Nairobi, Kenya-based air charter operator Phoenix Aviation achieved Wyvern Wingman status after successfully completing an on-site audit. It is also one of the first fixed-wing air charter companies in Africa to be awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification under the scope of supply for provision of domestic, regional and international charter flights, aircraft maintenance and worldwide medical air ambulance charter for both UK and U.S. accreditation.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Directional Aviation Capital, the business aviation-oriented private equity firm headed by Kenn Ricci, acquired charter broker Sentient Jet and aviation fuel management company Everest Fuel Management for an undisclosed sum from Australia-based Macquarie Group. The deal closed May 31, but wasn’t revealed to employees at Sentient and Evergreen until last week.
Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
Private jet booking service PrivateFly.com has launched in France, Germany and central Europe, offering dedicated local web platforms, multilingual operations teams and a regional sales effort covering Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The move follows what the company called (but without specifying any detail) a “record-breaking sales month in May.” PrivateFly relaunched its UK website in April, along with a dedicated iPad app that enhanced its existing mobile applications.
Richmond, B.C.-based London Air Services placed a firm order for five Learjet 75s worth some $65 million, Bombardier Aerospace announced yesterday. The order makes the aircraft charter firm the launch Canadian customer for the light jet, a derivative of the Learjet 45 announced last month at EBACE. London Air currently has a fleet of five Learjet 45XRs, a Challenger 604 and two Challenger 605s. It also has a Global 7000 on order for delivery in 2017.
Demand for charter flights this month is poised to increase encouragingly, in what aircraft charter operators hope will translate into a prosperous summer season. According to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode, the forward-looking demand index reached 199.45 on Friday, almost 76 points above the beginning of last month and nearly 50 points above where it had been a year ago.
The FAA can’t win. Long reviled for inconsistently applying its own regulations, the agency is now being questioned for trying to standardize the way initial training is conducted for newly hired Part 135 charter pilots. The fact that FAA Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) haven’t been applying these rules consistently for many years is a big part of why many charter operators are unhappy with the FAA.
Per-seat charter broker Greenjets has launched an introductory program that offers a 40-percent discount for new clients who sign up as members before June 30. The company’s jet charter memberships typically start at $7,000, it said, but under the limited-time offer this price drops to $5,000.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) will hold a raffle at its 2012 Air Charter Summit barbecue on June 12 to raise funds for the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) mission to support wounded combat veterans. VAC is a charitable organization that provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. NATA and VAC established a special fund last year–NATA Wings for Warriors–through which NATA members and friends can contribute to the organization.
Some statistics indicate as much as 35 percent of flights in Europe are illegal charter flights–although EBAA puts this number at about 12 percent–but “the truth is nobody knows,” Aoife O’Sullivan, partner at law firm Gates and Partners, said yesterday at EBACE during a panel discussion about the problem.