Fractional operator Flexjet has increased the seating capacity of its Challenger 604s from nine to 12, creating a four-seat conference grouping in the aft cabin. The company is also introducing satcom and DirecTV programming on all its 604s, as well as reducing the monthly management fees and hourly rates for new Flexjet fractional owners purchasing a 50-hour share in the 604.
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.
In last month’s overview of the fractional aircraft industry, several consultants characterized Cleveland-based Flight Options as the least financially sound of the four major fractional providers. While official Flight Options pronouncements paint a rosier picture, recent data suggests that the fractional consultants weren’t far off the mark.
The U.S. DOT’s unwillingness to ease unpopular restrictions on foreign charter operators flying into the U.S. is jeopardizing moves on the other side of the Atlantic to reform rules covering fractional ownership.
Dutch start-up Helinet will offer scheduled helicopter flights among cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The Amsterdam-based company first wants to build heliports at or near office areas outside city centers. Under a joint venture with Dutch government-owned public transport operator Connexxion, the company is due to start operations with Eurocopter EC 130s in the second quarter of next year.
Two leading providers of charter industry information are embroiled in a heated legal dispute focused on the alleged acquisition and misuse of proprietary data. A North Carolina judge issued an injunction in July against charter facilitator CharterX, its new Wyvern Consulting charter audit unit and a former ARG/US employee, Cliff Maurer, for allegedly using proprietary information from ARG/US computers without the company’s permission.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options last month 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.” All new Flight Options contracts will include Fractional First, while existing customers have the option to transition to a new Fractional First agreement for the remainder of their current
It’s one thing to find a new way of doing business. It’s quite another to make it work. Paul Touw, founder and CEO of Xojet (pronounced exojet) in San Carlos, Calif., believes he has done both.
On December 10, after a three- week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, a jury awarded pilot Doyle Baker nearly $64 million, in a lawsuit against aircraft management firm PrivatAir and three of its employees. Baker filed suit in July 2004, alleging that Privat-Air had fired him at age 62 due, in part, to age discrimination.
Pakistan is the latest new market for Bombardier’s Skyjet International fixed-rate executive charter program with the appointment of Karachi-based Princely Jets as its latest operating partner. Princely Jets was set to take delivery of a new Learjet 45 by the end of last month and later intends to add either a Challenger 604 or Challenger 300 to its fleet.
In a recent letter to the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it has “begun the process of developing and instituting a security oversight and monitoring program for fractional ownership aircraft.” The letter was the latest correspondence between the TSA and ECAC about the European organization’s concerns about the security aspects of fractional operations.