Charter Brokers Predict Increasing Demand

 - October 14, 2008, 11:43 AM

The charter industry is increasingly optimistic, according to two charter brokerage firms. Chief Executive Air CEO Jeffrey Menaged said business jet and fractional owners are now turning to charter as a way to reduce overhead and save money. “Even during fiscally challenging times, travel remains a necessity for many people,” he said. “We feel that in today’s volatile market people are looking to preserve cash and capital. Private jet charter requires no initial investment and allows people to pay as they go.” Jackson Hole, Wyo.-based New Flight Charters reported an 18-percent increase in sales during the third quarter compared with the second quarter, with sales up by 27 percent year-to-date over the same period last year. “In these economic times private flyers are reaching out more than ever from old-model, high-investment jet card and fractional programs, and taking advantage of our lower one-way and round-trip pricing,” asserted New Flight Charters president Rick Colson. The claimed increases contradict what some operators have reported, however. Crystal Air Aviation president and CEO Robert Salvo said charter broker activity has declined, adding that only 20 percent of his business now comes from brokers. In the past, brokers supplied 80 percent of his business.