The June 23 event was called “Celebrate General Aviation,” but with general aviation access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) still in limbo at the time of the celebration, some thought it might have been a tad premature. That goal inched closer to reality almost a month later with the publication of the interim final rule that would reopen DCA to some GA operations.
Aviation International News » August 2005
Piaggio Aero Industries has confirmed that its new Avanti II model will replace the existing production model of its twin turboprop pusher aircraft from Serial Number 105 later this year.
While the major fractionals–with the exception of CitationShares–experienced flat or negative growth, smaller providers have really climbed strongly. Over the past year, the 16 minor players that AvData tracks have–at the expense of the major fractionals–increased their combined market share (measured by shares sold) from 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent, mostly due to gains at Fairfield, N.J.-based Avantair and Manchester, N.H.-based PlaneSense.
All of the major providers have jet-card programs: NetJets has Marquis, Flight Options has JetPass, CitationShares has Vector and Flexjet has Premier Fleet. It should be noted that the Marquis program is unique among the card programs because it is run by an outside party that buys shares in NetJets aircraft and resells blocks of time in them. The other three fractional providers administer their respective jet-card programs themselves.
Although it is approaching its 20th birthday, the fractional aircraft industry is still very much mired in adolescence. It’s come a long way since NetJets chairman Richard Santulli invented the concept of fractional ownership and launched his program in 1986, but the industry still has a long uphill road ahead.
Two factors have brightened business prospects for Japanese executive charter operator Global Wings: joining Bombardier’s Skyjet International fixed-rate charter program and getting a Chinese operating partner. The Tokyo-based firm took delivery of its first aircraft, a Bombardier Learjet 45XR, in January. The aircraft is used largely for flights within China, using the capital Beijing as a base.
The Asia-Pacific region is sharing in the rapid growth achieved by Bombardier’s Skyjet International fixed-rate executive charter program. Before year-end, Bombardier will deliver more of its aircraft to charter operators in that part of the world, illustrating how the Canadian airframer is using Skyjet to stimulate new aircraft sales.
Jet Aviation Business Jets’ charter and management network also extends into Asia. The group’s base in Hong Kong was established specifically to operate a Bombardier Global Express on behalf of a client, and this aircraft, as well as a fleet including the Learjet 45, Challenger 604 and Gulfstream G200, is also available for charter. The company’s Singapore facility acts as a charter broker, sourcing suitable aircraft for customers.
Anyone who has studied the market for business aviation seriously in Asia accepts that its potential will take time to come to fruition, but that when it happens the scale of its growth should be substantial. Of all the western companies that have sought to tap this potential, Jet Aviation has firmly demonstrated its long-term commitment to the region.
The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) held its first general meeting since its resurrection at last summer’s regional forum in Hong Kong in preparation for this month’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE). The general meeting took place in conjunction with the Zhuhai Air Show in Zhuhai City, China.