Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.
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.
The fractional market has undergone severe contraction this year, with CitationAir nearly out of the business of commercial business jet operations, Bombardier’s Flexjet sold to Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital and Avantair forced into
While the charter industry has seen some changes this year, the fractional-share business is undergoing a wrenching transition, with the shutdown of Avantair and the announced sale of Bombardier’s Flexjet to Flight Options parent Directional Capital.
A surcharge that FlightSafety International had planned to assess for certain Part 135 training events beginning in August has been cancelled, a FlightSafety spokesman confirmed to AIN. The charge presumably would have helped cover costs of training check airmen to meet clarified FAA requirements that the check airman has “completed at least one air carrier’s initial training and qualification curriculum as a flight crewmember for an operator certificated under the same CFR part.”
Bombardier’s Flexjet subsidiary reported a strong first quarter, led by growth in new buyers as well as higher levels of activity by existing fractional-share, jet card and lease customers. In the first quarter, new business was up 83 percent, fractional share sales up 108 percent and jet card sales up 48 percent over the same period last year. “Our flying is not only up with all the new sales,” said Flexjet president Deanna White, “but also our existing customers are ramping up their flying time. People are starting to open their wallets again.”
Russia’s Avcom (Booth 2117) reports a 50 to 70 percent monthly increase in business for its Jet Travel Club (JTC), which was launched in April 2012. The club’s three Cessna CitationJets are now demonstrating monthly utilization rate of 55 flight hours each. A typical operation lasts one to three days and sees two to three business travelers flying domestic routes.
Online charter portal Stratajet (Booth 673) announced at EBACE that it’s ready to add European charter operators to its platform and will begin offering its Stratafleet online booking services to charter customers in the third quarter.
This summer Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat plans to add two premium classes to its Yonder high-speed Internet satellite telecom service, specifically to cater for the needs of business aviation. The new services–Yonder Premium and Yonder VIP–provide higher data rates, new quality of service assurances and enhanced network operations, as well as field engineering customer support.
China Business Aviation Group (CBAG, Booth H420), founded in 2010 by business aviation veteran Jason Liao, chairman and CEO, is continuing its efforts to boost the region’s business aviation industry and become its leading services provider. Here at ABACE yesterday it announced agreements with engine-care specialists Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI, Booth H418), flight crew employment agency ACASS (Booth H217) and business aircraft sales and charter company China Hongly Aviation Group.
Boeing Business Jets (Chalet 140) is pulling double duty here at ABACE 2013, showcasing the BBJ, the VIP version of the Seattle-based airframer’s 737 airliner, while simultaneously celebrating the 40th year of Boeing commercial sales in China and the delivery of the 1,000th Boeing airliner to the market, a 737-800 purchased by China Eastern Airlines.