Block charter has evolved as the primary alternative to fractional ownership in Europe, with providers continuously vying to offer greater flexibility and value. Operators and brokers are now competing to find new incentives to influence customers to abandon airlines in favor of charter services.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
DayJet founder, president and CEO Ed Iacobucci dropped by AIN’s offices last month to provide an update on progress with his per-seat, on-demand VLJ air-taxi service. The company had 100 employees and had taken delivery of the first three of 310 Eclipse 500s it has ordered or taken options on. The aircraft awaited installation of a third attitude indicator before they could be used for Part 135 pilot training and operation.
Two well known companies that operate and manage charter aircraft and jet travel cards have merged. As reported in AIN last month (page 3), Berwyn, Pa.-based JetDirect has acquired Weymouth, Mass.-based Sentient Jet.
Private jet travelers have a new option this summer to sample jet-card membership without the typical 25-hour annual commitment. The Bombardier Skyjet Demo Card is being offered as a special promotion through the end of August. Available to new customers only, the Skyjet Demo Card is priced at a flat $10,000, which can be applied based on 100-hour regular Skyjet Card rates.
Strong revenue growth has led Delta AirElite, the business aircraft charter division of Delta Air Lines, to introduce a revenue guarantee for aircraft owners who are accepted for enrollment in the company’s aircraft-management program. The company is offering new management clients flight hour guarantees ranging from 200 to 500 hours annually for select aircraft.
Following a hard look at the recent series of air charter accidents, the National Air Transportation Association has taken steps to assist operators in improving safety. NATA president James Coyne unveiled the association's new “Safety 1st” air charter Safety Management System (SMS) in a town hall meeting yesterday with some 50 aviation businesses at Teterboro Airport.
The FAA has hit Platinum Jet with civil penalties totaling more than $1.86 million for violations involving 49 passenger-carrying flights. The agency became aware of the violations during investigation of a February 2 accident at Teterboro Airport in which a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet crashed into a building following an aborted takeoff.
The DOT issued a “show cause” notice on Executive Jet Management’s plans to launch a business jet commuter operation. EJM, a NetJets affiliate that provides aircraft charter and management, submitted a DOT application in March to launch scheduled commuter service using business jets to connect Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. Based on information provided in the application, scheduled flights could start as early as this summer.
At the request of the National Air Transportation Association, the FAA has suspended the August 31 date for Part 135 operators to comply with airworthiness bulletin HBAW 04-06E while it considers proposed rulemaking that would replace the term “type certificated” with “seating configuration.” The revision, urged by the NATA, would allow methods other than a type certificate change to be an acceptable means of altering seating configurations.
Two well known companies that operate and manage charter aircraft and jet travel cards have merged. As reported in AINalerts last month, Berwyn, Pa.-based JetDirect has acquired Weymouth, Mass.-based Sentient Jet. Member travel cards of the two companies will be integrated, and all the charter operations will be unified on one Part 135 certificate with a centralized dispatch center.