Indian helicopter operators have asked the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to revoke a new requirement making pilots personally responsible for conducting security checks on passengers. Ahead of India’s long election campaign, which ends this month and involves extensive use of chartered helicopters by politicians, the DGCA sent out a directive that obliges pilots to personally search passengers for guns and other illegal items.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
The civil aviation authority of the Cayman Islands (a branch of the British CAA) and Cayman Islands Helicopters have won their appeal against a previous justice decision that forced the sightseeing flight operator to suspend operations from a helipad conveniently located near a cruise-ship terminal in George Town. As of April 8, the CAA still had to validate the certificate again, almost one year after it had been suspended.
Marwan Khalek, group CEO of London-based Gama Aviation Ltd. (Booth P501), sees China as the next growth opportunity for his global charter and management company.
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 on the eve of ABACE 2014 by Avinode (Booth H430).
Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs currently in operation on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by the end of this year, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president.
“We are talking with several different airport authorities [who] want to cooperate with Deer Jet (Booth P424) to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN. This includes Beijing Capital Airport, where the company is awaiting permission to begin operations from a facility that was last used for the 2008 Olympics and would be the second FBO on the airport.
Global Jet’s fleet in China has grown with the addition of three more jets this year, and the company’s Asia-based fleet now numbers five aircraft. The Geneva-headquartered private jet company’s worldwide fleet of privately operated and charter aircraft has now reached 67.
Newly formed Avicus Group (Booth P232) is here at ABACE 2014 to introduce its full slate of aviation services to the growing China market. Launched by Jane McBride, CEO, and Patricia Zinkowski, president, the company’s capabilities include worldwide charter brokering, creation of customized international travel programs, aircraft sales and leasing and aviation consulting.
Having established an office in Hong Kong just under two years ago, aircraft broker Jetcraft is well positioned to exploit the burgeoning opportunities in the Greater China market for business and private aviation.
VistaJet expects to have its new operation in China up and running by the end of 2014 if it achieves its goal of getting its local air operators certificate approved by early in the fourth quarter of this year. Ahead of this week’s ABACE show, the Europe-based private flight provider was giving no further details of its local partnership arrangements for the China operation, but it has previously been in discussion with Beijing Airlines.
Empty Leg Market, the web-based service that aims to help charter operators fill empty flights with paying customers, plans to develop a tool to help buyers understand business aircraft charter costs to make the most of the company’s name-your-price feature. A recent analysis of how potential customers are using the bidding feature revealed that 50 percent of potential buyers dropped out at the point where they would have to enter an amount to bid on an empty leg.