Arguably nowhere on earth is the business case for seaplanes more compelling than in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives with its 1,190 islands (200 of them inhabited). The scattered nation, situated 250 miles southwest of India, has the world’s largest fleet of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters, offering high-end tourists a time-saving alternative to the boat connections between its low-lying islands spread over 35,000 square miles.
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.
More than 15 years after selling his Business Air commuter operation to British Midland Airways, Ian Woodley once again occupies the left seat as executive chairman of BMI Regional.
The Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) is seeking to broaden its membership base during this week’s Jet Expo show in Moscow. The group changed its structure earlier this year so that it is no longer confined to representing purely Russian aircraft owners and operators. It now wants to attract the support of international business aviation manufacturers and service providers.
Companies interviewed for this year’s fractional and charter market special report indicate that business is decent, although nowhere near the pre-recession pace of 2005 and 2006. The fractional-share business, at one time assumed by many to be dying or at least permanently flat, is growing, but still at a slow rate.
The FAA recently issued a legal opinion that allows Part 135 pilots to check tire pressure on all certified aircraft using Crane Aerospace & Electronics’ SmartStem wireless tire pressure monitoring system. According to Crane, there are currently no other products on the market that allow Part 135 pilots to check their own tires.
The U.S government’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is auditing aircraft management firms and trying to impose the federal excise tax (FET) on fees charged by the firms to aircraft owners. According to industry sources, IRS agents are targeting major charter/management firms, although the firms allegedly being audited didn’t wish to speak to AIN about their experience with the IRS.
Southeast England is going to be a busy place from the middle of July to mid-August as visitors and competitors converge on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and planning earlier than usual is going to be the key for business aviation operators hoping to get in and out of London-area airports, although they could still face delays.
Sikorsky’s Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) has established a base at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport (TEB) to provide access to Manhattan from all metro-area airports.
The flight from TEB to the Wall Street heliport takes less than 10 minutes. AAG will be providing the service in S-76s configured for seven passengers and crewed by two pilots. The helicopters are equipped with emergency pop-out floats, EGPWS and traffic avoidance systems.
Fractional ownership giant NetJets Europe (Stand 7051) is diversifying into aircraft management services. In an interview with AIN, sales director Marine Eugene explained that NetJets Aircraft Management has been established as a separate operation and will soon have its own air operator’s certificate (AOC). It will focus on large-cabin and long-range business jets, from the size of the Dassault Falcon 2000 upwards.
Athens-based VIP charter operator GainJet Aviation (Stand 1265) announced here at EBACE the recent addition of a Gulfstream G550 to its growing fleet of long-range jets. The fleet includes a VIP Boeing 757 BBJ executive airliner, Bombardier Global Express XRS and a Gulfstream G450, based throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.