Newly formed Gulf charter company Prestige Jet has been set up by principals previously involved in Dubai-based charter company Gulf Jet. Abu Dhabi-based Prestige Jet–not to be confused with New Jersey-based Prestige Jet Charter–is owned by Al-Ghaith Holdings, the aviation arm of the Al-Yasi group, which previously had a financial partnership with Gulf Jet.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
French executive charter operator and broker Aviaxess has launched what it claims to be the first frequent-flier loyalty program in the business aviation market. It is promoting the new Aviacard here at the EBACE show at the exhibit of Helicoptere Magazine (Booth No. 586) Aviacard is intended to provide incentives for occasional users of business aircraft to become more frequent charter clients.
JetFly, a Luxembourg-based company set up in 1999, is offering fractional ownerships in single-engine turboprop aircraft.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, conceived as a corporate flight department in 1998 to transport the German-U.S. car manufacturer’s managers and technical staff among plants ranging as far as Stuttgart, Germany, to Detroit, Michigan, was a charter operator from its inception.
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).
“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.