A busy year for upheaval in the fractional ownership and closed-fleet private aviation sectors reached a crescendo in December when Flight Options parent company Directional Aviation Capital completed its $185 million acquisition of Bombardier’s Flexjet program.
Signature Flight Support completed its acquisition of Maguire Aviation Group at Van Nuys Airport. Through this acquisition, Signature expanded its FBO at Van Nuys to a combined footprint of 1.17 million sq ft of hangar, ramp, passenger lounges and office space. This also includes a dedicated NetJets facility at Van Nuys.
Keith Plumb, president and COO of regional fractional-share provider Executive AirShare, will add the role of CEO starting on January 1. Current chairman and CEO Bob Taylor will step down at the end of the year, at which time he will become chairman emeritus and founder, while remaining an active board member. Plumb and Taylor founded Executive AirShare in 2000. “We are finishing our best year in the history of the company and now is the time for this change,” Taylor said.
The National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) has welcomed six new members. To its core aircraft broker/dealer segment, the association added North Carolina-based Corporate Fleet Services and Exclusive Aviation, an affiliate of Fargo Jet Center. The four new members of NARA’s aviation products and services group include global fuel provider Avfuel, aviation services chain Landmark Aviation, NetJets and aircraft financier Guggenheim Partners.
NetJets will import its first two aircraft into China this month in anticipation of securing a Chinese air operator certificate (AOC) around the end of the first quarter of next year. The U.S. company will base a pair of its Hawker 800s in China so it can offer charter services to local clients. The main business model for Zhuhai-based NetJets-China Business Aviation Ltd. will be to provide aircraft management services.
After climbing to its highest level since 2008 in October, business aircraft activity “cooled down” last month, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Overall, flying in this segment fell 2 percent year-over-year.
NetJets expects to operate approximately 200 flights in and out of Florida’s Miami-Dade area this week for Art Basel in Miami Beach, a modern and contemporary art show. For the 12th year in a row, NetJets has partnered with the international show, allowing the fractional aircraft company to provide its customers with access to the entire event, including the preview opening. This year, NetJets plans to host more than 800 of its customers and their guests in an expanded, exclusive and private NetJets lounge in the collectors’ area of the show.
NetJets is installing the Tempus IC system–a lightweight device that connects cabin crew to ground medical facilities through the aircraft’s satellite telephone system–aboard its midsize and large-cabin fleet of business aircraft. According to a NetJets spokesperson, some of the company’s current in-service fleet of Bombardier Global 5000s and 6000s already have the Tempus equipment installed and an additional number of the fractional ownership provider’s Globals, as well as its Challenger 350s and 605s, are being fitted with the system.
Eric Martel, previously president of Bombardier customer services and specialized and amphibious aircraft, has been named president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. He succeeds Steve Ridolfi, who was appointed the Canadian airframer’s senior v-p of strategy and mergers and acquisitions.
Universal Avionics promoted Paul DeHerrera to CEO from COO. Joachim Naimer remains the Arizona-based company’s president and chairman of the board.
Revenue at Berkshire Hathaway’s “other services” business, which includes NetJets and FlightSafety International, grew by 9.4 percent in the third quarter, to $2.235 billion, thanks in large part to higher sales of fractional aircraft shares at NetJets. In the first nine months, revenue was up by 10.5 percent, to $6.649 billion.