Over the half dozen years since the unwelcome intervention of the 2008/09 financial crisis, the aircraft management and charter market has not been a business for the faint-hearted. Tough trading conditions have served up challenges and opportunities in equal measure, laying the groundwork for the classic “survival of the fittest” story line in which the stronger players are able to turn their struggling competitors’ misfortune to their advantage.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Private aircraft catering is trapped in the 1990s, according to VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr. His frustration has prompted him to forge an alliance with high-end restaurant group Nobu to offer a special menu for VistaJet clients. For now, the Nobu meals are available only on flights out of London, Dubai and Los Angeles, but the operator is working to add the option for other cities where Nobu has restaurants.
“We’re looking at what is happening in the rest of the world so that we can bring it to aviation,” said Flohr. “This is what makes my life exciting.”
VistaJet’s audacious deal with Bombardier to buy up to 142 new aircraft raised some industry eyebrows last year, in part because it seemed to signal a massive escalation of a fleet that currently consists of just 37 jets. But fleet replacement is a big part of a company business plan founded on operating only young aircraft still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. The average age of its aircraft now stands at less than two years.
VistaJet is moving into the U.S. private lift market with a new alliance with Jet Aviation Flight Services, which is to operate a fleet of 12 Bombardier Globals on its behalf. The Europe-based group has made clear its intention to target former and current fractional ownership clients in building its North American client base. Under the terms of an agreement announced on September 6 in New York City, the Europe-based private flight provider also is teaming with start-up membership-based program Wheels Up to market VistaJet’s Flight Solutions Program (FSP) to customers in the U.S.
Although the name of the NBAA annual meeting and convention has changed to the Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the yearly celebration of all things business aviation has been and always will be known as the NBAA show, and those headed to Las Vegas for the October 22 to 24 event universally say they are going to “NBAA.”
Embraer Executive Jets said yesterday that it will announce enhancements to its current business jet portfolio, including a “new version” of its Lineage 1000 bizliner, at the NBAA Convention next month in Las Vegas. In addition, the Brazilian manufacturer’s midsize Legacy 500 will make its NBAA debut at the static display at Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport.
Responding to member feedback, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has clarified the organization’s position on any potential aircraft emissions deals under consideration at the two-week-long, triennial ICAO assembly that started yesterday. Earlier this week, NBAA said it welcomed signs that a proposal under consideration at ICAO might lead to a global compromise solution to addressing aircraft carbon emissions.
Bombardier Aerospace boosted the aftermarket support network for operators of its business aircraft in China by announcing a new service agreement with Beijing Airlines, one of mainland China’s top business aviation operators. Under this agreement, Beijing Airlines, originally established in 2003 as China Business Jet, will provide technical support for all Learjets, Challengers and Globals at its Beijing Capital International Airport facilities.
Overriding a three-month-old directive that resulted in difficulties and delays in obtaining crew visas and temporary landing permits (TLPs), India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has authorized the nation’s consulates abroad to grant business visas to crew of nonscheduled and chartered flights. Not to be confused with the landing permit for the aircraft, the TLP permits customs to allow entrance into India by crewmembers of nonscheduled flights, the DGCA said.
The African Business Aviation Association’s first regional symposium opened today at La Mamounia hotel in Marrakesh. In his keynote address, AfBAA founding chairman Tarek Ragheb reiterated business aviation’s importance to growth in the continent. He also underlined the need to change perceptions of African aviation in general, particularly with regard to safety.