A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
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.
Luxaviation’s Belgian subsidiary Abelag acquired Paris Le Bourget Airport-based business aviation operator Unijet, the companies announced today. With the acquisition of Unijet, the Luxembourg-based parent company now has 350 employees and operates more than 60 business aircraft.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will offer new guidance on Emergency Response Planning (ERP) aimed specifically at the Middle East, as well as an update on the Middle East Business Aviation Insurance Scheme (MAIS), at a series of seminars and workshops during the Dubai Airshow this week.
MEBAA will also host its General Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, with founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi updating the association’s 215 members on MEBAA’s activities during the year. He will also outline plans for 2014, including the MEBA 2014 event in December.
Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), a key figure in the development of business aviation in the region, confirmed recently that the MEBA 2014 Show will take place at the new Dubai World Central Expo site, where the current Dubai Airshow is taking place.
Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.
The fractional market has undergone severe contraction this year, with CitationAir nearly out of the business of commercial business jet operations, Bombardier’s Flexjet sold to Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital and Avantair forced into
While the charter industry has seen some changes this year, the fractional-share business is undergoing a wrenching transition, with the shutdown of Avantair and the announced sale of Bombardier’s Flexjet to Flight Options parent Directional Capital.
A surcharge that FlightSafety International had planned to assess for certain Part 135 training events beginning in August has been cancelled, a FlightSafety spokesman confirmed to AIN. The charge presumably would have helped cover costs of training check airmen to meet clarified FAA requirements that the check airman has “completed at least one air carrier’s initial training and qualification curriculum as a flight crewmember for an operator certificated under the same CFR part.”
Bombardier’s Flexjet subsidiary reported a strong first quarter, led by growth in new buyers as well as higher levels of activity by existing fractional-share, jet card and lease customers. In the first quarter, new business was up 83 percent, fractional share sales up 108 percent and jet card sales up 48 percent over the same period last year. “Our flying is not only up with all the new sales,” said Flexjet president Deanna White, “but also our existing customers are ramping up their flying time. People are starting to open their wallets again.”
Russia’s Avcom (Booth 2117) reports a 50 to 70 percent monthly increase in business for its Jet Travel Club (JTC), which was launched in April 2012. The club’s three Cessna CitationJets are now demonstrating monthly utilization rate of 55 flight hours each. A typical operation lasts one to three days and sees two to three business travelers flying domestic routes.