First frequent flier program for Aviaxess air charter

 - May 23, 2007, 10:06 AM

French executive charter operator and broker Aviaxess has launched what it claims to be the first frequent-flier loyalty program in the business aviation market. It is promoting the new Aviacard here at the EBACE show at the exhibit of Helicoptere Magazine (Booth No. 586) Aviacard is intended to provide incentives for occasional users of business aircraft to become more frequent charter clients. After logging specified numbers of flight hours, customers earn rewards such as complimentary hotel accommodations, invitations to movie previews, valet services and Breitling watches.

The credited hours do not expire, unlike many airline frequent-flier programs. Aviaxess will be adding to its list of partner companies and so expanding the choice of rewards available to Aviacard holders.

The flight hours can be earned either by chartering Aviaxess’s own fleet of helicopters or by booking fixed-wing charters through Aviaxess’s brokering division. Since 2003, the Paris-based company has been an official sales representative for Bombardier’s Skyjet International block charter program and bookings for these services now earn Aviacard credits.

Last year, Aviaxess introduced its own Corporate Helicard to provide discounted block charter rates for helicopter flights. The service is targeted especially at clients wanting rotorcraft connections to and from fixed-wing charters or airline services. Helicopter charter time is sold in blocks of 25, 50 or 100 hours at fixed rates that apply anywhere in Europe. Prices for the blocks start at around $34 million.

Aviaxess has recently taken delivery of three new helicopters–two Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350 BA/B2s and a Robinson R44 Raven 2. A total of 13 rotorcraft are now in its fleet, which also includes EC 120Bs, AS 355s, EC 135s, AS 365Ns and Agusta A109s.

“With these new helicopters, we will be able to expand our offer on the French market and to give an increased fleet availability to our private and professional customers,” said Frédéric Aguettant, Aviaxess president and CEO. Through its alliance with operators initiated in 2002, Aviaxess has access to a fleet of 38 helicopters based throughout Europe.

In France, Aviaxess is based at airports and helipads close to business centers, such as the Paris-area Issy-les-Moulineaux and La Défense and Toulon (offering a gateway to the French Riviera resorts).