In part because of a high-profile charter crash at Teterboro Airport (TEB) early in 2005 and several other accidents involving responsibility for operational control, the FAA late last year released its long-awaited Operations Specification (OpSpec) A008 and related guidance regarding operational control in Part 135 charter operations.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
NetJets has doubled its order for new Hawkers. The fractional operator, which announced at last year’s NBAA Convention an order for 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs, disclosed last month that it ordered another 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs. Both aircraft are derivatives of the Hawker 850XP and will replace that model on the production line.
The five major fractional operators fell short of AIR’s projected pilot hiring levels last year, according to statistics prepared by the Atlanta-based aviation employment consultant. The major players–Avantair, CitationShares, Flexjet, Flight Options and NetJets–hired 674 new pilots, more than 300 shy of AIR’s January 2006 estimate that 1,000 pilots would be required.
San Francisco-based charter sales firm TAG Aviation USA formally launched its JetCard at the NBAA Convention last week. Though competitor programs typically offer a set number of hours on a specific size of aircraft, the TAG JetCard allows customers to purchase charter flights in increments of $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000 for use on any seven jet categories via affiliate AMI Jet Charter or other TAG vendors.
November 25 is the comment deadline for FAA’s proposed guidance on business aircraft wet leases.
Although declining from providing revenue figures, Delta AirElite president and CEO Michael Green said the Cincinnati-based charter and management company “is having a record year,” with a 38-percent gain in revenue flight hours over last year. He attributed much of the increase to the company’s introduction of its Fleet Membership jet-card program in February 2003. The company has also increased its charter/management fleet to 19 jets.
Another penalty has been assessed against Darby Aviation, one of several operators involved in the crash of a Challenger 600 at Teterboro Airport, N.J., on February 2. Doing business as AlphaJet International, the Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Bankrupt regional aircraft manufacturer Avcraft Aerospace has been bought by UK Corporate Jet Services, parent company of Southampton-based executive charter operator Club328. The new owner will not be resuming aircraft production, but will instead run Avcraft as a support organization for existing Dornier 328 jet and turboprop operators under the name 328 Support Services.
Southampton, England-based Club328 has launched a block-charter program called SkyClub. The entry-level package is 10 hours in a Raytheon Premier I for £30,000 ($52,500). Last month, Club328 bought four pre-owned Premier Is from Raytheon Aircraft. SkyClub customers will also be able to buy blocks of hours in its other aircraft: a Dornier 328Jet and a Dornier 328 turboprop twin, as well as a Hawker 700 and a Hawker 800.
Dallas-based Gold Jets, which provides aircraft management and arranges charter flights via an online auction process, has purchased charter operator New World Jet of Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Kern Mattei transferred his 100-percent interest in New World Jet to Gold Jets in exchange for an ownership interest in the latter company.