Executive charter operator VistaJet has ordered six more Bombardier aircraft for its planned expansion into markets in West Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The deal announced in Farnborough includes four Global Express XRS and two Challenger 605 jets that are due for delivery in 2011 and 2012. The additional aircraft will expand VistaJet’s fleet to more than 30 airplanes.
NetJets Europe has introduced a new range of recyclable packaging for in-flight catering as part of its ongoing effort to reduce the carbon footprint of its services. The fractional ownership provider now gives passengers their meals in a box made from sustainable source bamboo, along with wooden cutlery and porcelain containers–all of which can be reused. The lids are biodegradable.
Former NetJets Europe executive Chris Moody claims he has helped to bring liquidity back into the market for fractional shares in business aircraft by offering a way to buy and sell shares without incurring what he regards as the prohibitive fees associated with fractional ownership contracts.
If it is true that an event becomes history when it is no longer referred to in the present tense, then the Great Recession still has some receding to do, despite recent suggestions by industry analysts that we are now in the market trough and the only direction is up.
Data on the U.S. fractional share industry show that last year was extremely challenging for the big four fractional operators–NetJets, Flexjet, Flight Options and CitationAir–and for smaller but healthier Avantair.
Canadian aircraft management company Air Partners has launched a fractional-share program to capitalize on historically low used aircraft prices. Air Partners is headquartered in Calgary and is a subsidiary of Morgan Air Services, which was founded by WestJet Airlines cofounder Tim Morgan in 1983. In addition to aircraft management, Air Partners offers charter and aircraft maintenance services.
The sudden collapse in August of fractional ownership startup Jet Republic probably convinced anyone in Europe who still failed to accept that business aviation’s bubble had burst.
By November 2008, it was obvious that despite the best efforts of the drivers and most ardent wishes of the passengers, the economic bus was headed over the cliff.
Since Sentient Jet was purchased by Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners last September, the company has returned to its roots, according to CEO Steven Hankin. Business is down, he concedes, but the slumping economy has forced business travelers to avoid owning capital assets–and therefore moved them toward purchasing jet cards.
Fractional ownership of private aircraft seems to be a struggling business model in North America and Europe but it’s alive and well in this part of the world, according to NetJets Middle East (NJME). The company, which is owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Air Service and is affiliated to U.S.-based NetJets Inc.