As the industry sees glimmers of hope that the downturn is finally ending, engine and avionics manufacturer Honeywell anticipates at least one more down year in 2011 before the start of a rebound cycle.
During a time when careful shoppers might be expected to make every effort to save money, the charter brokerage business has continued to grow, despite the fact that there is nothing stopping consumers from contacting charter providers directly and negotiating their best deal.
While the latest reports indicate a decline in the worldwide business jet charter market, certain parts of Southeast Asia are bucking the trend. Hong Kong, in particular, is flourishing. With five locally based operators and several international charter brokers in situ, China’s Special Administrative Region is bursting at the seams.
Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, the international market for private and business charter flights is a microcosm of the wider global economy in which it resides and which it serves. So, given that each new day brings fresh uncertainty and conflicting information about the fate of the world economy, why would we be surprised that the charter market too is steeped in uncertainty and insecurity?
The numbers say it was a flat year in charter, up from 2008's lows, far from prior highs, but essentially static since late last year in terms of demand, pricing and operations. But flat should not be read as placid.
Key Air (Booth No. 7651) is celebrating 25 years of charter/management and FBO operations. The company started with one facility in Oxford, Conn., and has expanded to include three FBOs at airports in Oxford, Conn., Minneapolis-St. Paul and Fort Pierce, Fla. Recent service improvements include a new client support system and company-wide participation in the ServiceElements customer service training program.
Argus International (Booth No. 4145) has revamped its Charter Evaluation and Qualification (Cheq) system with a new user interface to ease searching and unlimited TripCheqs.
EmptyLegMarket is adding international charter trips to its online marketplace for empty charter legs that are available for charter users to buy at discounted prices. The new service area covers Canada, Europe, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean.
Gama Charters of Stratford, Conn., and Hop-A-Jet Worldwide Jet Charter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday became the latest air charter operators to gain acceptance on the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s industry audit standard registry (IAS). They join 14 operators that have completed the IAS audit and achieved registered status with the ACSF since the program’s inception in 2009.
Desert Jet, an aircraft charter company based near Palm Springs, Calif., yesterday launched what it claims is the first air charter quoting program accessible from a social media platform. With the added feature, customers can request quotes for flights directly from the company’s Facebook page.