Continuing an expansion plan it launched in 2011, Luxembourg-based Luxaviation has acquired Paris Le Bourget-based Unijet. Among the expected benefits for Luxaviation, access to the continent’s premier business aviation airport and fleet growth rank first.
Charter and Fractional
News and issues concerning the aviation charter and fractional-ownership industries and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Wheels Up has raised an additional $10 million in equity capital in response to what founder and CEO Kenny Dichter describes as strong demand from investors wanting a stake in the new private aviation membership program. Initially, the New York-based company had aimed to raise around $55 million by the end of last year.
Projected demand for private charter flights over the next 30 days is down significantly from where it stood at the start of January, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. The company’s demand index for February 2 shows lower air charter demand levels on both sides of the Atlantic for the light, midsize and large-cabin jet categories surveyed each month by Avinode for AIN.
Jet card company Sentient Jet said that 2013 was its best year since 2008. The company sold more than 32,000 hours last year, the equivalent of some 1,300 twenty-five-hour jet cards, and expanded its revenue to more than $150 million. “We could not be more pleased with our 2013 performance, which included our best summer since 2008 and best holiday flying season since 2007,” noted Sentient Jet president Andrew Collins. Sentient also said its top-five busiest airports last year were (in this order): Teterboro, N.J.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Aspen; Las Vegas; and San Francisco.
Flexjet saw a 60-percent surge in new fractional aircraft sales and a 57-percent jump in jet card sales last month year-over-year, the company announced yesterday. For the entire year, Flexjet’s fractional share sales rose 10 percent, while jet card sales climbed 29 percent over 2012. After 18 years under Bombardier Aerospace’s wing, Flexjet was acquired last month by Directional Aviation Capital.
A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
Luxaviation’s Belgian subsidiary Abelag acquired Paris Le Bourget Airport-based business aviation operator Unijet, the companies announced today. With the acquisition of Unijet, the Luxembourg-based parent company now has 350 employees and operates more than 60 business aircraft.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will offer new guidance on Emergency Response Planning (ERP) aimed specifically at the Middle East, as well as an update on the Middle East Business Aviation Insurance Scheme (MAIS), at a series of seminars and workshops during the Dubai Airshow this week.
MEBAA will also host its General Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, with founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi updating the association’s 215 members on MEBAA’s activities during the year. He will also outline plans for 2014, including the MEBA 2014 event in December.
Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), a key figure in the development of business aviation in the region, confirmed recently that the MEBA 2014 Show will take place at the new Dubai World Central Expo site, where the current Dubai Airshow is taking place.
Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.