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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.