As a result of aggressive cost-cutting measures, NetJets Europe expects to achieve modest operating profits this year. But the recovery in demand for its business aircraft fractional ownership, block charter and lease offerings is proving slower than anticipated, to the extent that the company now doubts whether even a return to modest market growth will be achieved next year, according to chairman and CEO Eric Connor.
Fractional share provider Bombardier Flexjet is celebrating its 15th year in operation. “Over the past 15 years,” said Flexjet president Fred Reid, “the company has progressed immensely.” Last year, he said, “We did lose some money, a small fraction of what our competitors lost.
According to TraqPak data released today by aviation specialized services firm Argus, business aircraft flight activity increased 4.9 percent last month compared with June last year. Activity last month was positive across all aircraft types: midsize jets led with a 10-percent increase over June 2009, followed by light jets (5.8 percent), large-cabin jets (2.5 percent) and turboprops (0.7 percent).
Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair’s revenue increased 4 percent, to $36 million, in its fiscal third quarter (which ended March 31) compared with the year-ago period. Its earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization also rose to $1.8 million, up from the $1.5 million reported in the same period last year.
Cleveland-based fractional aircraft provider Flight Options took delivery of its first Embraer Phenom 300 on Tuesday. Flight Options has a firm order for 100 of the light jets and options on 50 more. The Phenom 300s are scheduled to be delivered at a rate of about 10 per year over the next 10 years. The first three fractional Phenoms have already been pre-sold, according to a Flight Options spokesman.
Aircraft management company Global Jet Concept marks its 10th anniversary this year at a time when longevity itself is quite an accomplishment in an industry that has been badly buffeted by the financial crisis for the past 18 months or so. The Geneva-based company has some 60 aircraft under management contracts, with 22 of them available for charter.
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.
Former NetJets Europe executive Chris Moody claims he has helped to bring liquidity back into the market for fractional shares in business aircraft by offering a way to buy and sell shares without incurring what he regards as the prohibitive fees associated with fractional ownership contracts.
Pre-owned business jet prices are down 40 percent from the heights of 2008 and are now on average 15 percent below “market value,” Aircraft Post president
Cessna Aircraft yesterday completed its acquisition of business aviation flight services provider CitationAir. With the move, CitationAir becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Cessna but maintains its separate operation. The original company–called CitationShares until the name was changed this past October–was started in 2000 as a 50-50 joint venture between Cessna and TAG Aviation Holding.