Geneva-based Global Jet (Booth 485) has continued the dramatic expansion of its fleet with 10 new aircraft already added in the first half of 2013. Altogether, its managed fleet now stands at more than 65 aircraft. Eight of the 2013 arrivals are available for charter, increasing the commercial fleet to 25, comprising four Bombardier Global Express/XRSs, three Falcon 2000s, three Gulfstream 550s, a pair of Falcon 7Xs, Falcon 900s, Gulfstream 450s and Challenger 604s.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
The proverbial “flight to quality” seems to be the best explanation for why ExecuJet Aviation Europe is still bucking the downward trend in the continent’s business aviation sector. According to newly appointed managing director Gerritt Basson, movements at its 10 FBOs around Europe increased last year as did the size and activity levels of its charter/management fleet.
Germany’s new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (formerly Schoenefeld) has emerged as one of ExecuJet’s most significant handling centers in Europe. The company is responsible for operating the whole general aviation terminal, including its own FBO. ExecuJet has also established a base at Frankfurt International Airport, as well as a satellite operation at the nearby Egelsbach Airport.
Gama Aviation’s new operating base at Geneva Airport has its first aircraft in place, a Gulfstream GV. The UK-based group’s Swiss air operators certificate (AOC) should be approved by July and the company expects to add other jets to the locally based managed fleet, with significant numbers of owners still drawn to the Swiss aircraft registry.
Pilots and flight attendants can now learn how to deal with fire and smoke in aircraft using a new training rig installed by TAG Global Training at the group’s London-area Farnborough Airport. The unit represents a business jet cabin, including galley and lavatory, and can start controlled fires in a seat, an in-flight entertainment unit, the toilet and a microwave oven. The automated system, with pre-set training options, can also fill the cabin with smoke. Minerva Simulation Facilities developed it for TAG.
New risk and safety management requirements imposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency are continuing to take up a lot of management time at TAG and other aircraft operators. TAG recently became the first business aviation company to achieve EASA’s stage-two requirements for its safety management system.
Among business aviation’s service providers, TAG Aviation is arguably the most understated and least prone to high-profile self-promotion. But the Swiss-based aircraft management and support company has quietly expanded its customer base by emphasizing a highly personalized level of service and an insistence on taking the long-term view, rather than precipitously shifting tack to exploit what all too often can prove to be fleeting opportunities.
Chapman Freeborn is launching a new initiative designed to help business jet flight schedulers tap into Chapman’s local knowledge and expertise when flying into unfamiliar or challenging territory. Under a program it calls Global Broker, the company is offering its expertise in business jet support services, overflight permitting, ground handling, fueling and passport and immigration services to fellow charter brokers, operators and others.
Singapore state-owned ST Aerospace, known for its MRO operation and its passenger-to-freighter conversions, also runs a small business jet charter operation. Subsidiary Pacific Flight Services (PFS) operates from Singapore, although its four jets are registered in Australia.
At press time a French-operated Falcon 50 was grounded in the Dominican Republic, according to a TV report by France’s TF1, after it was involved in a major drug bust in Punta Cana in March. The Dominican counter-drug police discovered about 1,500 pounds of cocaine (with a street value of approximately $26 million) packed in 26 suitcases placed in the hold and the cabin. The three French pilots and one French passenger were arrested just before takeoff, with the engines already running for a departure to Saint-Tropez Airport, France, according to TF1. All four people were jailed.