UK operator Club328 (Booth No. 1672) has introduced an intriguing way to market charter flights through its new SkyBond program. Customers hand over £1 million ($1.75 million) to be put in an escrow-protected bank account in Club328’s name for a six-year period. Club328 gets the interest earned over this time and the customer gets 25 flight hours each year (that is, 150 hours in total) in one of the company’s Raytheon Premier Is.
Fairchild Dornier 328JET
Pieced together from many companies in an evolution that commenced in 1999, the Swiss Ruag group is progressing at its cruising speed. The goal of the company’s founders was to move the defense supplier away from the exclusive dependence on the Swiss armed forces and to create an independent enterprise with a diversified customer base. Business aviation is a key part of this strategy.
Club328, the executive charter company operating out of Southampton, UK, plans to base a new 328Jet in Germany starting this summer. The aircraft features a corporate shuttle 19-seat interior and will be promoted both in Germany and Eastern Europe, mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic states.
New Germany-based engineering and maintenance organization 328 Support Services has signed an agreement with Mikado Capital to return four previously stored Dornier 328 Jets to service. Mikado Capital is a new purpose-built remarketing organization based in the British Virgin Islands, whose director Gunnar Thorvaldsson will be visiting EBACE this week.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted two companies design organization authority for the Dornier 328Jet and turboprop. Under a partnership agreement between the two firms–328 Support Services and GCT Design Organisation–the partners will be responsible for the worldwide support of more than 200 airplanes.
Regional jet manufacturer AvCraft Aerospace GmbH could end up in the hands of a new owner next month following the second bankruptcy involving the Dornier 328Jet. Dr. Martin Prager, the preliminary administrator charged with finding a solution to the German company’s financial problems, characterized opening discussions with potential investors as “very encouraging.”
An insolvency administrator has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s RUAG Aerospace Services to take over from bankrupt AvCraft the Dornier 328 type certificate and product support. While production of the Do-328 regional jet and the Envoy executive version ceased several months ago, 140 employees remain at AvCraft, also in Germany, to provide customer support and aircraft maintenance.
UK executive charter firm Bookajet is rebranding its operation under the name Club328 to emphasize its new fleet of AvCraft Dornier 328Jets and Envoy 3s. Last month, the Southampton-based company took delivery of the first of the eight aircraft it has ordered. All will feature a Club328 logo.
Delta Air Lines sent another clear message to its wholly owned affiliates that it won’t hesitate to outsource more regional jet flying to independent partners when it signed Mesa Air Group as the latest Delta Connection carrier last month. The 12-year deal gives Mesa’s Freedom Airlines subsidiary the right to fly up to 30 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ200s for Delta, the first of which it expects to put into service in October.
Southampton, England-based business jet operator Club 328 has had to revise its plans in the past few months, particularly since its only source of Dornier 328Jets entered interim bankruptcy administration in March.