Wayne Rizzi, president of Los Angeles-based aircraft charter broker Air Royale International, yesterday resigned as the U.S. chapter president of UK-based Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), saying the group isn’t willing to implement guidelines that would “raise standards in the air charter broker community.” Air Royale also has an office in London.
The fractional jet industry is undergoing a “major transformation,” according to business aviation consultant Brian Foley Associates. “Regrettably there’ll be more turmoil in the charter, air taxi and fractional arenas before year-end,” said company president Brian Foley.
Los Angeles-based private aircraft charter services company Air Royale International is offering a best-price guarantee on its air charter flights. Air Royale, a Wyvern-authorized charter broker, said it will pay $500 to customers if it can’t beat a lower-priced competing quote. While it vows to offer the lowest charter quote, the firm also promises “stringent air safety” by using only Wyvern-qualified crews and aircraft.
Until around this time last year, European business aviation had been enjoying a boom period, and executive charter in particular had seen some truly explosive growth. It was in the heady years from 2005 to the first half of 2008 that a new generation of air-taxi operator was laying down business plans predicated almost entirely on the quantum leap downward in operating costs offered by the new wave of very light jets (VLJs).
Britain’s Royal Household and Ministry of Defence are evaluating options for providing flights for Queen Elizabeth II and her family beginning April 1 next year, when existing military and private charter arrangements expire. The revival of an earlier plan to purchase a new head-of-state aircraft appears unlikely due to concerns about the continuing recession.
Charter broker Mercury Jet Charter is offering one-way charter rates under its new Mercury Express program. Mercury will sell the entire aircraft or empty legs for rates starting at $4,500. Typical one-way rates include a coast-to-coast Citation X for $21,000, and a light jet from New York to South Florida starting at $7,000.
Now that JetDirect Aviation has closed and gone bankrupt and Wayfarer Aviation has arisen from the JetDirect assets, former employees of the once high-flying company have branched off in new directions. Wayfarer Aviation is the new charter/management firm owned by Brantley Partners, which purchased assets of JetDirect Aviation after that firm’s shutdown.
The National Air Transportation Association Air Charter Summit and FBO Leadership Conference that ended today underscored cautious optimism that the economy has bottomed and the business climate will begin improving soon.
Cessna Aircraft last month delivered the 200th Citation Mustang, with the entry-level jet going to Honolulu-based Maritime Air Charters. The firm plans to operate the Mustang as a charter aircraft from its facility in Newnan, Ga., outside Atlanta. Maritime intends to offer to other Mustang owners services such as aircraft management, flight crew service and charter management.
The method that the FAA used to shut down air ambulance operator Air Trek of Punta Gorda, Fla., essentially turned into a de facto revocation of the company’s Part 135 certificate, according to an amicus curiae brief filed by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and NBAA on January 7. Evidently, the National Transportation Safety Board agreed.