Companies interviewed for this year’s fractional and charter market special report indicate that business is decent, although nowhere near the pre-recession pace of 2005 and 2006. The fractional-share business, at one time assumed by many to be dying or at least permanently flat, is growing, but still at a slow rate.
Signature Flight Support and NetJets broke ground today on a 10,000-sq-ft dedicated passenger terminal solely for NetJets customers at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. The $13 million facility, which will open in the second half of next year, is being developed under a partnership between the FBO chain and fractional provider. Attending the event were Signature and NetJets executives, local elected officials and a half dozen students enrolled in the aviation program at the nearby Boynton Beach Community High School.
FlightSafety International’s Bombardier Global 5000/6000 simulator its Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio, received FAA and EASA level-D qualification, a company spokesman told AIN. While the sim was installed primarily to train pilots at FlightSafety sister company NetJets, Global training will be available to all customers. Meanwhile, FlightSafety’s Embraer Phenom 300 sim is scheduled to be completed and qualified by year-end at the Columbus facility, though it will be used only for NetJets pilot training in the light jet.
NetJets is adding in-flight Internet service from Aircell to another 100 or so aircraft in its fleet, Aircell announced yesterday. In 2010 the fractional operator initially opted for Aircell Internet service aboard more than 250 of its jets, and the additional 100 systems will expand NetJets’ connected fleet by about 40 percent. The installation process is already under way at Duncan Aviation, and the entire retrofit program is expected to be completed by mid-2014.
NetJets officially opened its new dedicated passenger terminal at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport on Thursday. Built on a Maguire Aviation leasehold in partnership with Maguire, the new 10,000-sq-ft facility is located on the east side of the airport, near the center and adjacent to Western Jet Aviation. Stevie’s Catering occupies 1,000 sq ft in the NetJets facility.
NetJets parent Berkshire Hathaway reported yesterday that its other businesses, which includes NetJets, grew 2012 revenues to $2.152 billion in the second quarter and $4.199 billion in the first six months, up 3 and 4 percent, respectively. Earnings in 2012 reflected increased earnings at NetJets and earnings from the Omaha World-Herald.
Bombardier today reported aerospace revenues for the second quarter increased to $2.3 billion from $2.1 billion helped by business aircraft deliveries that grew to 46 aircraft, up from 35 in the same period last year. Business aircraft orders for the quarter were 134 versus 43 in the same quarter last year, boosted by the firm NetJets order for 100 Challengers. Bombardier Aerospace’s backlog has grown to $25.2 billion, up from $22 billion as of Dec.
NetJets introduced its Supplemental Lift Assurance program yesterday to address the short-notice needs of aircraft owners that cannot be met with their owned aircraft. The obstacle might be a technical problem, an existing trip commitment or a size or range inadequacy of the owned aircraft for the mission at hand.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter drove most of the second-quarter growth at parent company Textron, chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly said during an investor conference call this morning. Combined, the two aviation segments accounted for $1.82 billion of Textron’s $3 billion in revenues and $187 million of its $288 million profit during the quarter.
The computerized FBO management system field in the U.S. is about to get more crowded as European developer Amsterdam Software is set to export its web-based FBO One system overseas to challenge rival products such as Total FBO, My FBO and FBO Manager.