Requests for charter flight price quotes, a bellwether of business aviation activity, have been growing in China by more than 20 percent annually over the past three years, according to data released this week at ABACE 2014 by Avinode. Quote requests for flights to and from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew from 9,701 in 2011 to 11,684 in 2012 (up around 20.5 percent), and to 14,369 last year (up around 23 percent).
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.
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.
Training specialist FlightSafety International signed a multi-year agreement with Chinese business jet leasing firm Minsheng Business Aviation yesterday at ABACE 2014. Under the deal, FSI will train pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants and dispatchers for Gulfstream G450/550 operators Beijing Capital Airlines and Shanghai Deer Jet. Most of the training will take place at FSI’s Hong Kong learning center, which opened in 2012. FSI also named Paul Statskey as its new program manager at the Hong Kong facility.
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business in the middle of this year, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. Upon its launch, NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation Ltd., will provide aircraft management services.
Wade and Dave Eyerly, the founders of Surf Air, an all-you-can-fly Part 135 membership service that operates Pilatus PC-12s on West Coast routes, have left the company. The brothers started Surf Air in 2011, and flight operations began in June last year. In February the company hired Jeff Potter as the new CEO.
A meeting between company officials and the Flight Options pilot union planned for today and tomorrow is intended to address issues arising from the consolidation of fractional-share operations Flexjet and Flight Options. Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital purchased Flexjet from Bombardier last December for about $195 million.
Argus International implemented several updates to the audit standard that it uses to qualify a charter operator for the Argus Platinum and Gold Plus rating. The additions are intended to create an “even more valuable and informative audit process,” said Argus president and CEO Joe Moeggenberg.
NetJets has embarked on a U.S. demonstration tour of its new Bombardier Challenger 350 to current and prospective customers in more than 20 cities. The aircraft is a demonstrator model, since NetJets won’t take delivery of its first Challenger 350 until this summer. The private viewing events will provide guests with the opportunity to view the redesigned aircraft, which includes larger passenger windows, onboard Wi-Fi and HD entertainment system.
Seawings has launched an amphibious seaplane shuttle service to connect Dubai’s remote new Al Maktoum International Airport with the Park Hyatt Hotel in the city center. The new operation has been launched in partnership with flight support provider Jetex, which operates an FBO at the airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).