Air charter operator VistaJet, which has a fixed-wing fleet of large-cabin Bombardier jets, has been “testing” short-distance point-to-point service with an AgustaWestland AW109 GrandNew over the past year. The helicopter is based in St. Moritz and has been used to fly customers on short hops to such places as Milan, Geneva, Munich and Monte Carlo, as well as for heli-skiing excursions in the Swiss Alps.
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.
Athens-based air charter operator GainJet Aviation is opening GainJet Africa, a charter base in Kigali, Rwanda, next month. Offering the African market ultra-long-range private charter service, GainJet will base a 14-passenger Gulfstream G550 in Kigali. “We want to bring to Africa the service that we have been supplying to Europe and the Middle East,” said GainJet president Ramsey Shaban. “Kigali is a natural aviation hub. It sits at the center of the continent, and the Government of Rwanda has offered us the right incentives.”
Fractional-share provider NetJets (Booth 6656) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Executive Jet Airways, a U.S. charter and management company that is NetJets’s corporate ancestor. The first celebration took place at an EBACE 2014 event yesterday, held with Bombardier at the static display.
Gama Charters has hired 100 pilots to support ongoing deliveries of Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft ordered by private aviation membership club Wheels Up, and plans to recruit 100 more as the twin-engine turboprops roll off the assembly line in Wichita. Gama Charters, the U.S. subsidiary of Gama Aviation (Booth 5551), of Farnborough, UK, dry leases and serves as exclusive operator of the Wheels Up-registered 350i aircraft for member flights in the U.S. Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
Slovenia-based charter management company Elit’Avia (Booth 5134) announced on the eve of EBACE 2014 that it had received approval from the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency for extended range operations (EROPS) for its Bombardier Global 6000 and Challenger 605. EROPS approval allows aircraft to fly flight paths that provide three-hour access over water using one engine to a suitable alternate airport.
Fractional provider NetJets is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of its corporate ancestor, U.S. air charter and management company Executive Jet Airways, later renamed Executive Jet Aviation. The first celebration took place today at EBACE, with follow-on festivities scheduled for NetJets’ main headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, tomorrow; at the company’s offices in London on Thursday; and at NetJets Europe’s offices in Lisbon, Portugal, on Friday. EJA was founded on May 21, 1964, by a group of retired World War II U.S. Air Force generals led by Brigadier General O. F.“Dick” Lassiter.
Swiss business aviation providers Vertis Aviation and ExecuJet have teamed to offer the first Gulfstream G650 offered for charter in Europe. The Swiss-registered aircraft is based at Zurich, and its operators expect the jet’s long range and high speed to be in high demand this summer. Delivered to Vertis Aviation, the G650 is outfitted with eight seats in double-club configuration and six divan-style seats that offer lie-flat rest facilities. The communications suite includes high-speed Wi-Fi, satellite TV, two Apple TVs and two Blu-ray players.
Membership-based charter broker Wheels Up plans to start service in Europe in the first half of next year, company founder Kenny Dichter said today at EBACE. Wheels Up currently operates in three zones in the U.S., the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. Besides Europe, targeted future expansion includes Northern California, Chicago and Dallas.
Clive Jackson, serial tech entrepreneur and CEO of Victor, will be speaking on the panel at a seminar this tomorrow afternoon entitled “Can business aviation expand to meet the expectations of a new category of passengers?” at a time when his own company has grown to do just that.
Launched in 2011, the charter and empty leg/per seat sales site Flyvictor.com can now be used to access availability from more than 100 aircraft operators representing a total fleet that already exceeds 800 aircraft worldwide.
After a five-year fight for justice, Vienna, Austria-based aviation services provider International Jet Management (IJM) has prevailed against German authorities in a precedent-setting ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The ECJ, Europe’s highest court, was asked by a German court whether fines against IJM and others by German authorities were contrary to European law. The result that they are will almost certainly mean that IJM wins its long-running battle over non-discrimination.