Executive aircraft operator PrivatAir is preparing for a full launch of its Select Membership block charter program later this year in the U.S. and expects to extend it to European customers early next year. The Swiss-based company has been quietly offering Select Membership to some clients in the U.S. over the past two years and has used the time to refine its pricing and service structure.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Fractional operator Avantair, which flies the P180 Avanti II exclusively, said last month that it is partnering with carbon offset company TerraPass. Per the agreement, TerraPass will fund environmentally friendly energy projects such as wind energy and biomass (methane as an energy source) with carbon offset payments from Avantair. The operator claims to be the first fractional to offer such a program.
JetDirect has expanded its fleet to more than 130 aircraft and increased its regional operating bases to nine with the acquisition of Sunset Aviation, a Northern California charter operator. The 25 new aircraft are based at Novato, Santa Rosa, Concord, Sacramento, Napa and Herber City airports.
Fractional operator Flight Options has expanded into the realm of aircraft management.
UK charter operator LyddAir has launched its own fractional ownership program, offering shares in a variety of pre-owned twin-engine piston and turboprop airplanes. Initially, the company is offering shares in a pair of Piper Chieftains and a Beech Baron B58, but it is preparing to add a King Air 200 to the fleet.
Most of the fractional executives interviewed for this article were not optimistic that very light jets (VLJs) will enter the fractional fleet.
Thirty years ago, most people would have dismissed anyone who said they’d eventually make money by selling bottled water, especially since tap water was, and still is, plentiful and nearly free. But since then, a lot of people have actually traded tap water for bottled water, resulting in skyrocketing sales of the clear liquid in plastic bottles.
Aviation One, now based at Plymouth (Mass.) Municipal Airport (PYM), offers fractional leases on a CitationJet and a Piper Seneca V piston twin. Founded in 1997, Aviation One plans to provide low-cost regional transportation for clients whose needs include both jet travel and relatively short-range trips that are more economically feasible in the Seneca.
Fractional-ownership provider NetJets has placed an order for 50 AirCell ST 3100 Iridium satellite communication systems for its growing fleet of Raytheon Hawker 400XP light business jets.
The satellite phone systems will be installed at Raytheon Aircraft Services in San Antonio before aircraft delivery. A spokeswoman for Woodbridge, N.J.-based NetJets said the fractional operator expects the first 400XP delivery this month.
Fractional ownership operator CitationShares has officially launched its Vector JetCard program, allowing individuals and companies to pre-pay for 25 hours of private flight time on CitationShares-operated aircraft.