The rebirth of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai was, by common consent, a resounding success–especially considering the many challenges that organizer NBAA faced in running a modern trade show in China’s main business city. The March 27-29 event drew 156 exhibitors in a 43,000-sq-ft space provided by Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre at Hongqiao Airport. The static display was populated by some 27 aircraft and was overlooked by eight exhibitor pavilions occupied by companies too large to exhibit inside the main hangar.
Los Angeles-based aircraft charter and management firm Jet Edge was named “Private Jet Services Company 2012” yesterday by the Institute of Transport Management. Bill Papariella–a business aviation industry veteran with experience at Sentient, Marquis Jet and NetJets–founded Jet Edge last July with the help of Bard Capital Group CEO Richard Bard, Western Jet Aviation CEO Jim Hansen and four other former NetJets senior sales executives. The company has five large-cabin Gulfstreams among its fleet.
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.
NetJets Europe announced today that it is extending its ferry waiver zone, in which fees on positioning flights are not charged, for flights between 21 “business critical” airports in the Middle East and Europe. The extension will add Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait to the waiver, which previously included Lebanon and Tel Aviv. The company said it has witnessed “strong growth” in flights to the Middle East in the last few years, with 9.2 percent growth reported last year alone.
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.