What is the role of an aircraft charter broker, do current regulations support this role and who has operational control on brokered flights? The FAA and DOT are seeking answers to these questions in the aftermath of the nonfatal takeoff abort of a Challenger 600 at Teterboro Airport on February 2.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Bombardier’s fractional operation, Flexjet, said last month that after a decade it has turned the corner and is making money. Based on year-end projections, it will be an extremely thin margin, but a gain nonetheless. Founded in 1995, Flexjet currently has a fleet of 80 Learjets and Challengers.
The unionized NetJets pilots, represented by IBT Local 1108, on November 21 overwhelmingly ratified the tentative labor agreement signed on October 8, nearly four years after the pilots’ contract became amendable. Of the valid 1,924 ballots received (about 91 percent of the NetJets pilot workforce), 1,616 (84 percent) voted for the work contract and 308 (16 percent) opposed it.
Piaggio Avanti frax operator Avantair has a new owner–Alfred Rapetti–and in the middle of next year will relocate its headquarters from Caldwell, N.J. to Clearwater, Fla. The company originally opened the Florida facility this summer as a southeast maintenance and operations base. Avantair currently operates 21 Avantis and plans to double that number by the end of the year.
At the EBACE gathering in Geneva earlier this year, the joint industry working group on business aircraft operations (IWG-BAO), which includes NBAA, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), presented the initial findings of its work on corporate, fractional and commercial operations, with a view toward making a recommendation to the ECAC Task Force on fractional ownership.
The time has come, your boss tells you, to buy another aircraft. So you jump to the task, do your research and find just the aircraft the boss needs. But before she signs her name on the purchase contract, she calls you and asks, “Do you think we need title insurance?”
Contract talks between NetJets management and pilots broke down once again on September 12, three days shy of a scheduled 30-day marathon bargaining session. The pilots’ union negotiation committee said it walked out of the talks “because the company has continuously failed to respond to the union’s position regarding the pilot group’s bargaining thresholds,” namely salary expectations.
PlaneSense, the Pilatus PC-12 regional fractional ownership program of Manchester, N.H.-based Alpha Flying, celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. The company, thought to have more than 100 shareowners, currently operates 20 PC-12s and has more on order. The company was formed to address the “shorter-distance, regional needs” of its shareowners.
Fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe has launched a dedicated operation for the Scottish market. Through NetJets Scotland the company will offer flights to and from 17 Scottish airports, including the Royal Air Force bases at Lossiemouth, Leuchars (close to the exclusive St. Andrews golf course) and Kinloss.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options announced three new buyer-incentive programs. Until December 16, buyers of a three-thirty-second share (75 hours of annual usage) in a new Hawker 400XP will get an extra 25 occupied hours per year (a total of 100 hours) with no additional capital outlay.