Demand for charter flights is set to rise over the next 30 days as the European and North American markets gear up for the traditionally busy northern hemisphere summer season, according to data from online charter portal Avinode.
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.
A new European Commission regulation that takes effect on May 26 requires commercial air transport (CAT) operators from outside the European Union to obtain a single EU-wide safety authorization to fly to, from or within the EU. CAT operators comprise all non-EU airlines and charter operators, including U.S. Part 135 operations.
First-quarter revenues at NetJets and FlightSafety International soared by 12 percent and 14 percent, respectively, according to parent company Berkshire Hathaway. Higher revenues at NetJets reflected increased sales of fractional aircraft and flight services revenues due to increased flight hours, while FlightSafety’s increase was the result of increased simulator training activity. Quarterly revenues at its services businesses, which include NetJets and FSI, increased by $284 million, to $2.4 billion, while profits climbed by $34 million, to $243 million.
Business aircraft charter and management firm Elit’Avia received an aircraft operator certificate (AOC) from Transport Malta and has inducted three aircraft under this certificate. The company is now managing a Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Global XRS and Challenger 605 on the Malta aircraft registry, the latter two of which are available for charter. The Falcon will initially be operated privately.
Mesinger Jet Sales has been selected to facilitate the Gulfstream and Learjet 60 fleet renewal for Abu Dhabi-based aircraft charter firm Royal Jet. Over the next two years, Royal Jet plans to replace three of its existing medevac and VIP aircraft. Mesinger Jet Sales will help Royal Jet with the acquisition of the newer aircraft, as well as disposal of the three older jets. Royal Jet said the fleet upgrade will “provide its VIP clients an improved experience and further expand its network.”
Kansas City, Mo.-based fractional provider Executive AirShare saw its customer count rise last year by 50, to 185, a 37-percent increase. According to president and CEO Keith Plumb, the regional fractional provider–which serves shareowners in Kansas City; Wichita; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.; Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Texas; and Buffalo, N.Y–has “recorded four consecutive years of double-digit growth, achieved profitability and established a reputation for delivering the highest quality service.”
India’s Invision Air has abandoned plans to build a wholly owned fleet of Embraer Phenom light jets, switching its business model to one based largely on aircraft management and a scheme to provide flights connecting smaller cities within the state of Maharashta. The Mumbai-based group originally intended to buy six Phenom 300s and six Phenom 100s.
Requests for charter flight price quotes, a bellwether of business aviation activity, have been growing in China by more than 20 percent annually over the past three years, according to data released this week at ABACE 2014 by Avinode. Quote requests for flights to and from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew from 9,701 in 2011 to 11,684 in 2012 (up around 20.5 percent), and to 14,369 last year (up around 23 percent).
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.
Training specialist FlightSafety International signed a multi-year agreement with Chinese business jet leasing firm Minsheng Business Aviation yesterday at ABACE 2014. Under the deal, FSI will train pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants and dispatchers for Gulfstream G450/550 operators Beijing Capital Airlines and Shanghai Deer Jet. Most of the training will take place at FSI’s Hong Kong learning center, which opened in 2012. FSI also named Paul Statskey as its new program manager at the Hong Kong facility.