The FAA has essentially shut down flight-sharing systems that attempted to match pilots with passengers who wished to fly to the same destination. One such company, AirPooler, sought an FAA interpretation to ensure that its business model didn’t violate the regulations.
As Congress prepares to work on Fiscal Year 2015 transportation funding and FAA reauthorization legislation, aviation stakeholders are expressing “renewed concerns” about the preservation of 252 federal contract towers, NBAA said. Fifty-five senators recently signed a letter asking FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to consider “all perspectives” in the effort to streamline tower operations as the FAA continues to deal with budget pressures.
Air charter broker Sentient Jet is seeing a “resurgence” in both business and leisure travel, the company announced today. In the first five months of this year, corporate travel (Monday through Wednesday) increased 10 percent year-over-year, while leisure travel (Friday through Sunday) jumped 17 percent, according to the company. For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, private jet bookings are up 37 percent over last year and 289 percent above 2012, it noted.
Dubai-based flight-planning services company UAS relaunched its VIP travel services division, UAS Executive Travel, with customized services, a dedicated team and refreshed logo. Its staff provides local insight, removes linguistic barriers and collaborates with travelers and suppliers to ensure delivery of VIP-quality services.
The long-expected follow-on order from Saudi Arabia for Eurofighter Typhoons has still not materialized, but in its half-yearly report BAE Systems revealed that it expects to receive orders worth about $2.2 billion to upgrade Saudi aircraft. Earlier this year, a protracted renegotiation of the original “Al Salam” deal for 72 aircraft was finally concluded.
The U.S. helicopter safety team (USHST) has begun a recruitment drive to convince more helicopter safety experts to join its efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities in the industry. The USHST comprises members from both industry and government focused on safety management, training, maintenance and safety technology.
Textron Aviation confirmed to AIN that it will terminate flight operations at its former fractional and charter/management operation, CitationAir, on October 31. The move comes 2.5 years after CitationAir stopped selling fractional shares in new aircraft and ceased renewals for current fractional-share customers in February 2012, saying at that time it would instead focus on its jet card and aircraft management products. The company is now abandoning even that modest plan.
The crisis in Ukraine “undermined” business aircraft flying in Europe last month, with European flights to the CIS down 24 percent and East-West European connections down by 15 percent, according to the latest data from business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance. Overall, there were 68,048 business aviation flight departures in Europe last month, a 2.7-percent year-over-year decline, with July 11 percent below its 2008 peak and the least active July on record since 2005. Year to date, activity in the region is 0.7 percent below the 2013 trend.
World Fuel Services’ Air Elite Network launched a new loyalty reward program, Diamond Dividends, this week at LABACE 2014. The program awards members a total of 10,000 FlyBuys Rewards bonus points with a qualified purchase at any five different Air Elite FBOs. Qualifying purchases are chronicled on an Air Elite Diamond Dividends Card, available at any of the 31 Air Elite locations.
Avantto is one of Brazil’s most active aircraft management and fractional ownership companies. In addition to its more traditional services, it launched a new Combo program this year under which owners can purchase a share that includes flight time in both a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter.