Though TraqPak data released today by aviation services company Argus indicates that business aircraft flying continued its upward trend last month, climbing 1.4 percent year-over-year, this wasn’t the big news. “The bigger story was the turnaround in the fractional market, which posted the first year-over-year increase since September 2011,” Argus said.
Business aircraft flying continued its positive trend so far this year, with activity climbing 1.1 percent last month from March 2013, according to the TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Its analysts also estimate that overall flight activity this month will rise 0.4 percent from last year.
Flexjet saw a 60-percent surge in new fractional aircraft sales and a 57-percent jump in jet card sales last month year-over-year, the company announced yesterday. For the entire year, Flexjet’s fractional share sales rose 10 percent, while jet card sales climbed 29 percent over 2012. After 18 years under Bombardier Aerospace’s wing, Flexjet was acquired last month by Directional Aviation Capital.
Flexjet is offering two limited-time offers–25 Challenger 300 upgrade hours and “60 for 50”–to spur fractional jet ownership sales in its Learjet and Challenger programs. Until December 31, new and existing Flexjet owners purchasing a one-sixteenth share in a Learjet 40XR, 45XR or 60XR will have the opportunity to upgrade 25 of their annual allocated hours, at their same Learjet hourly occupied rate, to a Challenger 300.
Fractional jet share and charter companies from NetJets to JetSuite to Executive AirShare are choosing to stack their fleets with Cessna Citation jets, large and small, according to Brad Thress, senior vice-president of business jets for Cessna Aircraft Company (Booth No. C8843).
NetJets, the largest Citation Jet operator in the world with 50 Citation Xs in its fleet, is perhaps one of the clearest examples, Thress pointed out. NetJets has 25 Cessna Citation Latitudes on order and options for 125 more, all of which will begin deliveries in 2016.
The number of fatal accidents in business turbine airplanes worldwide in the first nine months of 2013 showed no improvement when compared with the same period last year, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN.
NBAA released its new Federal Excise Taxes Guide late last week, marking the first time the guidelines have been updated since 2005. It is intended to provide business aircraft owners, flight departments and charter operators with a basic understanding of the federal excise taxes (FET) that apply to business aircraft activity.
While the charter industry has seen some changes this year, the fractional-share business is undergoing a wrenching transition, with the shutdown of Avantair and the announced sale of Bombardier’s Flexjet to Flight Options parent Directional Capital.
Aircraft fractional ownership is a concept that has been slow to take hold in Latin America, most likely the result of an installed business aircraft customer base too small to support such an effort. But it is growing.
One of the more established fractional ownership programs in Latin America is MexJet, a business unit of long-time Mexican aviation services provider Aerolínas Ejecutivas.
According to charter broker Air Partner, Conklin & de Decker released research during EBACE 2013 indicating that the use of charter jet cards is on the rise in Europe. The report assesses the jet card products offered by NetJets Europe (Booth 7011) and Air Partner across six key criteria: accessible service areas; notice period; aircraft choice; pricing; flexibility; and quality assurance, service and safety.