Inaer France received on March 22 what it claims is the first approval in that country for a commercial helicopter operator to use night-vision goggles (NVG). France is relatively late adopting NVG operations, as most Avincis group operators already had such an approval, Frédéric Goig, CEO of the Le Cannet des Maures-based company, told AIN. Avincis is the name chosen late last year for the merged Inaer and Bond.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Sikorsky Innovations has selected EvoLux Transportation the winner of its second “Entrepreneurial Challenge Competition” for its in-development helicopter reservation system, targeted at making helicopter flights more attractive for potential users and increasing revenues for operators.
EvoLux claims to be “building the world’s first helicopter charter marketplace.” Its software platform manages per-seat, on-demand reservation and dispatch. In August 2011, it began to test the prototype in the South Florida market. It generated “early revenues” that “validated” the model.
XOJet appointed Shari Jones as its new senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Based at the company’s Bay Area headquarters, she will be responsible for the development of integrated brand strategies and their execution across the company’s product offerings and consumer communication channels. Jones will report directly to XOJet president and CEO Bradley Stewart. She comes from Levi Strauss, where she led consumer marketing for Levi’s and Dockers clothing in the Americas.
Per-seat charter broker BlackJet has developed an iOS app that allows members to book a seat on a private jet instantly from their iPhone or iPad. Together with this launch, it is providing a limited invite code (BLACKJETIPHONE5000) that can be used to request a membership. BlackJet seat service is currently available in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and South Florida. Service to Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas and Seattle will be added this year.
Jet Aviation Flight Services introduced three new packages–silver, gold and platinum–to aircraft management customers in North America. Its silver package, designed for customers who own a light to midsize business jet, delivers primary management services. The gold package, targeted at large-cabin jet owners, includes the same primary management services, as well as financial budgeting and reporting. Jet Aviation’s platinum plan includes “all of the core management services required to manage and maintain aircraft.”
Global Jet, a charter/management firm headquartered in Geneva, has added new business jets to its fleet and re-launched its website to deliver more information about its services and the aircraft that it has available for charter.
Hong Kong-based Sino Jet (Booth P222) announced here at ABACE 2013 that it has partnered with charter company Aviation Concepts Inc. (ACI) and helicopter specialist Astro Jet to help it grow in the Asia Pacific region.
ACI has locations in Guam (its main base), Narita and Subic Bay, with full FBO and maintenance services at each. “We want to extend our growth throughout Asia,” said Jenny Lau, CEO and owner of Sino Jet, “all the while minimizing duplication in the market. ACI has been in Guam for 12 years and we welcome its common vision.”
The ASA Group has opened new offices in Indonesia and Malaysia, expanding the scope of its services to the VIP aviation market. ASA Group services include arranging charters, security, concierge and ground handling services, over-flight and landing clearances and in-flight catering.
Last year, ASA Group opened an office in Shanghai at Hongqiao Airport. And recently the company appointed Tom Mulvey as director of operations, based at the Hong Kong office.
The past 12 months have seen Comlux increase its Asian footprint with aircraft management contracts and a high-profile assignment to complete the interior of a large-cabin jet on order by a major automobile group from the region. On display at the ABACE show this week in Shanghai are an Airbus ACJ318 and a Bombardier Global Express operated by the Swiss-based business aviation services group. The company is also introducing its new Chinese name, “Yi Hua,” meaning “comfort and luxury.”
While already known as Asia’s biggest business jet leasing firm, Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) quietly launched its own aircraft operating unit today at ABACE. The company recently purchased Beijing-based charter provider Citic General Aviation, which operated a small fleet consisting of a Dassault Falcon 900DX, 2000 and 7X, and is in the process of rebranding it into a new subsidiary known as Minsheng International Jet.