Charter operator Bahrain Executive Air Services Co. (Bexair) is announcing the launch of a new aircraft financing operation here at the show. The firm plans to provide business aircraft handling services at an undisclosed Middle Eastern airport, as well as for new passenger shuttle and cargo operations.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
The rapid growth of Abu Dhabi-based executive charter group Royal Jet paints a vivid illustration of the pace of business aviation expansion in the Middle East. The company started life just two years ago with a single Boeing Business Jet and its fleet has since grown by three more BBJs, two Gulfstream 300s and a Bombardier Challenger 300.
The French Ministry of Employment has launched an investigation into NetJets Europe flight crews at French airports, after an association of air charter operators alleged the fractional ownership giant is breaking the country’s employment law.
In recent letters to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) asked the agency to form an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to address industry concerns regarding its impending rule to require commercial and fractional jet pilots to perform landing distance assessments at the time of arrival including a more restrictive safety margin.
Bombardier’s Flexjet might be the only fractional provider that can say it has been profitable for the second consecutive year. “We believe we are the only fractional provider than can claim this,” said a company spokeswoman. She said the company attributes this to “operational efficiency, a right-sized fleet, success with new models [the Challenger 300 in particular] and continued emphasis on program innovations.”
UK operator Club328 (Booth No. 1672) has introduced an intriguing way to market charter flights through its new SkyBond program. Customers hand over £1 million ($1.75 million) to be put in an escrow-protected bank account in Club328’s name for a six-year period. Club328 gets the interest earned over this time and the customer gets 25 flight hours each year (that is, 150 hours in total) in one of the company’s Raytheon Premier Is.
Jet Personales (Booth No. 957) is a newcomer to Spain’s growing business aviation industry and it claims to be the country’s first executive charter firm that owns all the aircraft it operates. Launched in December 2004, the operator, which is the exclusive sales representative of Bombardier Business Aircraft in Spain, is based at Madrid’s Torrejon Airport where it has an FBO and a fleet of five aircraft.
Executive Airlines, Spain’s second-ranking executive charter operator, has increased its fleet from four aircraft to seven and expects to add five more in the next two years, for a total of 12, to serve what it calls a growing but very competitive market.
Gestair makes a fair claim to being Spain’s leading business aviation group, with about 60 percent of the national executive charter market. It also claims to be the third-ranking operator for the whole of Europe in terms of the number of aircraft operated and passengers carried.
Gold Air International has ordered two new Bombardier Global 5000s in a deal valued at close to $80 million. The UK executive charter operator is to receive the long-range jets between late 2008 and early 2009, allowing it to take on full-blown intercontinental missions.