As recently as four years ago, some observers openly questioned whether Bombardier’s Flexjet fractional ownership operation would still be around in 2006. Today, not only is Flexjet open for business, but it has turned the corner and achieved solid profitability–a milestone accomplishment in the fractional world.
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.
The FAA is moving forward with a plan to release Charter Operations Specifications A008 (OpSpec 008) and associated guidance on August 31.
A recent notice sent to Honeywell GNS-XLS owners confirmed what many had suspected all along: due to hardware limitations, the flight management system will be ineligible for upgrade to WAAS functionality. Honeywell is offering a software upgrade for the GNS-XLS covering precision area navigation (PRnav) in Europe and compliance with AC 90-100 for new U.S.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options this morning launched Fractional First, which it describes as a “purchase and use program designed to deliver up to a 15-percent increase in value through access to more hours or savings on long-haul trips.” The new program is the company’s response to the perceived lack of transparency in the industry.
Embraer today said Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed an order for 50 Phenom 100s, with options for another 50 Phenom 100s and/or 300s. The start-up company plans to offer “a turnkey ownership and comprehensive management program for very light jet owners and will operate…air limousine service for regional travel.” Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first Phenom 100 in early 2009.
After 15 years of auditing charter operators only at the behest of the companies or individuals who hire them, Wyvern Consulting, on Tuesday, announced that Part 135 operators can now request audits of their own operations. “It’s about time we did so,” Wyvern founder and president Walter Lamon told AIN.
First it was NetJets’ pilots who picketed and finally got a new labor contract; now it’s the fractional’s mechanics and other support personnel who on Friday began “informational picketing” at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Their contract became renewable in January last year.
A North Carolina judge issued an injunction recently against charter facilitator CharterX, its new Wyvern Consulting charter audit unit and a former ARG/US employee for allegedly using proprietary information from ARG/US computers without the company's permission.
Piaggio shipped only three Avantis in the first nine months of this year, hardly enough to keep up with demand, particularly from one of the OEM’s largest single customers, fractional provider Avantair. Lack of new Avantis is the primary reason that Avantair will record a loss of nearly $21 million this year, according to a recent SEC filing by the company’s new owner, Ardent Acquisition.
Bank of America (Booth No. 2390) announced today that it is establishing a cross referral and joint marketing program with Atlantic Aviation Flight Services, a subsidiary of Sentient Jet. According to Bank of America, clients who have signed on with Atlantic Aviation will receive “enhanced economics” in their financing terms from Bank of America.