Clay Lacy Aviation (Booth No. 2520) of Van Nuys, Calif. and Chicago’s Priester Aviation have announced a strategic alliance aimed at creating a nationwide service for management, charter, maintenance and all other aircraft services. Both companies will retain their independent brands while working to provide each other’s clients additional value wherever possible. Clay Lacy and Priester have a combined fleet of almost 100 managed aircraft throughout the U.S., 70 of them charter-ready.
Charter and Fractional
News and issues concerning the aviation charter and fractional-ownership industries and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Meridian Air Charter, based in Teterboro, N.J., is expanding its operations to the West Coast as part of a long-term plan to serve existing clients better, while developing its charter and aircraft management services in the San Francisco area. The two-phase expansion involves opening California sales offices in San Jose and at Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa. The San Jose office opened in September and the Santa Rose office is scheduled to open in November. In the second phase of its West Coast expansion, Meridian Air Charter (Booth No.
Aircraft management company and charter operator ExcelAire (Booth No. 1143) announced the addition of a fourth Embraer Legacy 600 to its charter rolls, giving the company the largest fleet of Legacy jets in the Northeast. The added Legacy and its crew will be certified to operate into and out of London City Airport midway through next year, adding to its appeal for transatlantic charters. “We pioneered the Legacy charter market in the U.S., and it has since become one of our most popular aircraft,” said David Rimmer, president of the Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based company.
Arguably nowhere on earth is the business case for seaplanes more compelling than in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives with its 1,190 islands (200 of them inhabited). The scattered nation, situated 250 miles southwest of India, has the world’s largest fleet of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, offering high-end tourists a time-saving alternative to the boat connections between its low-lying islands spread over 35,000 square miles.
More than 15 years after selling his Business Air commuter operation to British Midland Airways, Ian Woodley once again occupies the left seat as executive chairman of BMI Regional.
The Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) is seeking to broaden its membership base during this week’s Jet Expo show in Moscow. The group changed its structure earlier this year so that it is no longer confined to representing purely Russian aircraft owners and operators. It now wants to attract the support of international business aviation manufacturers and service providers.
Companies interviewed for this year’s fractional and charter market special report indicate that business is decent, although nowhere near the pre-recession pace of 2005 and 2006. The fractional-share business, at one time assumed by many to be dying or at least permanently flat, is growing, but still at a slow rate.
The FAA recently issued a legal opinion that allows Part 135 pilots to check tire pressure on all certified aircraft using Crane Aerospace & Electronics’ SmartStem wireless tire pressure monitoring system. According to Crane, there are currently no other products on the market that allow Part 135 pilots to check their own tires.
The U.S government’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is auditing aircraft management firms and trying to impose the federal excise tax (FET) on fees charged by the firms to aircraft owners. According to industry sources, IRS agents are targeting major charter/management firms, although the firms allegedly being audited didn’t wish to speak to AIN about their experience with the IRS.
Southeast England is going to be a busy place from the middle of July to mid-August as visitors and competitors converge on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and planning earlier than usual is going to be the key for business aviation operators hoping to get in and out of London-area airports, although they could still face delays.