UK-based ConnectJets this week at EBACE announced a loyalty program for jet-card customers who expect to fly a total of 25 hours or more in a year. Jet Card Europe starts at $6,006 per hour for very light jets, and ranges up to $7,458 for light jets and $9,900 for midsize jets. The card comes with several benefits, including guaranteed availability, no peak-day restrictions, no positioning costs, no monthly management fees, no extra fuel or airport surcharges and discounts on same-day return trips.
Stratajet has unveiled a new web portal presenting aircraft charter availability and pricing in Europe. The UK-based company claims that new Stratafleet platform, which is due to go live August 1, will calculate charter quotes more efficiently and accurately than through existing systems.
Aviation Partners promoted Gary Dunn to vice president of sales and marketing. He joined the company in the mid-1990s to support the Gulfstream II blended winglet program and moved to the sales team in 2001. “Over the years he has been responsible for the sales, marketing and product introduction of virtually all our new products,” said company founder and CEO Joe Clark. “In the last two years he has taken over the marketing and advertising duties once performed by the legendary Dick Friel. He has filled those shoes well.”
Demand for charter flights appears to be climbing again, though charter hourly rates continue to be flat. Online charter portal Avinode says its April 1 demand index was 126.14–some 22 points higher than a year ago and about three points higher than last month.
At 98.1, though, the forward-looking price index for April was little changed from both last year and March 1. Charter pricing in the North American market dropped by two points from a year ago, while in Europe pricing solidified, rising about five points since April 2011.
Someone with more energy than I have is one day going to come up with a gauge that will accurately forecast the direction of aircraft sales just as the list of leading economic indicators predicts the future direction of the economy. Most of us in the industry seem to use our gut instincts to figure out where we are headed, but every day we get bankable hints. One of our sales directors mentioned to me the other day that exclusive aircraft listings are becoming harder to get, adding, “I think that’s probably a good thing.” He’s probably right.
Fuel supplier BP announced today that it has ended its licensing agreement with Epic Aviation, its exclusive North American licensee for the Air BP brand, which distributes fuel to approximately 350 FBOs in North America. According to the announcement, BP intends to enter the U.S. general aviation business as a direct fuel supplier to FBOs.
Component Control, at Booth No. 7321, has released “Remote Inventory,” an inventory management tool for Component Control’s core product, Quantum Control. Its users can set minimum and maximum inventory levels online, then track, manage and bill upon consumption for inventory co-located at any customer facility. The Remote Inventory program accelerates replenishment of stock to keep up with work in progress.
JetNet is offering demonstrations at its Heli-Expo booth (No. 9763) of customer relationship management (CRM) features recently added to its piston and turbine helicopter database. JetNet CRM allows database subscribers to tap into data on aircraft owners and operators throughout the world.
By most accounts the fourth quarter of last year was active. While not atypical for that period, the activity was a good sign for the market that tradition seems to be intact, or at least reestablished after being pushed off course a few years ago. With the U.S. economy doing incrementally better, the hope is that this activity will spill into the first quarter and beyond. Many eyes now are cast upon Europe, where last month S&P lowered its credit ratings on nine nations.
Conklin & de Decker will host its “Essential Tools for Your New Maintenance Manager’s Role” from February 15 through 17 in Irving, Texas. “The seminar provides helicopter maintenance managers the necessary tools needed to master their challenging position,” said Brandon Battles, v-p and co-owner. “Many maintenance professionals, when thrust into a management role, feel behind the power curve.