Private aviation club Wheels Up has appointed a management team packed with business aviation pedigree. Last month’s announcement of 15 high-level appointments came as Beechcraft completed the initial build of the first of 105 King Air 350i aircraft that Wheels Up ordered in July.
Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter has recruited executives from NetJets’ Executive Jet Management subsidiary for his new private aviation club’s management team. Robert Garrymore, most recently EJM’s president, is now president for ventures at Wheels Up. Serving alongside him as executive v-p for ventures is Ronald Silverman, who was EJM’s senior v-p of aircraft management, sales and owner services.
Embraer counts the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show as a key element in its business aviation strategy, especially for the light Phenom 100 and 300 jets, many of which are owner-flown. The Brazilian manufacturer brought examples of each jet to this year’s show, as well as a Super Tucano light-attack turboprop single that participated in the afternoon flight demo with famed aviator Patty Wagstaff at the controls.
Kenny Dichter, founder of jet-card innovator Marquis Jet, is re-entering the private aviation market with the launch of Wheels Up, a new private members club. The new company is set to place an $800 million order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i twin turboprops, with deliveries of the eight-passenger aircraft due to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, running through 2018.
Milestone Aviation Group, the helicopter leasing firm headed by NetJets founder Richard Santulli, closed a new $300 million credit facility yesterday. The company will use these proceeds to acquire and lease helicopters–including Sikorsky S-92s, Eurocopter EC225s and AgustaWestland AW189s and AW139s–valued at $400 million to affiliates of Bristow Group. The credit facility is the largest ever for a helicopter lessor, the company said.
Embraer announced its second quarter financial results this morning and the numbers fell into the positive category, with 29 executive jet deliveries, compared with 12 deliveries in the first quarter of this year, and 20 deliveries for the second quarter of last year. The value of the total firm-order backlog, including commercial aircraft, jumped from $13.3 billion at the end of the first quarter to $17.1 billion at the end of the second.
A legal battle is under way between the nation’s largest private aviation provider and two of the major FBO chains over whether NetJets’ aircraft charter and management arm, Executive Jet Management, can require the chains to provide fuel discounts to aircraft owners and operators whose aircraft are not part of the company’s fully managed fleet.
According to charter broker Air Partner, Conklin & de Decker released research during EBACE 2013 indicating that the use of charter jet cards is on the rise in Europe. The report assesses the jet card products offered by NetJets Europe (Booth 7011) and Air Partner across six key criteria: accessible service areas; notice period; aircraft choice; pricing; flexibility; and quality assurance, service and safety.
Inflight Executive Jet Centre at Stansted Airport in London has appointed Steve Grimes as its new managing director. Grimes is assigned the mission of expanding business for Inflight’s FBO and its maintenance shop.
“I am looking forward to growing the business in both areas,” said Grimes, “which could mean expanding with new locations for both operations and maintenance.” Inflight also said its growth strategy includes expanding into aircraft completions and interior refurbishment.