A decade ago, many U.S. charter operators were voicing the same anxieties that their European counterparts are expressing today in their opposition to proposed new part-private part-commercial operating rules for fractional ownership. In short, they too believed that the major fractional providers would wipe them off the face of the earth, having been handed an unfair competitive advantage.
As the debate within EBAA has raged over the past 12 months, opponents of the IWG-BAO’s recommendations for a European version of the Part 91K rules for fractional ownership have complained that the increased flexibility that these allow would give an unfair competitive advantage.
The leadership of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) believes it has now reached a workable consensus on the complex and contentious issue of how to regulate fractional ownership operations. According to EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries, the key to achieving a solution that all parts of the industry can accept is an anticipated breakthrough in getting U.S.
Charter broker Air Partner will this summer relaunch its Jet Membership block charter program under the new name JetCard. The new offering will promise maximum flexibility with customers free to opt for a full, no-quibble refund on flight hours bought at any time.
Members of the Teamsters union that represents mechanics, aircraft fuelers and other support personnel conducted what they called "informational picketing" at the NBAA Convention this week and elsewhere against their employer, fractional provider NetJets.
Preparing for future growth of its U.S. and European operations–and in spite of mounting losses–fractional ownership giant NetJets has placed orders for 72 business jets valued at more than $1.6 billion.
More than 20 years ago, fractional jet ownership began with NetJets and then expanded rapidly in the late 1990s with the growth of Raytheon Travel Air and Flight Options (now just Flight Options, which is wholly owned by Raytheon), Bombardier’s Flexjet and the Cessna/ TAG Aviation CitationShares joint venture, among others.
As recently as four years ago, some observers openly questioned whether Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional ownership operation would still be around in 2006. Today, not only is Flexjet open for business, but it has turned the corner and achieved solid profitability–a milestone accomplishment in the fractional world.
Tag Aviation president and CEO Jake Cartwright has projected another record year for U.S. operations in 2006. Since January 1, 25 fully managed aircraft have been added to the fleet, raising the total to 100 aircraft at more than 60 U.S. locations.
UK-based fractional ownership program European Business Jets (EBJ) is looking to move into aircraft management to boost its available fleet. The company is also considering adding new types to its fleet, including the Embraer Phenom 100 and HondaJet very light jets. It sells shares in pre-owned jets and currently operates a Cessna CitationJet and a Citation CJ1.