Air-taxi operators employing technically advanced aircraft (TAA) and very light jets (VLJs) are upbeat about their futures, even in the face of DayJet’s demise. Speaking at a TAA/VLJ Air Taxi conference during the NBAA Convention last month, Air Taxi Association president Joe Leader said that worldwide demand is increasing for air taxis, which he defined as “more affordable on-demand transportation” than traditional aircraft charter.
Not everyone in the business aviation forecast industry sees only moderate turbulence ahead. With regard to those hefty backlogs the airframers are banking on to help them weather the storm, business aviation analyst Brian Foley Associates is warning clients that some manufacturers can expect double-digit percentage order cancellations.
Air-taxi operators employing technically advanced aircraft (TAA) and very light jets (VLJs) are upbeat about their futures, even in the face of DayJet’s demise just last month.
Very light jets continue to generate interest, and to satisfy high levels of VLJ curiosity, MIU Events is holding its second annual Very Light Jets–Latin America & the Caribbean conference in Miami on November 10 and 11. With a keynote address by Joe Leader, president of the Air Taxi Association, VLJ-LAC-08 includes speakers from VLJ manufacturers, operators, insurers and others.
Claiming that Part 135 air taxi activity data is inadequate, the NTSB has asked the FAA to require air taxi operators to supply annual data on total hours flown, revenue flight hours and revenue miles flown, seat miles and passenger miles flown, number of departures by category and class of aircraft, and the proportion of operations involved in the transportation of passengers, cargo, sightseeing and aeromedical.
Watch for the FAA this month, at long last, to publish revisions to Part 91, including the new Subpart K for regulating fractional operations. The rulemaking, an NPRM since early 2001, is also expected to contain changes to Part 135 that aim to level the playing field between fractional and air-taxi operations.
Two new charter Web sites have hit the market. Halogen Guides last month launched Halogen Guides Aircraft Marketplace, an online marketplace for business jets that allows users to search for jets by make, model, year, price, air time and the aircraft’s location. Meanwhile, Concord, Mass.-based air-taxi firm Linear Air unveiled a Web-based system that allows travelers to check pricing and book flights online.
On May 6, very light jet air-taxi operator DayJet put its growth plans on hold after failing to obtain another $50 million in funding to progress to the next stage. As a result, the per-seat, on-demand air taxi laid off 100 of its roughly 260 employees and seeks to sell or lease 16 of its 28 Eclipse 500s.
“We oppose this proposal in every part and recommend that it be withdrawn.” This was the terse comment from fractional pilot Thomas Gasta to the FAA’s proposed regulations covering fractional aircraft ownership. The proposal, whose comment period is closed now, received more than 200 responses. The vast majority of the responses supported the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in its entirety or with minor suggested changes.
The Teal Group’s 18th annual business jet overview cites high corporate profits, business globalization, high commodity prices, emerging market growth and a weak dollar for another all-time market high this year, and a sanguine forecast that projects a 10-year demand for 14,289 business jets worth $218 billion. By comparison, the last 10 years saw the production of 6,958 jets worth $124 billion.