Prospects for private aircraft charter in the month leading up to the Christmas and New Year holidays appear markedly stronger in North America than in Europe, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode.
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News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Under a new partnership announced yesterday, Argus’s charter aircraft operator ratings and search filtering are now part of CharterPad’s online charter marketplace. CharterPad is also increasing the number of Argus-rated operators in its system, with nearly half of all such operators having joined CharterPad. Besides the Argus ratings, CharterPad’s main dashboard also includes a link directly to the aviation services company’s TripCheq system, which provides charter customers with a comprehensive analysis of a company’s credentials specific to a trip.
Charter broker BlackJet has suspended per-seat bookings while it seeks capital to launch would-be signature charter service, CEO Dean Rotchin told AIN. BlackJet, the rebranded and remodeled Greenjet per-seat charter provider that sold seats on business jet flights between Florida and the U.S. Northeast, intends to replicate its predecessor’s membership-based service on a transcontinental scale, with a seat for a coast-to-coast flight costing about $3,500.
Travel Management Company completed activation of the Aircell ATG 2000 onboard system on its charter fleet of 37 Hawker 400XPs, providing wireless high-speed Internet service from a passenger smartphone or tablet via Aircell’s Gogo Biz.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based operator claims to be “the largest charter operator and owner of Hawker 400XPs and 800/850XPs in the country.” The fleet of 30 Hawker 800/850XPs was previously equipped with a mix of Aircell’s ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 packages and Gogo Biz, also allowing a wireless connection via smartphone or tablet.
Private jet charter broker Sentient Jet said today that its travel bookings for the November and December holiday season have increased more than 70 percent over last year’s holiday season, “reflecting the continued resurgence” in private aviation. Popular travel destinations emerging so far during this holiday season include Palm Beach, Fla.; Aspen, Colo.; and New York City.
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the Pilatus PC-24 yesterday afternoon at the Dubai Airshow. The new twinjet, which was launched in May at EBACE, combines light-jet operating economics with super-midsize jet capabilities and comfort and is aimed at more conventional offerings from Cessna and Embraer.
The recently appointed head of Saudi Arabia-based luxury charter firm Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) said Middle East charter demand growth stood at 8 percent this year, exceeding the worldwide industry figure, but behind Russia, India and the Asia Pacific region.
Faisal G. Kayal, managing director of SPA, said the region is witnessing “strong economic growth.” Kayal replaced Wajdi Al Idrissi, the former head of the company, in May.
Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based jet charter company, announced yesterday a decision to completely renew its fleet by 2020. The company has been exploring options with various OEMs for the past 12 months, but is expected to remain a key Boeing Business Jet customer.
Charter operator Gainjet (Stand 2306) recently expanded its fleet with the addition of a 68-seat VIP-configured Boeing 737-400. The Greece-based group has made a specialty of operating former Boeing airliners, with two other 737s already in service (one with 48 seats and the other with 60 seats). The fleet also includes a very spacious 62-seat 757-200.
In what the organizers claim is a first, an aircraft–in this case a chartered Dassault Falcon 900B carrying 12 photographers and amateur astronomers on November 3–was used to intercept an extremely short total solar eclipse with a “perpendicular crossing” of the eclipse path. While aircraft have previously been used to capture solar eclipses, they flew with the eclipse path and waited for the shadow to catch up with the airplane.
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