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.
The recent, and potentially ongoing, disruption to European air transport caused by volcanic ash has focused customers’ minds on the potential value of executive charter flights, according to a new survey by UK operator London Executive Aviation. LEA’s survey showed clients keen to turn to business aviation to fulfill travel plans that airlines dealing with huge backlogs of stranded passengers could not meet.
Avinode and Charter X have completed the merger that they agreed to in March and are pressing ahead with plans to form what will be the executive charter market’s largest online portal. Avinode has bought out the Charter X shares for an undisclosed sum. The two companies’ technical teams have started work to integrate the rival systems.
The U.S. executive charter market enjoyed a markedly stronger month in February than during the same month a year earlier, according to the latest data from online charter booking portal CharterX. Midsize jets showed the strongest recovery, with a 25.9-percent year-over-year increase, to 15,509 flight hours.
November saw mixed results in the charter sector, according to the latest data from online charter booking portal CharterX. Light-jet flight hours last month fell 6.9 percent compared with October to 14,842 hours, but the midsize category saw a 2.4-percent increase to 14,542 hours while large-cabin jets edged up 1 percent to 8,256 hours.
Like the rest of the aviation industry, the charter segment has suffered serious setbacks during the past year and is hunkering down and adapting to a new marketplace characterized by smaller companies, lower prices and less flying.
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.
New York City-based charter broker Revolution Air is seeing an increase in corporate charter flights as companies shed their aircraft assets. However, Revolution Air said, these companies still have a need for business aircraft lift, due to efficiency and security measures that are not “feasible on a commercial airline,” so they’re turning to charter aircraft to fulfill this requirement.
Cairo-based Spot Air (Stand No. 542) is here at MEBA promoting its many aviation services, including charter brokerage, aircraft management, air ambulance, completions consulting, maintenance, sales and finance.
Leading executive charter brokers arguably offer the best overview of current market conditions because they deal with such a broad spread of operators from different geographical areas and market niches. Given the recent turbulence in financial markets, it was perhaps unsurprising that privately owned Hunt & Palmer was more candid in its assessment of business conditions than public company Air Partner.