sentient is experiencing cash-flow problems and that leadership changes may be imminent. One source reported that some vendors have placed Sentient on cash-on-delivery status. A Sentient spokesman offered “no comment” when asked about these issues.