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.
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.
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.
NetJets Europe is launching management services in Europe as a separate division from its fractional operations in the region. It will be similar to U.S. Executive Jet Management arm at NJE’s sister company. AIN contributing editor Thierry Dubois sat down with NetJets Europe director of sales Marine Eugene at EBACE to learn more about the new program.
The release of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) memo on March 9 outlining guidance on how to apply the federal excise tax (FET) to fees paid to aircraft management companies adds to business aviation’s burden at a time when the industry continues to suffer from weak demand, high fuel prices and public criticism of this form of travel. This memo isn’t the first time the IRS has attempted to apply the 7.5-percent FET to non-commercial Part 91 flight operations.
Charter broker Chapman Freeborn (Booth H508) is no stranger to China, having established a sales and marketing office in Beijing in 2004. Now the UK-based company has opened an office in Shanghai and here at ABACE is touting the business aviation side of its charter services.
Aircraft charter provider VistaJet plans to step up its expansion of operations across Russia, Asia, Africa and South America. By 2015, the Switzerland-based group also intends to double the size of its fleet to more than 60 jets. VistaJet is in talks with prospective partners in China and expects to have an established operation there by year-end. On January 12, the company reported that it anticipates final figures for 2011 to show a 20-percent increase in passenger numbers and a 25-percent hike in revenues. It also anticipates 50-percent growth in profits.
A new 10-hour jet card is available from broker Magellan Jets. The card costs $34,950 and imposes no daily minimum flight times, federal excise taxes, positioning charges within the base service area, blackout dates or fuel surcharges. The card includes 10 hours in an Eclipse 500 very light jet for flights in the Northeast U.S.