NetJets accounted for more than a third of the revenue increase at Berkshire Hathaway’s “other service” businesses last year, according to the parent company’s year-end results released on Saturday. The division, which also includes FlightSafety International and several other non-aviation companies, saw revenues climb by $821 million, to $9 billion, with NetJets’ share rising by $288 million–up 7.5 percent year-over-year–thanks to higher sales of fractional aircraft shares.
Private flight club Wheels Up is offering its members guaranteed access to midsize, super-midsize and large-cabin jets via a new alliance with Jet Aviation Flight Services. Through a new program announced today, its clients will be able to book aircraft with 24 hours’ notice and at fixed occupied hourly rates. Members will have the option of buying pre-paid blocks of flight hours, in which case they will have guaranteed access to aircraft with just 10 hours’ notice.
Business has been so good at West Coast charter/management firm Jet Edge International that the company devised an unusual arrangement to build a fleet of Gulfstream G200s. With a fleet consisting of mostly large-cabin Gulfstreams, Jet Edge has seen growing demand for the super-midsize charter market, and the G200s (and one G280, with two more coming) are ideal to fill that need, according to president Bill Papariella.
Argus International’s new Avmosys operations software has been selected by the Wheels Up aircraft access membership program “to manage customers’ flight-related activity,” according to Argus. First to sign up for Avmosys was charter/management firm ACP Jets, and charter broker Apollo Jets was the first company to implement the system fully, according to Andy Balser, Argus International’s Avmosys product manager.
Two new full-motion helicopter simulators will soon be coming online at two FlightSafety International learning centers. An Airbus Helicopters EC135 simulator is expected to be up and running at FSI’s Dallas facility, followed by a Sikorsky S-92 level-D device at the company’s São Paulo center in the third quarter.
Business aircraft activity maintained its positive momentum into the new year, thanks to a robust Part 135 segment, according to the latest TraqPak data from aviation services company Argus. Last month, flying increased 1.8 percent from the same period a year ago, the company said.
Bombardier, FlightSafety International and Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation have signed a joint letter of intent to establish a training center for Q400 NextGen turboprop pilots, in preparation for the launch of Sutong Airlines in 2015. Bombardier will support planning of aircraft training, while FlightSafety will supply and operate a full flight simulator. Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation will support the set-up of the facility in China’s Jiangsu province, the airframer said here at the show.
NetJets this month expects to import its first two aircraft into China in anticipation of securing a Chinese air operators certificate (AOC) around the end of the first quarter of 2014. The U.S. fractional ownership provider will base a pair of its Hawker 800 midsized jets in China in order to be able to offer private charter services to local clients.
A busy year for upheaval in the fractional ownership and closed-fleet private aviation sectors reached a crescendo in December when Flight Options parent company Directional Aviation Capital completed its $185 million acquisition of Bombardier’s Flexjet program.
Signature Flight Support completed its acquisition of Maguire Aviation Group at Van Nuys Airport. Through this acquisition, Signature expanded its FBO at Van Nuys to a combined footprint of 1.17 million sq ft of hangar, ramp, passenger lounges and office space. This also includes a dedicated NetJets facility at Van Nuys.