Charter/management firm Solairus Aviation is headquartered in the heart of downtown Petaluma, Calif., and not at an airport because employees prefer local amenities such as restaurants and shops to the relative remoteness of most airport general aviation facilities. Pilots who are visiting headquarters for training especially enjoy what downtown Petaluma has to offer, according to Solairus founder Dan Drohan.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Al Bateen Executive Airport has been named the preferred hub in the Middle East for German air ambulance and VIP charter jet operator FAI rent-a-jet (d/b/a Flight-Ambulance-Int’l). As part of the arrangement, two dedicated air ambulance jets–a Challenger 604 and Learjet 60–will be permanently based at Al Bateen and served by German aeromedical teams. FAI selected Al Bateen Executive Airport as its Middle Eastern hub because of its “ability to best serve increasing client demand from the region, the Far East and Asia.”
According to charter broker Air Partner, Conklin & de Decker released research during EBACE 2013 indicating that the use of charter jet cards is on the rise in Europe. The report assesses the jet card products offered by NetJets Europe (Booth 7011) and Air Partner across six key criteria: accessible service areas; notice period; aircraft choice; pricing; flexibility; and quality assurance, service and safety.
Doha, Qatar-based charter operator Rizon Jet has announced that it has received FAA Part 129 certification for foreign air carriers, thus permitting unrestricted commercial operations into and within the U.S. Rizon Jet CEO Hassan Al-Mousawi noted that applying for the certification was a response to “an increasing customer demand for transatlantic flights.” Rizon Jet has additional operating bases in the Middle East and the UK.
Acropolis Aviation, a UK-based charter operator offering an Airbus ACJ319 for charter, is exhibiting for the first time at EBACE. Sharing stand 1047 with Avinode, Acropolis Aviation is highlighting its new Arabic and Russian brochures. “These new brochures will ensure we can connect with these growing markets in a clear and direct way,” said CEO Jonathan Bousfield. Acropolis has also entered the social media sphere with a new Twitter account.
Users of the Air Charter Guide will notice a complete redesign of the publication, starting with the June edition. The worldwide guide to charter operators now appears alphabetically by country, rather than regionally. Maps within each section have undergone a redesign and a complete worldwide index of operators will make the information much easier for subscribers to navigate. The two-column format throughout, once reserved for Metro sections, makes the directory more readable.
Ljubljana, Slovenia-based charter and management firm Elit’Avia (Booth 1047) is exhibiting at EBACE for the first time. In addition, one each of the company’s super-midsize Challenger 300s and large-cabin Challenger 605s are on display at Bombardier’s static area.
AirClub, the alliance of operators that aims to establish a global air charter network, announced at EBACE another step toward that goal, signing London Executive Aviation (LEA) as its first member in the UK and ninth overall.
Air charter marketplace specialist Avinode (Booth 1047) has launched Avinode Trip Manager, a new “sales management system” designed for air charter brokers. “It gives members the ability to manage all sales-related tasks–not only flight sourcing–in a completely integrated online environment,” said Oliver King, managing director of the Gothenburg, Sweden-based company.
The economic slump in Europe hasn’t slowed the growth of Austria’s GlobeAir, the air taxi operator that launched operations in 2008 with a pair of Citation Mustangs. During an EBACE briefing, GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner reported a profit of €200,000 ($260,000) last year and projected further positive results for 2013.