The comment period for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on charter brokers is now closed. The NPRM stems from NTSB recommendations following the crash of a chartered Bombardier Challenger 601 on Nov. 28, 2004, in Montrose, Colo., which raised the issue of how difficult it can be for charter customers to know the identity of the charter operator when trips are arranged on their behalf.
EmptyLegMarket has launched a new iPhone app with a name-your-price bidding feature for charter flights. The app allows users to enter the desired trip, the amount of the bid and payment information. Participating charter operators can elect whether or not to accept the bid. “The goal is to use empty legs or transient airplanes that are just sitting,” said EmptyLegMarket founder Elliott Schwartz. “It simplifies the chartering process so you can understand what the customer is willing to pay.”
Users of the Air Charter Guide will notice a complete redesign of the publication, starting with the June edition. The worldwide guide to charter operators now appears alphabetically by country, rather than regionally. Maps within each section have undergone a redesign and a complete worldwide index of operators will make the information much easier for subscribers to navigate. The two-column format throughout, once reserved for Metro sections, makes the directory more readable.
Demand for charter is so strong that Executive Jet Management (EJM) is offering new incentives to encourage business aircraft owners to make their airplanes available for charter. “Demand outweighs the supply of aircraft,” said Ronald Silverman, senior vice president for client relations.
Executive charter broker Hunt & Palmer is opening an office in Hong Kong next month. This will serve as the UK-based company’s bridgehead for developing charter bookings in the potentially huge mainland China market. It also has a new charter brokering office in Singapore to handle the wider Pacific-Rim region.