To inaugurate its newest aircraft type, fractional provider Flight Options is offering a reduced hourly occupied rate for customers who sign up for shares in the Embraer Legacy. For the first 24 months of the 60-month contract, the share owner will pay an hourly rate of $1,990, comparable to that of a Hawker 800XP. At the 25th month, the rate reverts to the regular $2,485 per hour.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Profits soared last year at Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, though not all of the company’s divisions did well. In his annual letter to shareholders released last month, the investment mogul summarized the reduced performance of FlightSafety International and NetJets– the two largest companies in their respective fields of simulator training and fractional ownership.
Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional that operates Piaggio Avantis exclusively, reported an 85-percent increase in Q2 revenue over the same period a year earlier. Sluggish deliveries from Piaggio contributed to an overall loss, though the company does expect to break even upon reaching 40 aircraft in service. If current estimates hold, that will happen by the end of this year.
A “much improved situation is emerging at NetJets,” according to Warren Buffett, chairman of parent company Berkshire Hathaway. In his annual letter to stockholders, published February 28, Buffett said NetJets has “never had a problem growing. But profits had been erratic.”
NetJets has presented its annual trophy for Best Heavy Maintenance Provider during 2006 to Hawker Aircraft Services. It’s the third time the company has won
the annual maintenance honor; it has also previously received NetJets’ Supplier of the Year Award. The Hawker Aircraft Services facility performs heavy maintenance on NetJets’ domestic fleet of 71 Hawker 400XPs and Hawker 800XPs.
The four largest fractional operators–NetJets, Flight Options, Flexjet and CitationShares–hired 11 pilots in March, compared with none during the same month last year, according to figures compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. The March figure brings to 56 the number of fractional pilots hired in the first quarter, versus 47 in the same period last year.
Raytheon Aircraft signed a 10-year agreement with NetJets for the maintenance of the fractional-ownership operator’s fleet of Hawker 1000s, Hawker 800XPs and Hawker 400XPs. The contract includes options beyond the initial 10 years. Hawker 1000 and 800XP heavy maintenance will be performed at the Hawker Service Center in Little Rock, Ark. Maintenance for the Hawker 400XP will be done at Raytheon Aircraft Services in Tampa, Fla..
Flight Options, the second-largest fractional aircraft provider, last month named Michael Scheeringa as COO. Formerly v-p of US Airways’ Express division, Scheeringa will be responsible for the overall operations, maintenance, procurement and customer care for Flight Options. He will report directly to Flight Options chairman and CEO John Nahill.
At least 250 pilots are estimated to be hired this year by the Big Four fractional providers, according to Aviation Information Resources (AIR). This is about 50 more than were hired last year. If the estimate turns out to be accurate, it will reverse a slide that frax hiring has been on since the Atlanta-based firm began tracking the employment situation at such operators four years ago.
When the ICAO Assembly meets in Montreal late this month, the International Business Aircraft Council (IBAC) will propose standardization of international regulations governing fractional ownership operations. At present, the U.S.