A former marketing executive at fractional aircraft provider Bombardier Flexjet has established Fractional Insider, a company that he promises will provide current and prospective share owners with objective information about the fractional industry. Initially, all services, except for a bi-monthly newsletter, will be fee-based, according to president and CEO Mike Riegel.
The rate of pilot hiring this year by five major fractional aircraft ownership providers–CitationShares, Flexjet, Flight Options, NetJets and Corporate Aircraft Partners–is up 19 percent from last year, according to AIR Inc., an Atlanta-based aviation personnel career tracking and placement service. AIR reported that in July the fractionals hired 107 pilots, bringing this year’s seven-month hiring total to 723.
Aircell said it will charge a flat monthly fee of $1,495 for unlimited access to its air-to-ground broadband data service by business aviation users.
The zero-based budgeting of the 1970s has transformed this year into ground-zero-based budgeting. When aviation faces economic crisis, it returns to basics–productivity, time saving and security. These core values of business aircraft remain the bedrock. All else is changeable.
CESSNA CITATION 560, LEAKEY, TEXAS, MAY 2, 2002–The first fractional jet to be destroyed yielded no injury to passengers or pilots. A NetJets Citation 560 overran the runway after landing on Runway 15 at the Real County Airport (49R) some 40 miles southwest of Kerrville. Safety Board investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the failed stop.
New York City-based ShAirForce LLC continues to move forward with its plan to become the world’s first fractional operator to offer its clients premium-class-only aircraft with daily nonstop service between high-demand domestic and international city pairs. The company recently released its Web site address (www.ShAirForce.com) and toll-free number, (866) Go-ShAir.
Marquis, the U.S.-based remarketer of Executive Jet’s NetJets fractional-ownership shares, has opened a European sister company. London-based Marquis Jet Partners is selling 25-flight-hour packages for the four aircraft types in the NetJets Europe fleet, namely the Citation Bravo, Citation Excel, Hawker 800XP and Falcon 2000.
Cessna Caravan dealer J.A. Aero and charter/management company Planemasters at Chicago’s Dupage Airport have started selling shares in a Cessna Grand Caravan fractional aircraft ownership program called CaravanShares. The program is intended to serve owners needing to travel within a 500-mi radius of Chicago, but there is no limit to distance or even occupied hours, according to CaravanShares managing partner Rick Milburn.
Don’t expect an economic miracle from the business aviation marketplace over the next decade. Honeywell forecasters once again are predicting nothing better than “slow but sustained expansion” through 2013.
“I started when I was six,” said Michael Scheeringa, when asked how he wound up in aviation. “I grew up in Phoenix, and when I was in grade school, I used to take the city bus to the airport and watch airplanes take off and land, and count passengers. At that point, I thought I’d want to build airports.”