Summer is typically a time the pre-owned market experiences a seasonal bump in inventory, as buyers are out using their jets to get to their favorite summer destinations and aren’t necessarily thinking of buying. This year, however, has been somewhat uncharacteristic and today’s supply of used jets is just about where it was when the year began. The lack of any wild gyrations could be a welcome sign of stability.
ATP Jet Center at Daytona Beach International Airport is the latest Signature Select affiliate FBO, Signature Flight Support announced today. Signature Select comprises independent FBOs that adhere to Signature’s systems, service and safety standards, as well as training, sales and marketing processes. Each member company maintains its independent brand with the addition of the Signature Select badge, the FBO chain said. Participating FBOs also offer the Signature Status and Signature TailWins customer loyalty and rewards programs.
Bombardier Flexjet is taking its rebranding efforts to the next step with the addition of Christopher Bero as the company’s new director of marketing. He joins Flexjet with more than 15 years of experience in brand marketing and communications. Most recently, Bero was responsible for managing strategic marketing activities and media initiatives at Samsung Mobile Electronics.
Aircraft Sales and Parts is now available to anyone free of charge to search, request pricing and contact the advertiser directly. “If you are looking to buy or sell any type of aircraft or aviation product you have come to the right place,” CEO and co-founder Rob Taylor said. The service is subscription-based (rather than commission-based) for the seller, so any individual can make free inquiries and there’s no charge for sales. Users are allowed to list up to a million parts and/or aircraft from a single account.
UK-based ConnectJets this week at EBACE announced a loyalty program for jet-card customers who expect to fly a total of 25 hours or more in a year. Jet Card Europe starts at $6,006 per hour for very light jets, and ranges up to $7,458 for light jets and $9,900 for midsize jets. The card comes with several benefits, including guaranteed availability, no peak-day restrictions, no positioning costs, no monthly management fees, no extra fuel or airport surcharges and discounts on same-day return trips.
Stratajet has unveiled a new web portal presenting aircraft charter availability and pricing in Europe. The UK-based company claims that new Stratafleet platform, which is due to go live August 1, will calculate charter quotes more efficiently and accurately than through existing systems.
Aviation Partners promoted Gary Dunn to vice president of sales and marketing. He joined the company in the mid-1990s to support the Gulfstream II blended winglet program and moved to the sales team in 2001. “Over the years he has been responsible for the sales, marketing and product introduction of virtually all our new products,” said company founder and CEO Joe Clark. “In the last two years he has taken over the marketing and advertising duties once performed by the legendary Dick Friel. He has filled those shoes well.”
Demand for charter flights appears to be climbing again, though charter hourly rates continue to be flat. Online charter portal Avinode says its April 1 demand index was 126.14–some 22 points higher than a year ago and about three points higher than last month.
At 98.1, though, the forward-looking price index for April was little changed from both last year and March 1. Charter pricing in the North American market dropped by two points from a year ago, while in Europe pricing solidified, rising about five points since April 2011.
Someone with more energy than I have is one day going to come up with a gauge that will accurately forecast the direction of aircraft sales just as the list of leading economic indicators predicts the future direction of the economy. Most of us in the industry seem to use our gut instincts to figure out where we are headed, but every day we get bankable hints. One of our sales directors mentioned to me the other day that exclusive aircraft listings are becoming harder to get, adding, “I think that’s probably a good thing.” He’s probably right.
Fuel supplier BP announced today that it has ended its licensing agreement with Epic Aviation, its exclusive North American licensee for the Air BP brand, which distributes fuel to approximately 350 FBOs in North America. According to the announcement, BP intends to enter the U.S. general aviation business as a direct fuel supplier to FBOs.