TRAQPak’s annual review of the first half of the year’s flight activity for 2019 indicates that this year, through 6 months, we’ve seen 3 positive months and 3 negative months.
We’ve had strong growth in the fractional segment, negative growth in the Part 135 segment and slight gains on the Part 91 side. After moving towards a cooling trend in 2018, the Part 135 segment has spent all of 2019 in the red as each of the 6 months have declined when compared to 2018. The Fractional industry, on the other hand, has produced yearly gains during all 6 months of 2019. The Part 91 segment has also been mostly positive in 2019 with gains in 4 of the 6 months.
The smallest, but arguably most significant, gain came in the Part 135 segment, which ended its run of 13 straight months in the red to finish up 1.7% year over year. The aircraft categories were mostly positive with mid-size jets posting the largest increase from 2018, up 5.3%. Light jets posted an increase of 3.0%, while large jets dropped, slightly, 0.3% year over year.
ARGUS TRAQPak data is aircraft flight number specific arrival and departure information on all IFR flights in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), the Caribbean and Canada.
Monarch Air Group, private jet provider based at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, brings the top six predictions for 2020.
While we are still roughly a quarter away from 2020, there’s a series of trends that are starting to loom in the horizon and have served as talking points for leading players.
The private jet market is in the midst of change, with the on-demand charter model gaining momentum, the mid-sized jet losing ground, an overall increase in accessibility, new economies playing active roles in the industry and a demanded commitment to “go green” by stakeholders. Expect shifting winds for the 2020 business aviation market.
1. Move towards on-demand charter
On demand charter market, i.e. pay as you go model that does not require a membership or purchasing of hours takes an even greater momentum in the industry. This approach is so significant that larger players in the business aviation market are taking active steps towards it. This can be seen by the acquisition of JetSmarter by Vista Jet, the acquisition of Travel Management by Wheels Up and the acquisition of PrivateFly by Directional Aviation, just to name a few, all of which occurred in 2019.
The move from the conventional jet card model or fractional ownership is geared not only by the advantages of the on demand charter model (increased pool of aircraft, competitive prices, complete flexibility, no need to “freeze” funds) but also by the general “demystification” of the private jet charter industry. Consumers are more aware of the options, as any intellectual user is choosing the best method for them. It is now easy to get a quote on a private jet online and live without buying a five year membership program.
Gulfstream has officially expanded its MRO operations at Wisconsin’s Appleton International Airport with the opening of a newly built aircraft maintenance facility. The facility has been operational since Aug. 10th.
The nearly 190,000 square-foot/17,652-square-meter building, northeast of the airport terminal, was constructed with an investment of approximately $40m. The expansion to the Appleton service center includes 101,853 sq ft/9,462 sq m of hangar space, which will accommodate 12 Gulfstream G650ER or G650 aircraft. In addition to offices, back shops and general support space, the expansion adds a new sales and design center and increased customer access to Gulfstream’s design portfolio. The project, announced in February 2018, has resulted in nearly 100 new jobs at Gulfstream Appleton, with the potential for more in the next few years.
“This is a very exciting day for Appleton and the entire Fox Valley,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. “This beautiful facility represents the most significant expansion we’ve had in the 20 years we’ve been here. It is a tremendous asset to our site and the community. It will help us enhance the reliability of our growing fleet, support more customers and elevate their experience, continue to maintain a high level of safety and provide a world-class workplace for our employees.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida:
Banyan Air Service celebrates 40th anniversary with open house
On September 14, 2019 from 10am to 3pm, Banyan Air Service based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport will host a customer appreciation open house.
“It was 1979 when it all began and it is hard to believe it’s been 40 years,” says Banyan’s president, Don Campion. “It’s been a fantastic journey and it’s because of our dedicated teammates and loyal customers that we owe our success. We want to invite you to see what we have built at Banyan.”
The event will feature exhibits, aircraft on display, family entertainment, demonstrations, food and drinks, giveaways and tram tours. There will be a static display featuring several aircraft; including a Cirrus SR20, Diamond DA20, Cessna 172, HondaJet, and cars and motorcycles from Rick Case Automotive Group. In addition, there will be a Bahamas Junkanoo band performing at select times, a disc jockey, bounce house, face painting, and carnival games.
Banyan Air Service is located at 5360 NW 20th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. For more information and to register for this free event, visit: banyanair.com/40pr
Private charter platform PrivateFly, a Directional Aviation company, has announced the appointment of Gregg Slow as President for the Americas.
Slow joins PrivateFly’s senior leadership team to head the US division of the company, which operates from a US HQ in Boston and a sales office in Fort Lauderdale, with further sales teams based across the country. The US now accounts for half of PrivateFly’s global flight sales.
Slow brings 19 years of business aviation experience to the newly created role, most recently from his seven-year tenure at XOJET where, as Chief Client Officer, he built the commercial client-facing offering and assisted in the company’s acquisition by Vista Global. Previously he was Senior Vice President for NetJets, where he spent 12 years focused on the New York City territory.
At PrivateFly, Slow will head up commercial development and provide leadership in the Americas, with co-founder Adam Twidell.
Jet Support Services Inc
Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), the leading independent provider of maintenance support and financial services to the aviation industry, has appointed business aviation industry veteran Gary Strapp to the role of senior vice president, global program management and technical services.
Strapp brings 30 years of NetJets experience to this newly created leadership position at JSSI. He will guide the organizational efforts of the program management, pricing and technical services teams. In addition, Strapp will liaise and expand relationships with external strategic partners and vendors, including MRO providers and OEMs.
Strapp began his tenure with NetJets as a certified public accountant, working as a controller before being promoted to vice president of finance. He later served as vice president of administration before moving into his most recent position, vice president of technical support and maintenance reliability, which he held for approximately 20 years. Strapp is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and accounting major.
World Fuel Services Corporation has announced that a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company has signed a definitive agreement with Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. ('Universal') to acquire Universal’s UVair fuel business.
The total purchase price of approximately $170m, a portion of which is payable over three years, will be funded through cash-on-hand and liquidity available through the company’s existing unsecured credit facility.
UVair, headquartered in Houston, Texas, serves business and general aviation customers at more than 5,000 locations worldwide. While Universal will maintain its international trip planning services business, the agreement to purchase the UVair fuel business also includes an agreement for Universal to work exclusively with World Fuel to provide fuel supply to their customers.
In a ceremony at Pilatus Business Aircraft, Broomfield, CO., the first PC-24 to enter service in South America was delivered to Chilean customer Ignacio del Rio.
The Super Versatile Jet flies under Chilean registry. It was the 40th PC-24 delivered since the new business jet was certified in December 2017.
Ignacio del Rio, already a Pilatus owner flying a PC-12 NG, will keep both aircraft and operate them out of his base in Santiago. The new PC-24 will be used in support of del Rio’s agriculture and real estate businesses in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. The PC-24’s speed will allow him to reduce trip times relative to those in his PC-12 NG, yet utilise the same runways, some as short as 2,930 feet (893 metres).
Gulfstream G550 to join National Oceanic's Hurricane Hunter fleet
Gulfstream has announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established a contract for a Gulfstream G550. The aircraft will support NOAA’s weather forecasting and research programs.
“Gulfstream has been providing aircraft to the US government for more than 50 years,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “We are proud to continue the partnership with NOAA’s G550. Our aircraft platforms provide government and military customers with the flexibility, range and altitude capabilities perfect for demanding missions.”
Gulfstream has produced special mission aircraft since 1967 for a variety of applications, including head-of-state transport, airborne early warning, ground surveillance, maritime patrol, atmospheric research and aeromedical evacuation.
New cabin contract awarded by DC Aviation Group.
Comlux's Completion division has been selected by DC Aviation Group to complete the VIP interior of an ACJ320neo aircraft. This new signing consolidates Comlux Completion’s order book with a total of 4 ACJ320neo VIP cabins contracts signed to date.
Before flying to Comlux’ Indianapolis facilities, the aircraft, belonging to an undisclosed customer of DC Aviation Group, is to be delivered green by Airbus in November 2019.
Michael Kuhn, CEO DC Aviation Group says, “We have been working on the ACJ320neo project on behalf of the owner for more than a year. Further to the selection of Callies Gräfe Design earlier this year for the interior design concept, we are now pleased to team with Comlux Completion for the building the VIP cabin."
Jackson Hole, Wyoming:
In an effort to further business aviation’s carbon neutrality goals, Avfuel will make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available to operators fueling at Jackson Hole Aviation (KJAC) on September 3 and 4
For the event, Avfuel will supply 7,300 gallons of SAF to the FBO to fuel operators flying in and out of the airfield during the demonstration days.
“We’re committed to raising awareness on the viability of sustainable aviation fuel,” said Keith Sawyer, manager of alternative fuels for Avfuel. “Events like these show that the product exists, it is safe, it is simply jet fuel and it provides a great benefit to our environment. By raising awareness, we’re hoping to garner commitments from more operators to use SAF and present those commitments to producers, in essence saying: ‘Here are our customers. The demand is there. We simply need the supply.’”
Babcock scoops two new contracts for North Sea helicopter operations
Babcock Offshore has confirmed two new contracts for helicopter crew change operations out of their Aberdeen base.
The work will see Babcock continue and expand aviation support operations with Oil and Gas operators Total and CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited.
Total selected a bid from Babcock to continue operations with the company in their Culzean field for an additional 12 months, adding an extra S-92 helicopter to Total’s established flight operations. Babcock will add an extra S-92 to CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited’s established flight operations until September 2019, in support of activity in the Central North Sea and West of Shetland.
Babcock’s Director Offshore, Simon Meakins, said: “There is great potential for continued development in the North Sea and we are seeing some really positive moves here. We have the fleet, the experience and the long-term stability to provide the right level of support and service to today’s oil and gas companies and are looking forward to continued safe growth.”
328 Support Services partners with Germany to form a new Leipzig based OEM - DRA GmbH
328 Support Services GmbH (328SSG), the type certificate holder of the Dornier 328 aircraft, has announced the formation of a new aircraft original equipment manufacturer, DRA GmbH, founded on the proud heritage of Dornier and Germany’s reputation for engineering design, quality and innovation.
Representatives of 328SSG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and the German Federal & State of Saxony ministries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish DRA GmbH’s final assembly line for the D328NEU aircraft, a derivative of the Dornier 328, at Leipzig/Halle Airport, in the State of Saxony. The project anticipates the creation of up to 250 new jobs at the production facilities in Leipzig, and an additional 100 plus jobs at 328SSG’s HQ in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich.
Zeusch Aviation, the Netherlands-based aerial services provider, has begun dedicated European medevac operations in Spain using its King Air B200.
The G-registered, G-MEDZ, which has been configured in air ambulance format, is operating regular flights in partnership with IAS Medical, the UK-headquartered private air ambulance company which holds the AOC on which the aircraft operates.
Air ambulance services are being provided for the Spanish aviation organization Eliance which specialises in supporting aerial medical transportation, search and rescue and firefighting. Zeusch has repositioned the modified King Air B200 from its home-base in Lelystad to Malaga, where a crew of two, working on a two-week rotation, is also based to support the mission.
The first medevac operation took-off on 10 July 2019, and since launching the King Air B200 has already transported some 40 patients between Melilla and Malaga, Spain. Patient care is administered by a local professional medical team during the thirty-minute flight.
Leading private jet specialist, Air Charter Service, has said that in the first half of its financial year the company saw an increase in private jet bookings from its UK office of 8%. This is compared to industry-wide WINGX statistics showing that private jet flights into and out of the UK were down by 5.4% over the same six months.
Andy Christie, Air Charter Service’s Global Director of Private Jets, said: “We had a very good first half of the year, considering the market is in decline, with more than 1,300 private jet charter flights arranged just from our London HQ over the six month period. The increase of 8% is even more impressive when you take into consideration WingX’s figures for the UK and when compared to the worldwide industry as a whole, which has grown by just 2%.
“It may seem somewhat surprising that the team is doing so well, as the economic and political situation in the UK at the moment has led to cuts in spending in many sectors whilst the country waits to find out what will happen with Brexit. As opposed to the increase being due to a buoyant market, it appears that we are simply gaining substantial market share.
Paula will be back in two weeks.
The fifth edition of the European Cabin Service Conference will take place on 3rd & 4th October 2019 at the Hilton Grand Place Brussels.
Cabin crew, caterers and pilots from around the world will join this two days event to strengthen BizAv relationships and learn about best practices in the industry.
Beside the numerous networking opportunities, the participants will have the occasion to enhance the skills needed to achieve safe and secure travel while delivering the highest quality service.
Swedish air ambulance service acquires six Pilatus PC-24s
After a long period of intensive negotiations, Swedish air ammbulance service - 'Kommunalförbundet Svenskt Ambulansflyg' (KSA) - has opted for six Pilatus PC-24s in a fully equipped air ambulance configuration. These PC-24s will provide aeromedical care across Sweden from 2021.
KSA is a national organisation formed, mutually owned and financed by all 21 regions in Sweden. The regions are responsible for ensuring that everyone living in Sweden has equal access to good healthcare. Time is the essence for patients in an emergency and given the vastness of Sweden, the establishment of a national air ambulance service provides all residents with access to rapid, professional aeromedical care.
Combining the speed of a jet with the ability to use short runways - one of the great strengths of the PC-24 - the Super Versatile Jet from Pilatus is the ideal aircraft for KSA.
The Air Charter Association has launched a brand-new podcast - The Air Charter Podcast. It is widely available to listen to via the Association’s website and a number of leading channels including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Tune In.
The podcast has been created by The Air Charter Association Council member, Kevin Ducksbury of Emerge Aviation.
The podcast is released on a fortnightly basis and will raise awareness on issues and topics tackled by the Association and it will also feature news and updates about the charter industry as a whole. After a soft launch to a select audience and following positive feedback on these, the first three episodes are already available. These cover subjects such as the history of The Air Charter Association, illegal charters and an interview with Association Chairman, Nick Weston.
Each episode lasts around 20-30 mins depending on content and can easily be accessed by visiting one of the listed podcast channels and searching for The Air Charter Podcast. Listeners can experience the latest fourth recording via the podcast player on the homepage of the Association’s website, theaircharterassociation.aero. Episodes one to three can be found at theaircharterpodcast.com
Making the most of game-changing technology Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of Luxaviation UK.
Vacation Season Paula Kraft, founder of Atlanta's Tastefully Yours Catering and the DaVinci Inflight Training Institute in Fort Lauderdale.
July busy for Heavy Jets, but overall trends down The WINGX Report.
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Quantum signs for 26 electric airplanes from Bye Aerospace
On-demand air-taxi intended for all-electric eFlyer 4s.
Bye Aerospace announced that Quantum Air has signed a purchase deposit agreement for 22 of its all-electric four-seat eFlyer 4s and 2 two-seat eFlyer 2 airplanes. The company also signed a comprehensive agreement that includes two future advanced aircraft under development from Bye Aerospace.
George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, welcomed Los Angeles-based Quantum Air to the growing list of Bye Aerospace customers. “One of Quantum Air’s goals is to disrupt aviation, providing more accessible, cost-efficient, high speed air transportation solutions - including FAA Part 135 on-demand air taxi travel - to help alleviate the noise and CO2 emissions challenges that accompany traditional internal combustion aircraft,” he said.
Quantum’s new fleet of eFlyers cements its status as the first and leading air taxi service in Los Angeles. “With the arrival of electric aircraft, we are entering a new Golden Age in aviation,” said Tony Thompson, Quantum CEO. “Since the dawn of flight, point to point air travel has been a luxury available only to a privileged few. Quantum’s groundbreaking air taxi service will finally make point to point air travel widely available.”
eFlyer 2 prototype taxi.
“The future has arrived,” added Scott Akina, Quantum’s Vice President and Chief Pilot. “By electrifying aviation, Quantum will ignite urban and regional mobility. Electric aircraft are safer, quieter, and more efficient than legacy aircraft, and they are more fun, more comfortable, and do not pollute.”
In addition, Bye will join Quantum’s board of advisers. According to Thompson: “With George Bye on our board of advisers, Quantum will tightly integrate with Bye Aerospace, producing a superior flight experience for our customers.”
Bye Aerospace is developing the FAA FAR 23-certified family of eFlyer general aviation aircraft, starting with the eFlyer 2, for the flight training mission. All of Bye Aerospace’s current and future families of aircraft, including the eFlyer 2 and the eFlyer 4, feature exemplary engineering, research, and electric aircraft solutions producing no CO2, and are designed to answer compelling market needs. These include significantly lower operating costs, zero emissions, and decreased noise.