The U.S. executive charter market enjoyed a markedly stronger month in February than during the same month a year earlier, according to online charter booking portal CharterX. Midsize jets showed the strongest recovery, with a 25.9-percent year-over-year increase, to 15,509 flight hours. Heavy jets recovered by 12.3 percent, to 8,610 hours, and light jets climbed 11 percent, to 14,757 hours.
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.
During a House aviation subcommittee hearing on oversight of on-demand (Part 135) aircraft operators last month, DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovel III said, “The FAA’s oversight of this industry is based primarily on compliance with outdated regulations…[for areas such as] flight crew training requirements and aircraft maintenance inspections.” The IG’s office found that a targeted risk-based oversight approach could help mitigate safety iss
The NTSB last month denied an FAA appeal of a judicial decision requiring the agency to pay Punta Gorda, Fla.-based aeromedical operator Air Trek $120,169.35 in attorney fees and expenses related to the FAA’s emergency revocation of Air Trek’s Part 135 certificate in June 2008.
Sentient Jet announced today that Marty Guinoo is taking over as CEO, replacing Steve Hankin, who has left the company for a new job as managing director of private equity firm Starwood Capital. Hankin worked for Starwood Hotels before joining Sentient in 2004. Guinoo has been senior vice president at Sentient since 2004. Sentient brokers charters and sells jet cards.
Cessna Aircraft yesterday completed its acquisition of business aviation flight services provider CitationAir. With the move, CitationAir becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Cessna but maintains its separate operation. The original company–called CitationShares until the name was changed this past October–was started in 2000 as a 50-50 joint venture between Cessna and TAG Aviation Holding.
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Delta AirElite Business Jets acquired Kinston, N.C.-based Segrave Aviation last month. Delta AirElite operates the Hawker 400XP and 800, Learjet 60, Challenger 604, GIV and G550; Segrave already operates essentially the same equipment, bringing the combined managed fleet to 45 aircraft and 200 employees.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108, the union for Flight Options’ 500 pilots, early last month reached a tentative agreement for a first contract with the Cleveland-based fractional provider. The agreement comes some four years after the union came on the property and, if ratified, will end years of sometimes acrimonious negotiations.
The trial of Michael and Paul Brassington, John Kimberling, Brien McKenzie and pilot Francis Vieira, executives and employees of now defunct Platinum Jet Management, has been rescheduled for May 11 to give both sides more time to prepare.
Online charter portal Avinode upgraded its new aircraft charter search engine, making it easier for charter brokers and operators to put together the most cost-efficient routes by allowing them to search more effectively for real-time aircraft availability and pricing. It can also show complex sets of charter flight options, even for operators with multiple bases or a floating fleet.
A judge in the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles overturned an earlier $20 million judgment against defunct charter operator XtraJet, saying, “The amount awarded to the plaintiffs was so great that it shocks the conscience.” The claim against XtraJet and its former owner, Jeffrey Borer, stemmed from the secret taping of pop singer Michael Jackson and his attorneys on Nov.