Air Partner, the company that describes itself as the world’s largest aircraft charter broker, is seeing a surge in business. Over a period of six months ending in January, the UK-based company saw its client base increase by 25 percent. Compared to the same period the previous year, sales grew by 60 percent to £90.3 million ($179 million) and operating profit increased 139 percent to £3.2 million ($6.3 million).
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
“Not everyone can or wants to own a private jet, and even the most affordable co-ownership or ad hoc chartering package is not always suitable,” Flying Group president and general manager Bernard Van Milders told EBACE Convention News.
JetBird, the planned low-cost air charter service, caused quite a stir at the 2006 EBACE exhibition when it ordered 50 of Embraer’s Phenom 100 very light jets and optioned another 50. Speaking exclusively to EBACE Convention News before this year’s show, JetBird managing director Paul Gearney confirmed that the order still stands and that the operator expects to begin flying in April 2009.
Tyrolean Jet Services of Innsbruck is here at EBACE for the sixth time, exhibiting its charter expertise to attendees (Booth No. 526). Austria’s oldest executive aircraft operator and the largest in the western part of the country, Tyrolean was founded in 1976 as the flight department of the Swarovski Group–manufacturer of crystal, jewelry and optical systems.
Block charter has evolved as the primary alternative to fractional ownership in Europe, with providers continuously vying to offer greater flexibility and value. Operators and brokers are now competing to find new incentives to influence customers to abandon airlines in favor of charter services.
DayJet founder, president and CEO Ed Iacobucci dropped by AIN’s offices last month to provide an update on progress with his per-seat, on-demand VLJ air-taxi service. The company had 100 employees and had taken delivery of the first three of 310 Eclipse 500s it has ordered or taken options on. The aircraft awaited installation of a third attitude indicator before they could be used for Part 135 pilot training and operation.
Two well known companies that operate and manage charter aircraft and jet travel cards have merged. As reported in AIN last month (page 3), Berwyn, Pa.-based JetDirect has acquired Weymouth, Mass.-based Sentient Jet.
Private jet travelers have a new option this summer to sample jet-card membership without the typical 25-hour annual commitment. The Bombardier Skyjet Demo Card is being offered as a special promotion through the end of August. Available to new customers only, the Skyjet Demo Card is priced at a flat $10,000, which can be applied based on 100-hour regular Skyjet Card rates.
Strong revenue growth has led Delta AirElite, the business aircraft charter division of Delta Air Lines, to introduce a revenue guarantee for aircraft owners who are accepted for enrollment in the company’s aircraft-management program. The company is offering new management clients flight hour guarantees ranging from 200 to 500 hours annually for select aircraft.
Following a hard look at the recent series of air charter accidents, the National Air Transportation Association has taken steps to assist operators in improving safety. NATA president James Coyne unveiled the association's new “Safety 1st” air charter Safety Management System (SMS) in a town hall meeting yesterday with some 50 aviation businesses at Teterboro Airport.