On March 26 an NBAA and NATA working group met with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials to discuss the Federal Excise Tax (FET) issue. IRS auditors are applying the FET to management fees and expenses paid by Part 91 (non-commercial) operators to management companies.
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 Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) began its annual safety symposium with an attention-grabbing slide. It shows the accident rates for U.S. Part 121 airlines and all Part 135 operations for the years 2007-2011. The accident rate for all Part 135 operations is 0.60 per 100,000 flight hours, approximately four times worse than the airlines’ 0.159 per 100,000 flight hours.
When the financial crisis that exploded in late 2008 began to ravage Western economies in 2009 and 2010, the business aviation industry took well founded comfort from the fact that escalating demand from emerging markets farther east seemed to be shoring up otherwise sagging demand in traditional markets.
At NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers annual conference in San Antonio this week, private jet charter and aircraft management provider Excelaire announced that it has once again achieved Wyvern Wingman status.
The nation’s third-largest fractional jet program will continue to pursue a “stealth wealth” clientele while offering them customized solutions to their private aircraft travel needs beyond traditional fractional sales, and that may mean bringing more capital into the company, according to Flexjex president Deanna White.
Online booking portal Victor is aiming to dramatically increase available charter capacity almost ten-fold. As of the end of 2012, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time, and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter. Victor allows members to book aircraft directly for what it guarantees are fixed, all-inclusive rates and then offers individual seats for sale to other members.
Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group (Stand 624) has added a second Embraer Legacy 650 to its aircraft management fleet, which now numbers about 20 aircraft, including two Legacy 600s. Empire’s aircraft management philosophy “helps owners to optimize their investment and protect the long-term value of their aircraft asset,” according to the company, “covering all aspects of the aircraft’s operation, the option of charter and maintenance management.”
Saudi Arabia’s NasJet claims it is poised to grow revenues by 20 percent next year, after a healthy 6 percent gain during 2012. The increase, according to CEO Ghassan Hamdan, is due to growing aircraft management and operations support and more local charter agreements and charter business. In the first quarter of 2013, NasJet will open a new FBO at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in conjunction with Switzerland’s ExecuJet.
Avincis is the new name for World Helicopters, a firm that combined the Bond Aviation Group with Inaer when it took over the former last spring. The group, owned by KKR and Investindustrial, operates 400 aircraft, 350 of them helicopters.