London Executive Aviation (LEA) introduced the first Cessna Citation Excel in the UK charter market last month. The airplane, which is privately owned but managed and operated on charter flights by LEA, was ferried from the U.S. in early August. The twinjet was added to the company’s air operator’s certificate (AOC) late last month.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Air charter operators have the opportunity to apply for federal relief as a result of September 11. In discussions with the DOT, the National Air Transportation Association learned that Part 135 companies will be allowed to apply for relief by calculating their available seat miles (ASMs) or revenue ton miles (RTMs) for the time that their operations were grounded after September 11.
Executive Jet named Jim Christiansen vice president of national accounts for its NetJets fractional aircraft ownership program. For the peripatetic bizjet executive the appointment comes as something of a reunion–Christiansen served with Executive Jet back in the early 1980s when EJ was pioneering the concept of professional business jet management. Christiansen recently left TAG Aviation USA, where he was executive vice president and COO.
Executive Jet has named former communications and entertainment executive Mark Booth co-chairman of its NetJets Europe fractional aircraft ownership program. Booth, based in London, will help expand NetJets throughout Europe. He joined NetJets from epartners, a subsidiary of News Corp., where he was a general partner. His career has spanned 20 years in the communications and entertainment industries.
No one connected with Texas charter operator Addison Express was arrested or otherwise implicated in connection with an early-August drug bust by federal agents, in which three Learjets operated by the company were seized, according to company owner Dale Griffin (AIN, September, page 8).
Paris Le Bourget FBO and executive charter firm Aero Services has been bought by Portuguese general aviation group Omni Aviacão e Tecnologia. The deal was concluded on April 2, with Omni paying an undisclosed sum to French entertainment group Vivendi, which was the controlling shareholder in Aero Services.
At first it might seem like an odd couple: Don Burr, People Express founder and low-fare airline pioneer, and Bob Crandall, controversial megastar of American Airlines. Fierce competitors in the 1980s, the two men are now combining their talents and their money to develop a national on-demand, regional-based air-taxi network with hundreds of very light twinjets. Crandall is chairman of the new venture and Burr is CEO.
Ceres Group of Davidson, N.C., has announced CopterShares, a by-the-hour helicopter membership program. Flight time will be sold in increments of 25 hours and membership will include an annual maintenance and service fee. Ceres Group president Joseph DePaulis expects clients to include banks, corporations, race teams and drivers. Ceres plans to start operating the service with two Eurocopter EC 120s in the first of quarter next year.
Cirrus SR-22 and soon-to-be Eclipse 500 charter operator ImagineAir, based at Gwinnett County Airport/ Briscoe Field in Georgia, announced the signing of an agreement with RockBridge Capital Partners of Columbus, Ohio, a specialty investment banking firm, to raise $18.2 million for the acquisition of up to 24 aircraft.
Pogo Jet clarified plans to launch a charter service using Eclipse 500 very light jets in a registration statement for an initial public offering (IPO) submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a Form S-1 filed on September 13, the company revealed many more details about its planned charter operation and outlined the risks that it faces in trying to get the service off the ground.