In last month’s issue of AIN, in Part 1 of the charter/fractional special report, we covered the current state of the charter and fractional share segments, both in the U.S. and worldwide.
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 Air Charter Association of North America (Acana), an organization promoting best practices for charter operators and brokers, will hold a forum on charter operator/broker legalities, transparency, consumer protection and update on DOT broker regulations at the upcoming NBAA Convention. The forum will be held on October 10 from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Like most of the general aviation industry, the charter and fractional sectors have reported stable activity during the past year, with pockets of growth and decline although the number of charter hours flown so far this year is higher than the number of fractional hours.
I thought that working in the media was a precarious career path until I started to learn more about the executive charter business. In the media these days we struggle to understand how our hard work will be paid for, with readers less and less willing to pay for our words and pictures and advertising budgets shrinking. Evidently, too many people out there think that a credible free press comes for free.
Demand for charter flights during September looks set to flatten out, according to the latest projections from online charter portal Avinode. The company’s forward-looking demand index stands at 128.21 today, marginally down from August 1 but almost 40 points up compared with last September 1.
Victor, a new UK-based aircraft charter booking and price comparison website that officially opened last month, potentially reduces charter costs by selling spare legs and seats to other members. Membership in Victor is free, but is restricted to wealthy private or corporate travellers. The initial focus is on using European operators, flying to UK and European destinations in light jets.
Demand for charter flights anticipated during August showed a marked trailing off compared with a strong showing for July, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. On August 1, the company’s forward-looking demand index stood at 128.88, almost 27 points down on July 1, but just over 30 points higher than it had been 12 months earlier on Aug. 1, 2010.
Flight Options launched a new membership program for its Embraer Phenom 300s that combines the advantages of fractional ownership with the flexibility of a jet card. The new Flight Options Jet Club Membership program, which offers members access to the Phenom 300 without the asset purchase or monthly management fees, has two levels: 75 or 150 hours of flight time in the Phenom 300, to be used anytime within the 36-month membership period.
Signature Flight Support and NetJets signed a long-term lease that will provide the fractional operator with a dedicated, private terminal at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). The project, slated for completion in early 2013, will include a 10,000-sq-ft terminal as well as approximately six acres of paved ramp, aircraft movement and car parking areas.
Aircraft charter and management firm Solairus Aviation plans to open an East Coast regional office in the New York area. This comes on the heels of the company’s opening a new Denver office. In other news at the company, Solairus recently added new members to its charter sales and flight operations teams: Oliver Wolcott, vice president of business development; Mark Hill, charter sales account executive; and Ryan Rakow, flight coordinator.