Regional fractional aircraft provider Executive AirShare received temporary FAA authorization to use the Apple iPad Mini as a Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB) in its fleet of Learjet 45XRs, Phenom 100s and 300s and King Airs. This authorization is the first step needed to gain full authority for paperless cockpits, which is expected in the first quarter of next year. With the provisional approval, Executive AirShare pilots can perform basic and advanced functions previously performed using paper documents, but flight crews must still carry printed charts as a backup.
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.
Denver-based air charter firm Mountain Aviation was acquired by an unidentified private investment group earlier this week. Rich Bjelkevig, who founded the turboprop and jet charter firm in 1993, will continue to serve as the company’s president. Cam Kenyon, previously the executive vice president of operations at WestJet Airlines and the president of Lynx Aviation in Denver, has been appointed Mountain Aviation’s executive director.
The two U.S. humanitarian aid workers who contracted Ebola while working in Africa and were flown to the U.S. aboard a specially outfitted Phoenix Air Gulfstream III were released after successful treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Nancy Writebol, who worked for ministry SIM International and was flown back on August 5, was discharged yesterday; Dr.
Online business jet charter broker JetCharters.com has seen a “significant increase” in its business in the first half of this year, with 61 percent more visitors and trip requests through its website. “The majority of our increased business is coming from our concentrated efforts to promote the service through a variety of search engine marketing, social media campaigns and other ad placements,” said company president Robert Hart.
Air charter broker Sentient Jet is seeing a “resurgence” in both business and leisure travel, the company announced today. In the first five months of this year, corporate travel (Monday through Wednesday) increased 10 percent year-over-year, while leisure travel (Friday through Sunday) jumped 17 percent, according to the company. For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, private jet bookings are up 37 percent over last year and 289 percent above 2012, it noted.
Textron Aviation confirmed to AIN that it will terminate flight operations at its former fractional and charter/management operation, CitationAir, on October 31. The move comes 2.5 years after CitationAir stopped selling fractional shares in new aircraft and ceased renewals for current fractional-share customers in February 2012, saying at that time it would instead focus on its jet card and aircraft management products. The company is now abandoning even that modest plan.
Surf Air placed an order for up to 65 Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprop singles–15 firm and 50 options–worth an estimated $312 million, the company told AIN. It has also raised another $8 million in funding, for a total of $17 million. Deliveries of the new PC-12s begin in October, with three planned this year and nine next year.
NetJets subsidiary NetJets China successfully completed proving runs in China, the fourth phase in the process to receive an air operator certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The proving runs were conducted just over a week ago in two Hawker 800s that will be the first aircraft in the NetJets China fleet.
Demand for charter flights in Europe looks set to increase steeply over the remainder of the continent’s peak summer vacation season, according to the latest projections from online charter portal Avinode.
Revenue at Berkshire Hathaway’s service business, which includes NetJets and FlightSafety International, rose by $507 million, to $4.9 billion, during the first half of the year, while profits climbed by $72 million, to $605 million. NetJets accounted for nearly a third of this revenue increase, thanks to higher flight services revenue attributable to more flight hours, as well as better rates and product mix changes. FlightSafety’s revenue also climbed due to increased simulator training activity.