The global business aviation industry is anticipating a modest increase in flight utilization, according to statistics released last week by aviation information services firm JetNet at its second annual iQ Summit in New York City. Based on the results of its most recent quarterly survey of business aviation operators, the company foresees nearly 5-percent growth in flight hours worldwide over the next 12 months and a 7-percent increase in the following 12 months.
AINalerts » June 14, 2012
Directional Aviation Capital, the business aviation-oriented private equity firm headed by Kenn Ricci, acquired charter broker Sentient Jet and aviation fuel management company Everest Fuel Management for an undisclosed sum from Australia-based Macquarie Group. The deal closed May 31, but wasn’t revealed to employees at Sentient and Evergreen until last week.
After asking for a show of hands from air charter operators who are experiencing difficulties filling pilot vacancies, FAA deputy director of flight standards John Duncan told attendees at this week’s NATA Air Charter Summit that he gets involved in discussions about pilot shortages in a lot of different venues. “From an academic standpoint, it’s going to be interesting,” he said. “But from a community standpoint, it’s probably going to be a little painful. This is an interesting dilemma for the aviation community.”
At a European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) session yesterday afternoon at the Canadian Business Aviation Association annual meeting, which started yesterday and concludes today in Toronto, EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba said he shares the audience’s frustration with the scheme’s many flaws. He readily acknowledged that the EU-ETS discriminates against business aviation and fails to encourage operators to reduce their carbon footprint.
In response to the lawsuit filed by Hawker Beechcraft over the light air support (LAS) competition, competitor Sierra Nevada filed an action in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims yesterday seeking reinstatement of the contract that had been originally awarded to Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.
Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
Private jet booking service PrivateFly.com has launched in France, Germany and central Europe, offering dedicated local web platforms, multilingual operations teams and a regional sales effort covering Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The move follows what the company called (but without specifying any detail) a “record-breaking sales month in May.” PrivateFly relaunched its UK website in April, along with a dedicated iPad app that enhanced its existing mobile applications.
Richmond, B.C.-based London Air Services placed a firm order for five Learjet 75s worth some $65 million, Bombardier Aerospace announced yesterday. The order makes the aircraft charter firm the launch Canadian customer for the light jet, a derivative of the Learjet 45 announced last month at EBACE. London Air currently has a fleet of five Learjet 45XRs, a Challenger 604 and two Challenger 605s. It also has a Global 7000 on order for delivery in 2017.
A new study–written by Nexa Advisors and commissioned by NBAA in conjunction with the “No Plane, No Gain” campaign–shows that local, state and federal government use of business aircraft increases agency or departmental efficiency and provides significant taxpayer value.
Eurocopter and helicopter support specialist Heli-One Norway have created Team Nordsar to bid in Norway’s competition for an all-weather search-and-rescue helicopter. The Nordsar version of the EC225 medium twin is touted as being well suited for missions in mountainous and coastal areas, as well as long-range operations in the Barents Sea. Eurocopter already has helicopters flying in SAR roles in the country.