The release of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) memo on March 9 outlining guidance on how to apply the federal excise tax (FET) to fees paid to aircraft management companies adds to business aviation’s burden at a time when the industry continues to suffer from weak demand, high fuel prices and public criticism of this form of travel. This memo isn’t the first time the IRS has attempted to apply the 7.5-percent FET to non-commercial Part 91 flight operations.
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.
Charter broker Chapman Freeborn (Booth H508) is no stranger to China, having established a sales and marketing office in Beijing in 2004. Now the UK-based company has opened an office in Shanghai and here at ABACE is touting the business aviation side of its charter services.
Aircraft charter provider VistaJet plans to step up its expansion of operations across Russia, Asia, Africa and South America. By 2015, the Switzerland-based group also intends to double the size of its fleet to more than 60 jets. VistaJet is in talks with prospective partners in China and expects to have an established operation there by year-end. On January 12, the company reported that it anticipates final figures for 2011 to show a 20-percent increase in passenger numbers and a 25-percent hike in revenues. It also anticipates 50-percent growth in profits.
A new 10-hour jet card is available from broker Magellan Jets. The card costs $34,950 and imposes no daily minimum flight times, federal excise taxes, positioning charges within the base service area, blackout dates or fuel surcharges. The card includes 10 hours in an Eclipse 500 very light jet for flights in the Northeast U.S.
Moshe Yanai, data-storage entrepreneur and aircraft owner-pilot, is seeing the fruits of his labor to establish two widely dispersed on-demand, air-taxi operations: Tel Aviv Executive Helicopters in Israel and Boston Executive Helicopters in Norwood, Mass.
The company operates an Aerospatiale AStar and TwinStar in Israel, and an AStar at Norwood Memorial Airport serving the U.S. Northeast. A TwinStar is scheduled to join the U.S. business soon.
About 75 to 80 Members of the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and other employees held an informational picketing session outside NetJets headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday to bring attention to issues that the union claims the company management is not addressing.
The latest forward-looking demand index from online charter portal Avinode stood at 206.86 for December 1–up almost 90 points on the November 1 index and nearly 40 points up from 12 months ago (see Demand Index chart). Avinode’s price index for the next 30 days confirms this expected trend, albeit at a more moderate level.
A special-edition Flexjet 25 Jet Card, operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions, features a getaway to Los Cabos, Mexico, created by luxury travel experts at Abercrombie & Kent. Available through January 31, the Baja Adventure Edition jet card includes a complimentary three-night stay at the Las Ventanas resort, situated at the edge of the Baja peninsula.
Regional business aviation companies met in Dubai today to share information and discuss issues at the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) roundtable. The first session covered issues affecting aircraft operators, while the second addressed training and recruitment. Dr.