Embraer’s business aircraft deliveries declined to 99 last year from 144 in 2010, according to the Brazilian OEM’s fiscal-year 2011 and fourth-quarter 2011 results, released recently. Embraer Executive Jets’ share of total company revenue dropped to 19 percent last year from 23 percent in 2010. The company delivered 50 business jets (more than half the annual total) in last year’s fourth quarter, 11 fewer than for the same period in 2010.
The release of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) memo on March 9 outlining guidance on how to apply the federal excise tax (FET) to fees paid to aircraft management companies adds to business aviation’s burden at a time when the industry continues to suffer from weak demand, high fuel prices and public criticism of this form of travel. This memo isn’t the first time the IRS has attempted to apply the 7.5-percent FET to non-commercial Part 91 flight operations.
The IRS has countersued NetJets for more than $360 million in alleged uncollected excise taxes. In November, NetJets sued the federal government for what it said were wrongfully imposed taxes, interest and penalties totaling more than $642.7 million. NetJets claimed that as a manager of private aircraft, it was not required to pay a “ticket tax” because its services were not taxable transportation.
AeroMechanical Services, operating as Flyht, will provide NetJets Europe with the automated flight information reporting system (Afirs) and services for 30 Hawker Beechcraft 750/800XPs.
Thomas French, Aeromechanical Services’ CFO, told AIN, “We’ve been dealing with smaller groups, primarily regional carriers, specialty carriers and cargo operators with 30 or fewer aircraft. This places the technology we’ve developed over the years with a major player and takes us into another level.”
No one doubts that demand for business aviation is growing in Asia, but is the available aircraft capacity being developed sufficiently to meet this demand? It is not, according to Jean Noel Robert, president of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), who believes that the lack of available charter aircraft is a real impediment to growth.
The world leader in fractional ownership is coming to China, but fractional shares won’t be on its service menu here–at least for the time being. After years of looking to enter the Chinese private aviation market, here at the ABACE show yesterday NetJets finally confirmed plans for a new joint venture in the People’s Republic of China.
After years of looking to enter the Chinese private aviation market, NetJets finally confirmed plans for a new joint venture in the People’s Republic of China today at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai. Though NetJets is known as the company that pioneered the sale of aircraft fractional shares in the U.S. and Europe, its services in China “will begin only with managing and chartering aircraft that are wholly owned by customers” rather than fractional ownership.
NetJets has attained Level III of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) pilot program. As such, NetJets is the first fractional operator, as well as the first fixed-wing Part 135 operator and the first combined Part 135/91K operator, to achieve Level III. The FAA SMS pilot program, which has a four-level system of acknowledgement, is intended to help operators develop and implement a comprehensive SMS for their entire organization through safety-centric policies and risk mitigation.
After almost a decade of controversy, four years since the first complaint was filed and several postponements of the actual trial, the Bobigny Criminal Court (a French court near Paris Le Bourget Airport) decided on Tuesday to acquit NetJets Management Ltd and NetJets Transportes Aéreos (two companies trading as NetJets Europe) in a case where they were accused of employment practices contrary to French law. All civil plaintiffs’ claims were rejected.
As CitationAir transitions from selling fractional shares to focusing on its Jet Card and Jet Management products, the company plans to “begin reducing its aircraft fleet as Jet Share contracts expire,” according to a statement that AIN obtained yesterday from company president and CEO William Schultz. “A corresponding number of pilots will be furloughed as aircraft are removed from the fleet, making way for new managed aircraft,” he added.