VistaJet’s bullish expansion plans have long turned the heads of more conventional charter sector rivals suspicious of how well-founded its business plan would prove to be in a sector that has struggled to regain profitability since the ravages of the financial crisis.
Aircraft lease, equity charter and fractional provider Executive AirShare says it recorded its “most successful” year ever and the third consecutive year of double-digit growth last year. The Kansas City, Mo.-based regional fractional operates the largest fleet of Embraer Phenoms, with more than 140 fractional shareowners and another 36 members in its lease and aircraft management programs. The company has 43 aircraft–King Airs and Phenom 100s and 300s–in its combined fractional and managed fleets and more than 140 employees at six cities in the Central U.S.
Deer Jet launched the first fractional aircraft program in China yesterday here at ABACE 2013. It is now selling shares in a Gulfstream G450 and a G550, the latter of which is on display this week in the show’s static display.
“As the largest aircraft charter company in Asia and the first to do aircraft management in China, it is our responsibility to create a fractional share product here,” said Hu Lei, general manager of asset management for Deer Jet. “We also believe it is the right time to offer this type of program in China.”
NetJets’ joint venture in the People’s Republic of China is making headway since announcing its entry into the country’s private aviation market during last year’s ABACE. “We are continuing to make great progress in gaining approval from the Chinese government to establish operations in China,” NetJets told AIN. “We are on target now to have approval in the first quarter of 2014.”
Fractional share provider Flight Options’ business is growing at a healthy clip, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company announced yesterday. “We’re definitely seeing a significant increase in hours flown and customer utilization,” said Matt Doyle, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re seeing folks are much more comfortable using their hours. On the business side, they’re using their airplanes to meet customers and clients and expand their business. On the personal side more folks are flying.”
The nation’s third-largest fractional jet program will continue to pursue a “stealth wealth” clientele while offering them customized solutions to their private aircraft travel needs beyond traditional fractional sales, and that may mean bringing more capital into the company, according to Flexjex president Deanna White.
Charter brokering group Air Partner is predicting further “slow but steady recovery” during 2013. However, in a forecast issued yesterday, the UK-based company also said that it expects to see more business failures in the charter market and what it says will be further contraction in fractional ownership.
Saudi Arabia’s NasJet claims it is poised to grow revenues by 20 percent next year, after a healthy 6 percent gain during 2012. The increase, according to CEO Ghassan Hamdan, is due to growing aircraft management and operations support and more local charter agreements and charter business. In the first quarter of 2013, NasJet will open a new FBO at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh in conjunction with Switzerland’s ExecuJet.
AIN asked NetJets Europe to comment on the market conditions that have led it to seek further cuts among its pilot workforce. The company responded with the following written answers:
Demand for private aviation is clearly proving slow to recover. What is your current projection for demand levels going into 2013 and 2014?
Riding a Brazilian economy that continues to grow, fractional ownership and aircraft management company Avantto is finding a ready market and looks forward to more of the same.
In less than two years, with the backing of Brazilian asset management and private equity firm Rio Bravo, Avantto has signed more than 350 customers and assembled a fleet of 24 jets and 23 helicopters.
According to founder and president Rogèrio Andrade, Avantto’s fractional business model fits the needs of the country’s expanding economy and growing dependence on aviation.