At NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers annual conference in San Antonio this week, private jet charter and aircraft management provider Excelaire announced that it has once again achieved Wyvern Wingman status.
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 nation’s third-largest fractional jet program will continue to pursue a “stealth wealth” clientele while offering them customized solutions to their private aircraft travel needs beyond traditional fractional sales, and that may mean bringing more capital into the company, according to Flexjex president Deanna White.
Online booking portal Victor is aiming to dramatically increase available charter capacity almost ten-fold. As of the end of 2012, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time, and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter. Victor allows members to book aircraft directly for what it guarantees are fixed, all-inclusive rates and then offers individual seats for sale to other members.
Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group (Stand 624) has added a second Embraer Legacy 650 to its aircraft management fleet, which now numbers about 20 aircraft, including two Legacy 600s. Empire’s aircraft management philosophy “helps owners to optimize their investment and protect the long-term value of their aircraft asset,” according to the company, “covering all aspects of the aircraft’s operation, the option of charter and maintenance management.”
Saudi Arabia’s NasJet claims it is poised to grow revenues by 20 percent next year, after a healthy 6 percent gain during 2012. The increase, according to CEO Ghassan Hamdan, is due to growing aircraft management and operations support and more local charter agreements and charter business. In the first quarter of 2013, NasJet will open a new FBO at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in conjunction with Switzerland’s ExecuJet.
Avincis is the new name for World Helicopters, a firm that combined the Bond Aviation Group with Inaer when it took over the former last spring. The group, owned by KKR and Investindustrial, operates 400 aircraft, 350 of them helicopters.
There is no question that charter and fractional providers remain a key part of the world’s general aviation infrastructure, accounting for a significant amount of flying activity. Charter operators worldwide, especially in the U.S., are enabling owners to earn some revenue to offset costs, thus extending the useful life of older aircraft.
Anticipating several more years of suppressed demand for private aviation, NetJets Europe is seeking further voluntary redundancies from its pilot workforce. The fractional ownership and jet card provider is in consultation with its flight crews in the hope of avoiding compulsory layoffs, with some of the temporary payroll reduction measures it took in 2009 set to expire by the end of next year.
If past is prologue, expect an uptick in business aviation flight activity next March. That’s one of the conclusions drawn from an Argus Market Intelligence report released at the NBAA Convention. The report analyzes the last three years of the company’s TraqPak flight activity data, including its FlightView aircraft movement and JetNet aircraft ownership information.