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World Cup to kick start charter in Africa

Turning green Care for environment turns brokers green

Mergers and joint ventures change charter marketplace PLUS A ROUND-UP OF CARGO, PASSENGER AND BUSINESS AIR CHARTER NEWS

JUST FLY. WE LOOK AFTER THE DETAILS.

More and more discerning travellers are turning to private aviation as their preferred way to travel. It’s easy to see why, especially if privacy, discretion and security are an important part of your itinerary. Of course there’s also the issue of comfort and your own private space, where your time really counts. As you would appreciate, these things all make a big difference, and the difference starts with ExecuJet. You have access to a total aviation service that focuses solely on getting you where and when you want to go in total comfort. For that next journey, whether you simply require quality time-out, or quality private time spent productively, we can take you there. Contact us today to see how we can assist your business with our 150 + aircraft fleet. 24/7 Charter Call Centre T: +41 44 876 5555 charter@execujet.eu

A S I A PAC I F I C

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www.execujet.net

MIDDLE EAST

SOUTH AFRICA

FOR PROFESSIONALS IN CHARTER FLIGHT PROCUREMENT

ISSUE 1 JUNE 2009

T

Publisher: Editor: Production:

David Wright Rod Smith Kate Woods Chris Carr

Advertising manager:

HE economic downturn has dominated our consciousness in recent months, and has been a difficult pill to swallow for those involved in the industries most affected. From the media coverage you could be forgiven for thinking that business would never be the same again. But don’t believe it. Growth in world population, the massive economic impact of China and the opening of global markets will inevitably drive world trade upwards. After a pause for breath (maybe until 2010), air transport will once again see higher load factors and resume its crazed demand for more aircraft. For some air charter brokers the pressure of reduced volumes of business in the meantime will tell, but for others the crisis will have provided an opportunity. If corporate aircraft owners feel the pressure to take aircraft, and travel management personnel, off the balance sheet, then charter will

surely benefit. And in Europe, the Middle East and Asia there are few aircraft operators with fleets diverse enough to meet every need. Step forward, charter broker, your time has come. You have the chance to develop new business, even amidst a crisis. Whenever a business aircraft is sold without replacement there is surely an opening for the astute broker who scans the aircraft sales data. Whenever a scheduled airline drops a cargo route, there is sure to be someone left in the lurch with pallets to shift. So welcome then, to this the very first issue of Charter Broker magazine, in which we will aim to report the latest developments and to stimulate your thoughts. We’ll be there, every other month in the charter broker’s letterbox, and freely available online to everyone else. And I for one am looking forward to the rollercoaster ahead. David Wright

Mark Ranger

Subscriptions:

Janet Bell

Administrator:

Hilary Tyler

Charter Broker 134 South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3BQ Tel: +44 1279 714505 Fax: +44 1279 714519 email: info@charterbroker.aero www.charterbroker.aero

CONTENTS FEATURES

BROKER NEWS

World Cup to kick start African charter market

Brokers worldwide take on board the business potential of conversions Tough financial climate ‘is improving honesty and service’

Host South Africa is busy improving its transport infrastructure, providing welcome business opportunities Page 12

Charter Broker is published six times each year, by Stansted News Limited. Periodicals postage paid at Rahway, N.J. Postmaster: Send address changes to Stansted News Limited c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd., 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001. Company registered in England no. 2224522. Printed by Stones.

Charter brokers weigh up benefits of carbon offsetting

Charter Broker is sent without charge to qualifying professionals. Please visit the web site to request a copy.

COVER PICTURE

The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to Charter Broker are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Articles appearing in Charter Broker may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the publisher. Charter Broker is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork.

JUNE 2009

Page 6

Air Partner enjoys entertainment ‘encores’ after successful Kylie Minogue tour

INDUSTRY NEWS

Page 18

Joint ventures are the order of the day as operators expand Cargo brokers look at ‘chartering scheduled’ into Angola

Brokers and operators may feel the need to project a green image, but it can be tough choosing the best approach. Page 22

Rizon plans to add UK AOC to Middle East duo

Chris Leach, ACS chairman, and Tony Bauckham, ACS md, are pictured in front of Manhattan Jet Charter’s Premier 1, one of six in the Farnborough-based charter operator’s fleet. The fleet, which is now also operating two Learjets for European Skytime, attracts business from brokers including ACS which is expanding into Africa (see feature page 12). Manhattan md Trevor Jones says: “It is pleasing to be able to expand in the current business environment.”

For advertising rates and data visit www.charterbroker.aero CHARTER BROKER 3

NEWS FROM BACA

Sixty years on, BACA is in good shape T

The world’s largest network for air charter professionals BACA represents the interests of commercial aviation companies particularly in the air charter industries and markets. Membership includes air brokers, charter airlines, airports, business aircraft operators, freight forwarders, consultants and others. www.baca.org.uk

4 CHARTER BROKER

he Baltic Air Charter Association welcomes the arrival of Charter Broker, and is proud to be a part of this ground-breaking venture. We wish the magazine and its publishing team the very best wishes for the future, and hope that our mutual relationship will be long and successful. This publication is aimed at the same specialised profession which was responsible for starting up the Baltic Air Charter Association (under its original name of the Airbrokers Association) back in 1949, which makes this our 60th anniversary year. Formed by the Baltic Exchange in the City of London, its purpose was to bring to aircraft chartering the same standards of integrity and professionalism for which the Baltic Exchange and Chartered Institute of Shipbrokers had long been renowned. In 1976 membership was opened to include airlines and other non members of the Exchange who could show that they operated to the same high standards set by the original Association. Members may use the facilities offered by the Exchange both for social functions and private meetings. Our 60th anniversary falls at a time when everyone is suffering the effects of a worldwide recession, so it was with some trepidation that we started to sell tickets for our regular Spring Lunch at the Ironmonger’s Hall in London. This function is about half the size of our usual main event in October, so we felt it might test the water for the Autumn show, especially since we have committed to the hire of the prestigious Guildhall for our biggest event ever, and need a good response to justify this. This was a particular concern of mine, having just stepped into the role of Chairman, and I was afraid that the membership would dwindle away to nothing as soon as I donned my chain of office. In fact we need not have worried. The April lunch was a sell-out, as had been our Annual Awards ceremony last October, when we had people waiting outside in case of no-shows. It seems that our lunches still hold an appeal, almost certainly for the networking opportunities they provide, so we remain hopeful that our combined 60th Anniversary and Awards event in October will be well attended. That said, we are still looking for sponsors. The glittering event will be a perfect vehicle for corporate exposure to the industry, so if anyone feels they would like to be a part of this, please get in touch. As always the hard work in the background is conducted by our stalwart Council. We have never had so much to do, and each of us has been kept busy. Among those new responsibilities, BACA is presently under pressure from broker members to provide a safe pair of hands for funds in transit from clients to operators. Some airlines ask for substantial deposits months in advance of the flight date, and

charterers are nervous that the carrier may go out of business in the interim – as well they might, and as some have indeed done. The broker has their own interest at heart, as well as that of the client, who may well turn to them for recompense if things turn nasty. The solution BACA is pursuing is the ‘client account’, a form of escrow facility which would run by BACA for its members, and intended to provide a secure depository that can be trusted by all. In fact some airlines are not too delighted about the prospect, as they are used to receiving their money in cash, well in advance, and doing with it what they will. But if the brokers use it widely and insist on it, then the airlines (particularly those who are BACA members) may have to go with the flow or lose business. It will be interesting to see how it works in due course. Another major issue for the industry is ‘auditing’. The two American independent aviation audit companies (ARG/US and Wyvern) presently dominate this field, and undertake detailed assessments of airline standards of maintenance, training, operational ability, quality control and legislative compliance. At the moment, the majority of those audited are executive jet companies in USA, but the practice has crossed the Atlantic, and some bigger European operators are starting to get ratings. This enables the broker to obtain quickly a rundown of the maintenance status, age and ‘mileage’ of a specific aircraft offered, and even get detailed training backgrounds of the pilots that will fly it. This report can be presented to the client before the flight, and is an impressive seal of quality. Not only that, some major client corporations demand it, and won’t allow their staff to fly without it. BACA is now working closely with both audit firms, and can offer discounted access to the service for its members. That’s yet another achievement of the hard-working Council, many of whom were not even born when BACA (in its previous form) was created. At least, with a loyal Council and an enthusiastic membership, we look in good shape to launch ourselves into the next 60 years. Dick Gilbert, chairman, BACA JUNE 2009

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BROKER NEWS

Brokers worldwide take on board the business potential of conversions The demand for converted commercial aircraft reached new heights as the private aviation boom years led to lengthy waiting lists for everything from Phenoms and Mustangs to BBJs and ACJs. Now, with the global recession putting corporate budgets under pressure, the appeal of conversions remains strong. They can be more cost-effective to charter than new aircraft, and they offer bespoke interiors, although they can be slower. And air charter brokers have to be sure that their clients will be comfortable with aircraft that are obviously less modern than jets rolling off the production lines. But London Stansted-based Titan Airways is in no doubt. It presented its newly configured 44-seat Boeing 737-300QC to charter brokers and their considered verdict was: “This aircraft will sell itself.” The aircraft, showcased at Inflite’s new London Stansted FBO, has been in the Titan fleet for a year, originally flying in a single class 130-seat layout. Now, after an extensive three months’ work by Inflite, it features just 44 seats in a comfortable business class layout. Air charter broker Trevor Wright from Planesense Aviation said the cabin had a “real look of Ferrari about it – extremely stylish. I will certainly be recommending it, and it’s perfect

Titan: focus on interior comfort

Titan: modern entertainment systems for European car launches on conference and incentive trips.” Lawrence Reed from Air Partner plc, one of Titan’s biggest charter users, agreed. “Its appeal is also its generous hold capacity, which will be a strong selling point for the music tours we do,” he suggested. Tim Procter from Air Charter Travel noted the cabin was extremely roomy and fresh looking. “The yellow and black colour scheme is very distinctive,” he said. “Beautifully presented for a QC aircraft,” added Spencer

Arnold from Hunt and Palmer. “Ideal for the corporate charter market. Who could fail to be impressed?” Much of a conversion’s appeal to brokers depends on the quality of design. The feedback on the 737-300QC was that the seats upholstered in yellow and black leather in a spacious four abreast configuration would appeal. Titan says it styled the aircraft in response to market demand. Alastair Kiernan, Titan Airways commercial director,

says: “The new layout, represents an investment of £0.5 million and affords plenty of personal space and leg room, making it ideally sized for corporate charters. It is well suited to incentives, product launches, music tours and football charters. One wellknown London premiership team has already flown on the aircraft.” Titan Airways’ 737, which originally flew with Falcon Air of Norway, features two club-four seat arrangements at the front, with a coffee table that can convert to a full working/dining table for each club-four setting. A fixed divider separates these seats from the front of the cabin, which offers 36 forward facing seats with a seat pitch of approximately 62 inches – almost twice that of an average 737. Each leather seat is formed in a cradle design for optimum comfort, complete with

Call&Fly start-up aims to provide ‘one call’ service Austrian-based start-up air charter broker Call&Fly says it aims to make bookings as easy as calling a cab. “We will be offering our clients a service on the basis that one call solves all requirements from pricing to related services such as hotels and pick-ups at airports,” says Andreas Günterseder, md. The broker, operating from Salzburg, says that its choice of operators will reflect their ability to help deliver the Call&Fly business plan for ‘one stop shop’ arrangements. Pictured at the Charter Broker stand at the EBACE exhibition in Geneva in May are bdm Tom Haunsperger (left), Günterseder and bdm Maria Obermoser.

6 CHARTER BROKER

JUNE 2009

BROKER NEWS

Left to right: Project Phoenix CRJ 12s plan to attract medevac operators. Pictured left to right are: Mike Creed, vp sales; John Lawson, special adviser; Vis Tata, vp program management; Mike Cappuccitti, president/ceo; Kevin Hoffman, chairman and Nick Mossa, vp sales moveable headrest and footrest, ample recline and in-seat power connectivity for laptops, electrical equipment or inight entertainment. Titan is promoting Mezzo handheld multi-channel units which play ďŹ lms, short features and documentaries. Kiernan says: “On board, Titan’s inight attendants provide

a discreet, yet attentive service. A selection of Ă  la carte menus is offered, complemented by ďŹ ne champagnes and wines carefully selected from around the world. The 737-300QC will be able to y Europe-wide with a four and a half hour range – for example, London to Cyprus and the Canary Islands direct.â€?

Titan’s customers include cruise lines, pop groups, blue chip organisations, ďŹ nance houses, major car companies and tour operators. But the 737-300QC is not solely dependent on executive charter. All the seats are palletised on a roller track and can be removed inside one hour enabling the aircraft to undertake

One Company Endless Possibilities

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JUNE 2009

Continued on page 8

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Challenger 604 (10 passengers)

night ights for the Royal Mail. The seats are kept safe overnight in one of Titan’s hangars. Some charter brokers, such as Antony Rivolta from Jetclub Spain, only use conversions occasionally. Rivolta says: “I have no issues at all with airliners that have been converted into vip conďŹ guration.â€? However: “We have only performed perhaps two charters in 11 years on a vip conďŹ gured airliner but this primarily because our business is European short haul and they are simply too expensive for that type of mission.â€? Rivolta adds: “I am also fairly certain that the days are numbered for older equipment such as 727s etc as most clients favour the new generation purpose built conversions such as BBJ/319CJ. It remains to be seen whether there is a market for newer conversions such as the Phoenix CRJ.â€? The medevac attractions of Project Phoenix CRJ 12s have

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CHARTER BROKER 7

BROKER NEWS Continued from page 7

been enhanced. Passengers and crew flying newly-reconfigured Project Phoenix CRJ 12 to 19-passenger aircraft will receive built-in access to life-saving MedAire medical solutions. These include a complementary MedAire medical package which brings a one year subscription that connects passengers and crew to doctors in MedAire’s 24/7 MedLink Global Response Centre. “In the event of an inflight medical event, crew members can contact MedLink emergency care doctors via their satellite phone or radio,” says vp sales Mike Creed. However, conversions that fulfil a market niche are in demand, with 328 Support Services placing two vip Dornier 328s into Dubai. The order, placed through trading company HYSSOP Global, based in Nigeria, is for two 31seat airliner-configured 328 Jets. These were previously operated by oil company Shell of the Netherlands. The company says: “Both are low time aircraft, with 6,000 hours logged. They will be modified by 328 Support into 10-seat vip aircraft, replicating the 10-seat vip layout the organisation showcased at the MEBA show in Dubai.” Enquiries from brokers who appreciate the Dornier 328’s ability to land on shorter runways are expected. 328 support services ceo Dave Jackson says: “This latest contract follows hard on the heels of 328 Support’s deal with Aviando Services from Miami, Florida. It is taking an ex Atlantic Coast Airlines N-registered 31-seater which 328 Support is converting to a 12-seat vip Envoy.” He adds: “The owner is also discussing the possibility of taking a third aircraft. 328 Support will provide spares and stock inventory in readiness for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year. The second aircraft will follow in the first quarter 2010.” 328 Support recognises that the interior look is critical. “Special interior features will 8 CHARTER BROKER

The 328’s interiors are designed to appeal to clients

Tim Procter: close relations with Icejet

Jon Ingi Jonsson include an all new inflight entertainment system, De Crane soft leather seats. 328 Support Services’ engineering team will also fit long range fuel tanks to the aircraft, enabling a 2,000 nm range – for example, Dubai to Cairo. 328 Support will also carry out a series of heavy maintenance checks and other modifications prior to delivery,” says Jackson. Entertainment systems are also a big selling point for charter operators, brokers and their clients. Cirrus Aviation, part of the newly expanded DC Aviation

Group, also has a 328 jet. 328 Support turned this aircraft into a 12-seat vip layout from its previous 32-seat airliner layout. It also carried out the modification and conversion to vip layout of the five 328s operating with Icejet which is basing two of its five 328 jets at the UK’s Oxford Airport. The first aircraft to feature the IFE/CMS package will be MSN 3209, destined for Aviando Services during the fourth quarter 2009. Jackson says: “We are delighted to have won new business especially in the face of immensely tough competition in the Middle East which has flattened off and become a buyer’s market.” The Middle East and Russia are potential growth markets for Dornier 328 conversions. “The economics are marvellous,” says Air Charter Travel’s Tim Procter. “The Dornier 328 fills an important niche in the market offering a Gulfstream interior at a King Air price.” Procter points out: “The 328 cannot match the Challenger or Gulfstream for speed but it is ideal for travel around Europe and the shorter runways of airports such as London City are not a problem. Clients might have to travel a bit slower but they can make up for it by using airports not accessible to other aircraft that have the advantage of quicker processing. In ball park terms the flight might take 20 minutes or so longer but landing and clearance throughput could be 90 minutes less. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend the 328 for

travel for those whose top priority is speedy intercontinental transit but it is an excellent aircraft for comfortable journeys of around three hours.” The company used 737-300s and 747s for the recent European football cup final in Rome when fans saw Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 and it was the same type of charter approach the year before in Moscow when United won 1-0 against London’s Chelsea. But conversions as well as the larger, modern aircraft play their part in Air Charter Travel’s provision. It works closely with Icejet which operates five 328s and whose business relies almost entirely on broker recommendations. Jon Ingi Jonsson, md and captain, says: “The Dornier 328 is the secret of our success. It is very efficient, reliable and cost-effective and it is a pity that it is a model that is not being made any more.” Icejet bases the 328s in countries such as the U.K., Russia and Latvia. Jonsson says comfort, reliability and baggage capacity makes the 14-seat vipconfigured Dornier 328 ideal for music tours, leisure and business trips. He reports that the 19-seat corporate shuttle configuration is proving a popular alternative. “The Dornier 328 fills a niche in the Russian market as it is a good alternative to the current types currently available there. The 14 seat Envoy can carry a large group in comfort, and has a 750kg cargo hold with enough space for all their luggage, ski gear, music equipment or golf clubs. At a more cost effective price than a Global Express or Challenger, the 328 is ideal for the short haul leisure market.” Jonsson reports good progress in marketing 328 charters through Russian brokers appointed to represent Icejet and he believes there is similar potential in the UAE and wider Middle East. Two 328s are fitted with long range fuel tanks, giving a 2,000 nm range, enabling such direct sectors London-Moscow and London-Palma, Mallorca. JUNE 2009

In brief...BROKER NEWS

Tough financial climate ‘is improving honesty and service’ The tough global financial climate should bring about better service levels in the charter broker industry, according to Oxygen 4 director Mark Green. It has already, he says, brought about a new openness and transparency about business levels. He told Charter Broker: “The executive jet industry as a whole is going through what is arguably the toughest time it has known. These tough times have been compounded by the fact that there have been particularly buoyant times in the past five years ... lots of new aircraft, lots of new brokers and lots of new airlines.” But: “Upon hitting the metaphorical wall that began in October last year, many of the industry sectors that feed executive aviation immediately stopped using charter, preferring to be seen to be ‘more budget conscious’. Those brokers and airlines who were not in a solid position are those who feel it most which leaves the rest of us in a stronger position.” Green says: “It is interesting to notice that, in the 15 years that I have been working in executive aviation, there has previously been a secretiveness between competitors; with each broker suggesting to the other that “business is still fine”; however, during this present financial meltdown, the industry has become more honest with one another.” All companies, he says, must be suffering business losses. “Oxygen 4, like everyone, has found its business is a little down when comparing 07/08 to 08/09. When Rod Glassford, Steven Jack and I started the company in 2005, times were about as buoyant as anyone had seen and Oxygen 4 progressed at a rate of knots to a heady turnover in year three of £18m.” But Oxygen 4 opted for consolidation in anticipation of the downturn and to focus on picking up business as brokers unable to ride out the tough times left the sector. “This decision was one that has

Mark Green: consolidation and service the key to riding out recession proven to be a good one, and we have maintained all of our clients, even if some are flying less and indeed secured a number of new accounts as a result of others who are unable to maintain either standards or business,” Green says. “Although tough, it has been a good exercise for executive jet industry; brokers and airlines alike are having to work harder to keep clients happy and consequently service levels have and should increase; this can only be a good thing.” Green believes the charter broker industry may be through the worst. “Whilst there may be still some companies falling away, the markets are noticeably picking up. For example there is a definite increase from US and encouragingly the financial markets – these two are always good yardsticks for the industry,” Green says. Furthermore, with the summer coming the Middle East is beginning to start. South Africa, with the 2010 World Cup on its way (see feature Page 12) is generating enquiries from sports companies and investors and, following an exhibition at Soccerex in Johannesburg, there are also people within the African nations that are enquiring.”

DC10 supertanker ready to fight Europe’s forest fires Air Partner reports growing interest from several countries in the use of a DC10 fire fighting tanker. Graham Davey, who joined the company as its first government and defence business manager following a 36 year career as a senior officer in the UK Royal Air Force, says: “We are very pleased with the response so far.” Air Partner has been appointed sole European agent for the giant fire fighting jet. Davey explains: “It has proved invaluable in the US for its aerial fire fighting capability. It can now be leased by European governments through Air Partner and can be rapidly employed as necessary this summer.” He adds: “There have been a number of significant forest fires throughout Europe in recent years and the availability of the DC10 supertanker to add muscle and efficiency when a fire is raging is a real boon.” The DC10 took four years to develop and is operated by 10 Tanker Air Carrier. It can fly as low as 200 feet above ground level and holds 12,000 gallons of fire retardant or water. Davey says: “This is five to ten times more than other mainstream fire fighting aircraft and the water can be released in a continuous 800 metre line as wide as a football pitch. Flying at up to 400 knots, the DC10 can reach a disaster zone considerably faster than any other aircraft used for a similar purpose, none of which are jets. As a consequence, this opens up the choice of basing options and provides considerable flexibility.” JUNE 2009

PrivateFly takes the charter broker route PrivateFly, an online network for private jet charter, is developing business by acting as a conventional charter broker. Adam Twidell, md, says: “We offer a full-time service in the same way as a traditional broker because we find the first enquiry tends to be by telephone.” But Twidell says clients then transfer to the simple online process. “Our mission is to have the world’s most user-friendly booking service allowing concise and easy selection of airports, aircraft, times and special requests,” he adds. PrivateFly, which has recently appointed David Scowsill as chairman, has five developers working on its web site responding to client feedback. Venues such as football stadia and hotels are being encouraged to book and the site now enables operators to plan in a fuel stop. Twidell says PrivateFly bills the client direct except when the lateness of a booking means remuneration has to be sought through the operator.

Aviation Broker helps Russians downsize Frankfurt’s Aviation Broker GmbH reports that the Russians, who traditionally like big and roomy aircraft, are trading down and negotiating hard on prices. The German company’s md Jens Dreyer says: “They are more concerned with the price and less concerned with comfort and modernity.” Aviation Broker, he says, does not pressure charter operators on price but chooses reliable companies based in countries where costs are competitive. “Since launching eight years ago we have built a good bank of operators and we can meet whatever demand trend the market makes.”

CHARTER BROKER 9

BROKER NEWS

Air Partner enjoys entertainment ‘encores’ after successful Kylie Minogue tour Air Partner freight specialists are gearing up for a busy summer meeting the intricate tour requirements of leading music entertainers. Take That and Kylie Minogue are among high-profile artists that have chosen to entrust equipment logistics to Air Partner. The company works closely with Rock-it Cargo which specialises in freight forwarding and logistics services to the music, touring and live entertainment industries. Richard Smith, freight manager at Air Partner says: “Ensuring the right bespoke arrangements to safeguard sensitive equipment is an exacting art. Special care has to be taken of instruments and sets that are moved between venues to be joined with standard equipment that most venues provide.” Summer is a particularly busy time because artists and promoters tend to favour summer tours. “There are a number of checks that have to be made,” Smith says. “Some airports, for instance, operate night curfews and are unsuitable for cargoes that need to be shipped out when an event finishes, perhaps 11 p.m. at night or later, and can only be got to the airport in the small hours of the morning.” Air Partner Freight moved vital stage and lighting equipment for Kylie Minogue’s sellout

Air Partner freight specialists: from left standing, Christian Oeffling, Germany; Thierry Zemouli, France; Nigel Nicholas and Richard Smith, UK; Darren Taylor, USA; Igor Mantrov, UK. From the left, seated: Mike Hill, Germany; Jamie Peters and Michael Amson, UK KylieX world tour. Working in conjunction with Rock-it Cargo, equipment weighing 22,500kgs was delivered from London to Bogota on a DC8 freighter and then flown between shows in Caracas, Lima, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires. When the tour moved from South America to Asia and Australasia, Air Partner booked another DC8 and made all the necessary flight arrangements for three weeks of flying between Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Auckland and Sydney. Jamie Peters, Air Partner freight team leader, says: “We are establishing a firm reputation

Swiss broker says all-round service is key to survival The best way for charter brokers to survive recessions is to turn themselves into a one-stop travel organiser that caters for every need and solves every problem, according to Daniel Riner, gm of Switzerland’s EuroShuttle. “We have a client that likes to visit the Formula 1 in locations such as Valencia. We not only organise the private air charter but we ensure that every detail is dealt with including the booking of restaurants and hotels to his exact taste. If he has a problem he does not contact the hotel reception, he telephones us and we deal with it. Our clients benefit from personal research as well as having someone they know on hand to keep things running smoothly.” Riner says that charter broker business levels are down from last year the same as they are for many other companies but that the personal travel side is less affected. “The diversity of our operation is standing us in good stead,” he adds. EuroShuttle set up as a broker in 1994.

within the live entertainment industry for successfully moving time-sensitive show freight around the world for concerts of every size. We worked hard to secure the contracts and look forward to establishing an even stronger partnership with Rock-it in the future.” Matthew Wright, from Rock-it Cargo, added: “Going through many versions of the itinerary was a long process before the final one was settled upon. Air Partner was professional to work with throughout and the operators selected were great when I was out on the road with them. The operation was faultless from Air Partner and Rock-it’s point of view. The Kylie production crew was very satisfied and extremely happy.” Rock-it Cargo handles freight logistics for clients including Madonna, The Police, Boeing, APR Energy, Cirque du Soleil, The PGA Tour, major trade shows, art galleries and museums. Wright says: “We have 200+ employees in 23 offices in the US and around the world and handle international, time sensitive, fragile and complicated freight moves. Although we originally specialised in entertainment and live events, Rock-It has expanded its business into many industries that need the same special care and personal attention.”

Subscribe to Charter Broker at www.charterbroker.aero 10 CHARTER BROKER

JUNE 2009

BROKER NEWS

ASA to provide FBO in Asia to meet international client demand ASA group, which is developing its global charter broker network, expects to enjoy increased business ows into its core Asian catchment area through the coming launch of its own FBO in Thailand. The group, which recently set up an ofďŹ ce in Dubai managed by Andrea Eden to target broker business, also has ofďŹ ces in the UK and US as well as Myanmar and Cambodia to complement its two based in Thailand at Bangkok and Phuket. Simon Wagstaff, ceo says: “Despite the current global downturn, there is strong demand from clients, particularly in the Middle East, for FBO services in Thailand which complement our international charter broker and related services.â€? Wagstaff points out that ASA caters for regular trips from vip clients based in the Middle East, including members of royal families and wealthy entrepreneurs. Eden says the increasingly strong bond between the two regions is boosting overall business levels. The ASA Group has been given the go ahead by Airports of Thailand (AOT) to develop what is described as Thailand’s ďŹ rst world-class FBO at Phuket international airport. “We see those FBO services as integral to servicing the growing numbers of vip visitors to Thailand from regions including the Middle East,â€? says Eden.

Phanraphee Bunphalamlert, assistant general manager (l) and Simon Wagstaff ceo of the ASA Group Wagstaff adds: “The state-ofthe-art terminal and business centre will accommodate the swelling ranks of vip visitors to Thailand each year and is expected to be operational by the end of summer. As both a charter broker and handling services provider, we cater for many private ights into Phuket. It is

apparent that the time is right to look after our growing client base of vvip visitors. They presently have nowhere in the airports to go once they disembark.� The new director of Phuket international airport, Pratuang Sornkham, has publicly described ASA’s project as “appropriate for the airport� due to the growing

number of businessmen and vips ying in to Phuket on private jet charter ights. Wagstaff says: “The FBO will offer aircraft operators, passengers and aircrew a range of professional services for business and private ights, including tailored solutions for vip diplomatic and large aircraft operations.â€? ASA will also offer vip security, private aircraft charter and concierge services, over-ight and landing clearances, in-ight catering, aircraft marshalling, parking, fuel, aircraft valet, hangarage, security, customs and immigration, passenger and baggage handling, limousine transfers and hotel accommodation. Pratuang took over as head of Phuket international airport only in May but is already reported to be working with AOT on a wide range of development plans for the airďŹ eld, the busiest in Thailand after Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. In February this year, AOT announced it would invest 5 billion baht (US$0.15 billion) in the expansion of the airport in order to increase it capacity by 77% to 11.5 million passengers by the year 2016. Wagstaff says: “We need to cater for the many private ights who will be attracted to Phuket because of this important expansion. ASA already has many years of experience in arranging charter operations and ground handling in Asia. We look forward to helping to turn Thailand into a world-class vip tourist destination.â€?

         

       

 

JUNE 2009

CHARTER BROKER 11

AFRICA FOCUS

World Cup gives a boost to development of African charter market The World Cup attracts the attention of millions of football fans from around the world and the 2010 host South Africa is busy improving air, road and rail infrastructure. For charter brokers and operators seeking to increase business during the global recession, the event provides welcome opportunities and bookings are already being made.

Air charter brokers are homing in on Africa. Chapman Freeborn Airchartering (CF) and Air Charter Service (ACS) have opened offices in key locations to meet varied demand driven by the business attraction of oil and minerals and building of new infrastructure as well as humanitarian needs and the spin-offs generated by major sporting events. ACS recently opened the company’s first African office in Johannesburg, South Africa, to provide both passenger and cargo services. Both ACS chairman Chris Leach and ACS md Tony Bauckham (cover photo) say that an office in the African continent has long been seen as essential to the company’s global expansion. African operation head Lyndee du Toit, who has 16 years of experience in the charter business, says ACS will be targeting growth areas including the demand for services generated by prestige sporting events such as the upcoming football World Cup in 2010. ACS has already benefited from South Africa’s hosting of the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament which took place from 18 April to 24 May this year with a 59 match itinerary. Games were played in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. South Africa believes it has now positioned itself as a world cricketing centre hosting events including a major Australia tour, the IPL tournament, the 2009 Champions Trophy and the ICC 2011 World Cup Qualifying Tournament.

Cricketing highlight

Polokwane: expansion plans 12 CHARTER BROKER

Du Toit says: “A lot of cricket fans from India came across to South Africa to enjoy the IPL occasions and a number hired private jets. One client used a Cessna Caravan for a flight to a game lodge. There was a good demand from fans wanting a holiday organised around the cricketing highlights.” The British Lions’ rugby tour of South Africa was another event generating bookings. ACS, du Toit says, is already handling demand for reservations involving the football World Cup. “A lot of aircraft have already been booked by people with the foresight to know that demand will be very high. Football associations and fan clubs are among those who are thinking ahead.” Madie Werner, regional marketing manager, ExecuJet, South Africa, which frequently works with air charter brokers, says: “We are certainly expecting a boost from World Cup 2010. We have already received numerous requests for charter and handling over this period. With ExecuJet South Africa’s fleet of over 40 aircraft, our world-class facilities at Lanseria, JHB and Cape Town airports, we can offer the best service to travellers.” She confirms that road, rail and airport facilities are improving. JUNE 2009

Cargo B receives regular requests for full and part charter to Africa

ACS’s Bauckham says that having an African presence will allow the company to negotiate better rates with local operators and offer savings to its existing client base for flights in the region. And Leach stresses the benefits to clients of having a presence on the ground to reinforce the Africa service. His thoughts are echoed by du Toit.

‘Fantastic procedures’

Tony Bauckham, ACS md: better rates “All are being upgraded and/or built throughout the country.” ACS’s newly-launched Africa operation is carefully examining the requirements in the humanitarian sector ranging from the need for emergency medical repatriation to United Nations’ efforts to alleviate suffering. South Africa is regarded as a hub through which charters can be arranged to the rest of the continent. Du Toit says: “A great deal of charter is arranged out of here into central and northern Africa.” Local knowledge is important but ACS stresses the safety aspects. “It is vital that charters are arranged with reliable companies that maintain international safety standards. Some countries in Africa are insisting on criteria such as the use of modern aircraft and laws and attitudes are changing. However, there is still an attitude that aircraft that might not be accepted in Europe can be brought to Africa and brokers need to know enough to avoid risks.” JUNE 2009

Du Toit says: “We have developed some fantastic procedures for working with ACS’s worldwide network of offices. These procedures will allow us to offer global solutions to local clients. Within a short time of opening we have already seen these systems work successfully culminating in the operation of a number of successful charters.” Wider and increasing contacts with brokers, airlines and forwarders are already bringing business dividends. Chapman Freeborn Airchartering (CF), which has opened an office in Entebbe believes that the strategic location of Entebbe in Uganda is well suited for the short, medium and long-term development of business in Africa. Iain Clark, regional manager, Africa, who will be spearheading the development of both cargo and passenger business, says: “We will be working closely with the rest of our global network. Entebbe can accommodate wide body flights from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Far East and Southern Africa. Suitable aircraft can then be utilised to connect to smaller and remote airstrips across Africa.” Specifically, he points out, Entebbe is well-placed to liaise with the UAE airports including Sharjah and Dubai that have growing business links with Africa and were highlighted in Charter Broker’s preview issue. In 2007 CF in the UAE registered a turnover of US$65m and coordinated relief flights when Zimbabwe suffered cholera outbreaks. Clark says: “Our presence on the ground in Africa will build on the very good reputation our worldwide network already has and obviously we will be working very closely with our UAE colleagues as well as with India and the Far East.” CHARTER BROKER 13

CF Entebbe has already worked with the CF London office in helping the United Nations provide humanitarian aid to Dafur from Kigali in Rwanda.

Broker commissions The effects of the worldwide recession have been felt in Africa but Clark reports that recent broker commissions indicate that business opportunities may be increasing. “In the last few weeks there have been flights by exploration companies to see what might be uncovered in raw material resources into Bangui in the Central African Republic.” He adds: “Apart from these drilling expeditions there was also a shipment into Cameroon and these are among indicators that companies are investing in the future despite the wider difficulties in the global economy.” The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the potential for the widespread exploitation of diverse metals in a multitude of mines and quarries with worked deposits, including zinc, lead, tin and gold in various areas to the south, east and north-east. “Entebbe is well placed for charter flights into the southern DRC and to Zambia,” Clark points out. “There is good potential to establish our base as a transit hub with a large number of small airports in many countries within easy reach of small aircraft once the wide bodied aircraft have touched down in Entebbe. The authorities here are very positive and helpful and want to encourage international business and investment. Tanzania and the Sudan are other countries where there is good potential to develop onward charters using specially chartered five to ten or 20 tonne aircraft.” CF believes that Entebbe’s central locationwillbringcost-savingandgeographic advantages but it also recognises South Africa’s role as a pivotal hub for charter into Africa. Clark says: “Entebbe and Johannesburg are complementary and brokers will choose the right hub according to the operator requirements.” Airports around Johannesburg include Lanseria, which provides facilities for numerous charter operators including AirQuarius, Air 200, Allegiance Air, Chilli Pepper Charters, Comair, ExecuJet, Executive Turbine, Fair Aviation, King Air Charter, Legend Aviation, MCC Aviation, NAC, Out of the Blue Safaris, Sefofane Air Charters, Swiftflite, TAB and Zenith Air. It is an airport very familiar with domestic and international mercy flights which is an obvious business target for international air charter brokers. OR Tambo is the big international airport favoured by airlines but there are also facilities at Grand Central, with

14 CHARTER BROKER

one 1,830 metre runway, and Rand which was built in the 1930s and is set in an area of natural beauty. Rand’s message to brokers is that it is close to the Germiston Lake and the Germiston Golf Course and is only minutes away from the Johannesburg City Centre, the Johannesburg northern and southern suburbs. It is also at the centre of the Witwatersrand. The airport, which has an off-ramp on to the N3 from the Rand Airport Road, is ma rket i ng development opportunities. Clark says: “There are plans to develop Upington airport as a cargo hub and this is where the vehicle charters operate in and out of, but for general cargo (freighters) and line flights OR Tambo will remain the airport where the demand is.” Sport events will also see spin off business to airports near game parks like Kruger and Pilangsburg (near Sun City) as people take in Africa in between matches. Clark, who has worked in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa in a variety of management roles in sales and operations for more than a decade, says that CF will apply its global criteria on safety. “Safety is paramount,” he confirms. “If we are not happy with that aspect we won’t charter the aircraft.” Carol Norman, md of the CF Group, says that Entebbe will unlock further potential for the worldwide network and client base. She can point to operations already successfully carriedout.ChapmanFreebornAirchartering provided flights for hundreds of passengers who were evacuated from a luxury cruise ship due to the growing threat from pirates around Somalia. Almost 350 passengers travelling from Genoa to Dubai disembarked from the 150metre MV Columbus in Yemen amid safety concerns as it prepared to sail through the pirate-plagued waters of the Gulf of Aden. It was the Dubai office that responded swiftly to provide three B737-800 aircraft. Elderly passengers were flown directly to Dubai from Hodeida while others were given a tour of the ancient city of Sana’a and the surrounding area before departing on two further charters later the same day. Representatives were also dispatched to Yemen in advance of the operation to make preparations and accompanied the passengers onboard to further ensure the flights ran smoothly. Once the evacuation was successfully completed, the captain of the Columbus and skeleton staff continued on the ship’s scheduled path through the dangerous Gulf of Aden. The passengers rejoined the ship in Salalah, Oman, after enjoying a three day break in Dubai.

Sipho Mthombeni: freight initiatives

Lyndee du Toit: targeting growth areas

JUNE 2009

Pilanesburg Inter national

POLOKWANE Wonderboom

RUSTENBURG

PETER MOKABA

PRETORIA

ROYAL BAFOKENG

Gateway Inter national

LOFTUS VERSFELD

NELSPRUIT Lanseria Inter national

Grand Central

MBOMBELA Kruger Mpumalanga

JOHANNESBURG SOCCER CITY

O.R. Tambo Inter national

DURBAN

ELLIS PARK

KING’S PARK

BLOEMFONTEIN FREE STATE

Durban International

Bloemfontein

CAPE TOWN GREEN POINT Cape Town Inter national

PORT ELIZABETH NELSON MANDELA Por t Elizabeth

Airports convenient for the World Cup This quick guide shows the airport name, the airport identifiers, longest runway, states the distance from the nearest football World Cup venue and gives relevant FBO details. Compiled from data included in the Global Business Jet Yearbook (www.gbjyearbook.com) which is the premier source of information on South African airports and other airports around the world.

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering personnel from around the world will be using CF Entebbe to negotiate cost-effective deals in Africa

Chapman Freeborn France also arranged repatriation flights for eight French workers who were taken hostage from a tug supply vessel while assisting an oil loading operation 15 miles off the coast of the Bakasi Peninsula, Cameroon. 

Captives released A militia group held the crew of the Bourbon Sagitta captive for 12 days. The Marseille office worked through the night to arrange an MD83 aircraft for the flight from Yaoundé to Paris Charles de Gaulle. The high-profile charter for the crew members was arranged after tense but successful negotiations involving the French government, the Tunisian and Senegalese authorities and the local Cameroonian authorities. Chapman Freeborn Airchartering can now draw on Entebbe for routine and as well as out-of-the-ordinary events. Charter brokers and airlines confirm the strong demand for space on flights into Africa from companies supplying good and services. Niek Van Der Weide md of Cargo B Airlines says: “We get regular requests from the major charter brokers for part and full charters which we have regularly operated mainly to Africa and Latin America.” Brussels-based Cargo B Airlines reports strong demand for a new B747-400 freighter leased from Nippon Cargo Airlines. The first broker to charter the aircraft was Kales Charters of the Netherlands, which does a great deal of business into Africa, for a flight to Bangui in Central Africa. Erwin Burger, md of Kales Charters B.V. says that the Ivory Coast and South Africa are among countries generating demand for telecommunications equipment with machinery for oil wells among Nigeria’s needs. But the demand is varied with commissions carried out by Kales including providing an AN12 to fly ship spares to JUNE 2009

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Airport: Cape Town International FACT/CPT Runway: 3,200m Distance to stadium: 10 miles FBOs: ExecuJet/Signature Flight Support

Airport: Kruger Mpumalanga International FAKN/MQP Runway: 3,100m Distance to stadium: 8 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Durban Stadium, Durban

Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Airport: Durban International FADN/DUR Runway: 2,440m Distance to stadium: 12 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Ellis Park & Soccer City, Johannesburg Airport: O.R. Tambo International FAJS/JNB Runway: 4,420m Distance to stadia: 12/18 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers Airport: Lanseria International FALA/HLA Runway: 2,918m Distance to stadia: 20/25 miles FBOs: ExecuJet Airport: Grand Central FAGC/GCJ Runway: 1,830m NB: Not an airport of entry Distance to stadia: 15/20 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Free State Stadium, Mangaung/Bloemfontein Airport: Bloemfontein FABL/BFN Runway: 2,560m Distance to stadium: 6 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Nelson Mandela/Port Elizabeth Airport: Port Elizabeth FAPE/PLZ Runway: 1,980m Distance to stadium: 5 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Airport: Gateway International FAPP/PTG Runway: 2,560m Distance to stadium: 5 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg Airport: Pilanesburg International FAPN/NTY Runway: 2,570m Distance to stadium: 25 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Tshwane/Pretoria Airport: Wonderboom FAWB/PRY Runway: 1,828m NB: Not an airport of entry Distance to stadium: 8 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers Airport: O.R. Tambo International FAJS/JNB Runway: 4,420m Distance to stadium: 30 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers Airport: Lanseria International FALA/HLA Runway: 2,918m Distance to stadium: 30 miles FBO: ExecuJet Airport: Grand Central FAGC/GCJ Runway: 1,830m NB: Not an airport of entry Distance to stadium: 20 miles No FBO. Use airport based handlers

Charter Broker 15

Port Sudan. That shipment involved an axis of nine metres length weighing 9,800 kgs. “There is demand, for instance, from Spain and Portugal for flights to countries including Angola,” Burger adds. “We only work directly with what we call ‘approved vendors’, the airlines, but the checks neverthe-less have to be thorough. The documentation has to be correct with airworthiness and insurance certificates among important paperwork that has to be verified.”

National criteria The age and type of aircraft has to fit national criteria, Burger points out, with countries such as Somalia refusing to accept aircraft that are over 20 years old. Kales is also regularly contacted when humanitarian flights are needed. Historically, South Africa has been seen as a gateway into the rest of Africa, and as trade continues to increase both on and with the rest of the continent, the logistics involved in the transport of these products becomes increasingly important. The pace of development of cargo air charter broker opportunities in South Africa will partly depend on reducing costs and improving airroad-rail links. A survey published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is concerned that high costs and inadequate inland and cross-border transport will constrain the logistics industry in South Africa. But it confirms that South Africa has enormous potential to become the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region’s central logistics hub, which is particularly important with imports and exports growing at a rapid pace in Africa. The 2010 world football championships will bring in train developments that could benefit cargo air brokers. ACS’s Du Toit points

out that Polokwane is an airport that can be considered for almost all aircraft types. But she adds: “It is only feasible if the client wants to visit that area, or for cargo purposes if the client is willing to move their cargo by road. For the FIFA World Cup, a number of games are to be played in this venue.” There is a drive to improve airports and rail services in countries including South Africa. Sipho Mthombeni, ceo of Gateway Airports Authority Limited (GAAL), the operator of Polokwane, says: “While these transformations are designed to cope with the sheer volume of traffic expected during the four-week period of the soccer event, there are also long-term strategies behind these developments.” Polokwane in Limpopo has been revamped to handle more than 200,000 passengers a year and is also putting facilities in place to house additional airlines. However, looking beyond 2010, GAAL wants to cement acceptance that the airport is ideally suited to be a cargo hub for Southern Africa. “With its excellent strategic location, nestled between Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, as well as its close proximity to South Africa’s economic capital Gauteng, Polokwane airport is ideally located to capture freight traffic,” says Mthombeni. “We see the airport as a catalyst for economic development not only for Polokwane, but for the Limpopo province and the surrounding SADC countries.” He also notes that South Africa’s northern neighbours can utilise the airport as a gateway into South Africa. Freight, however, can be sent directly to OR Tambo in Johannesburg. But Mthombeni says: “That airport is already overloaded with traffic and the heavy congestion means the spill-over of freight traffic has to go somewhere. The obvious benefit for using Polokwane as a cargo hub is to relieve the congestion at OR Tambo and capture spill-over freight traffic. There are also benefits for those companies already utilising OR Tambo’s facilities. The benefit in terms of freight and airline clients is competitive discounted prices that will range from 25% to 40% lower that at OR Tambo.”

Fresh produce

Chris Leach, ACS chairman: bullish about Africa

16 CHARTER BROKER

Iain Clark: spearheading CF’s Africa drive

GAAL is targeting the export of fresh produce into Europe as well as processed food from South Africa into the SADC region. But, interestingly for charter brokers, Mthombeni notes that much more than traditional cargo can be dealt with. He points out it could also be “used by the United Nations food distribution arm into transporting relief using our cargo terminal to facilitate an efficient process.” Deals are being sought and negotiated with air freight companies, Mthombeni confirms. He is enthusiastic about attracting business through charter operators and brokers. “The terminal is a worthy red carpet to the soccer fans who will be travelling to Polokwane for the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” he says. The Chartered Institute for Logistics & Transport South Africa JUNE 2009

(Ciltsa) confirms that the forthcoming tournament has served as a catalyst for the implementation of a number of infrastructure projects, increased investment and the elimination of bottlenecks in freight logistics. Many companies use roads as their main means of transport, despite the fact that for some goods it would be cheaper to use rail transport. Rail will have to prove it is offering costeffective, reliable and sustainable services to convince user and brokers that they can trust the cheaper alternative. Currently, however, more than 80% of all goods transportation in South Africa is done by

road. Brokers say the cost of transporting products to the export market often amounts to about 50% or more of overall production costs in certain African countries. But there will be improvements generated by the hosting of the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and the upgrading of infrastructure to speed the income-generating development of oil and mineral resources. And, once there is an upturn in the world economy, returning prosperity should feed through to tourism and charter demand. Brokers established in Africa can expect to see business increasing as the football gets under way. CB

Chapman Freeborn: arranging the loading of aircraft in Entebbe

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JUNE 2009

CHARTER BROKER 17

INDUSTRY NEWS

Joint ventures are the order of the day as operators seek to spread their wings International air charter brokers are having to work harder to keep abreast of the changing capabilities of operators. The tougher global business environment has encouraged the formation of joint ventures designed to make the most of combined client bases and local knowledge. Gainjet is joining forces with NSS Global Investments (NSSGI) while RayaJet and Ayla Aviation Academy in Jordan have jointly ordered a Premier II as they team up to accelerate business development. Arab Wings is among companies that have plans to expand cooperation agreements and Tyrolean Jet Services (TJS) has gained a bridgehead in the Middle East after entering a joint venture with Clear Sky. Egypt’s Spot Air is another Middle East operator seeking to expand its catchment area, initially through opening an office in London.

Phenom spearheads Gainjet-NSS drive A Phenom 100, said to be the first operating in Europe, will spearhead a drive by Gainjet and its Bucharest-based partner NSS Global Investments (NSSGI) to develop charter business initially from a base in eastern Europe. The Romanian holding company’s md George Christoforidis says: “We are in negotiations with Embraer to put in place a five-year plan to acquire the Phenom 100 and 300. This plan will allow the fleet to grow as business conditions warrant. There will be opportunities to put in place associated activities such as maintenance. Our company has had business relationships with Brazil for more than 25 years and we know Embraer very well. Our plan is to use the aircraft acquired to their full potential as we highlight the advantages of private charter industry to the private, corporate and government sectors.” 18 CHARTER BROKER

Marwan Atallah, Ayla Aviation Academy ceo, and Nader Dajani, RayaJet chairman, celebrate at EBACE

Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh NSSGI is a holding company that has substantial trading links with China and is involved in the production and distribution of goods and services in sectors ranging from alcoholic drinks to engineering. Christoforidis says: “Good partners have played an important role in enabling NSSGI to build business at home and

abroad. Gainjet is a new partner which will operate the aircraft. The Phenom 100 will be managed by both parties.” Gainjet, based in Greece, has built up a fleet that includes a new 78-seat corporate B757, a BAe146 configured for 34 passengers and a G550. These complement a 40-seat MD83 based in Manston, UK, and seven G200s. Gainjet is expecting the delivery of a Falcon 2000LX in October and a G650 is on order for 2012. Gainjet ceo Ramsey Shaban says: “Quality strategic alliances are an important part of our business plan and NSSGI’s business expertise and network of contacts will help grow the business quickly and efficiently. The Phenom 100 will be the first in operation in Europe and will be cost-effective and popular in the corporate market.”

RayaJet and Ayla Aviation Academy order Premier II Charter operator RayaJet and Ayla Aviation Academy in Jordan have jointly ordered a Premier II as they team up to accelerate business development. The partners plan further expansion in the Middle East with Amman-based RayaJet also linking with Air Route Aviation Services to gain entry to the Saudi Arabian market. RayaJet and Aqaba-headquartered Ayla Aviation will merge to offer charter, pilot training, business jet maintenance and ground handling. Nader Dajani, RayaJet chairman, says the Premier II, due for delivery in 2011, will be used for charter and pilot training. The merged business JUNE 2009

In brief... plans to set up a maintenance hangar and put into operation a full-flight simulator by 2011. “We are conducting market studies and surveys to define the detailed scope of each service offered,” Dajani adds. Ayla’s ceo Marwan Atallah says: “The alliance will enable Ayla to provide its instructor and cadets with growth opportunities and career progression. RayaJet will benefit by getting pilots that have been through Academy who will have the highest standards of safety and competency. The alliance will also enable the two companies to pool their resources and experiences to establish a general aviation service centre in Aqaba, where Ayla already has the facilities and the qualified staff. The two companies will provide the region with a number of services, based in Jordan, which is in line with the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission’s new vision of making Jordan an aviation hub. The total investment will amount to approximately $5 to $10 million dollars.” The merged company intends to compete with charter operators established in the Arab Gulf states of Dubai and Abu Dhabi for charter business in Saudi Arabia. “The Kingdom is the main market in the Middle East and this alliance will help us utilise our aircraft for executive chartering from there,” Dajani says. “The addition of a Premier II to RayaJet will allow us to fulfil our vision of expanding and modernising our fleet and will

Rizon plans to add UK AOC to Middle East duo

Partners in charter development are Ramsey Shaban, ceo Gainjet, and Nawaf Salameh, chairman NSSGI enable us to combine both business and luxury travel and attract a wider clientele. By jointly placing the order for the aircraft both Ayla Aviation and RayaJet have taken one step further toward a full merger in 2009 after signing the strategic alliance in 2008.” The partners are in discussions with a number of aircraft manufacturers to review opportunities for possible further joint purchases of aircraft. RayaJet has also launched SAMA a new sister company for aircraft handling in Jordan. The company’s Serop Avakian says

the new organisation will cater to the special needs of vvips, vips, senior officials, representatives of international organisations, businessmen and families.

Arab Wings seeks partner with European AOC Jordan’s Arab Wings is looking to acquire a company with an AOC in Europe and has set up two new bases to open up markets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh, ceo, says the company will base a Challenger Continued on page 20

An Arab Wings Challenger 605 is to be based in Sharjah

JUNE 2009

Rizon, which has begun work on a new FBO and hangar facility at Qatar’s Doha airport plans to operate with up to three AOCs as the company’s fleet expansion continues. Andrew Pearce, newly appointed director, sales and marketing UK/Europe, says: “The granting of our UK AOC will be an integral step to our plans for expansion in Europe. As an addition to our existing AOCs in Qatar and Sharjah it will enable us to grow our business model in Europe as well as in the Middle East and work on synergies between the two”. He adds: “Rizon is now busy working hard on the support of the expanding Challenger fleet of 604s and 605s as well as the entry into service of its first managed Global XRS which will join its first Challenger 605 into service, based in Doha.”

LPJ brings Europe’s first XLS+ into service Lufthansa Private Jet (LPJ) is bringing the first two Citation XLS+ delivered to Europe into service. Dr. Karsten Benz, vp sales & services Europe, Lufthansa, says they will operate alongside two CJ3s and a CJ1+ in providing pointto-point flights among 1,000 destinations.

DC Aviation charters 12-seat Dornier 328 Germany’s DC Aviation has brought a Dornier 328 jet into service further diversifying its fleet which offers charter aircraft from the short-haul to the ACJ. “The Dornier jet was converted from a 32-seat configuration to a 12-seat vip version,” says Zsolt Somorjai, vp charter sales. “Its exclusive internal fittings makes it ideal for small groups who value privacy and luxury and comfort including a headroom of 1.86 metres.” CHARTER BROKER 19

INDUSTRY NEWS Continued from page 19

605 in Sharjah and operate under the auspices of sister company Gulf Wings to offer aircraft management. It will also set up the joint venture Luxury Wings in Bahrain to target the Saudi Arabian market.

TJS and Clear Sky target business from Beirut The TJS and Clear Sky agreement means that a first aircraft, an executive Dornier 328 in a 14 seat configuration will be based in Beirut from June 2009, according to Martin Lener, TJS ceo. “The joint venture will very quickly expand its fleet and will establish operations in other markets in the Middle East to better serve its clients.” It will operate from Beirut in L on under the name of Clearsky – Tyrolean Jet Services (CST). Basil Al-Rahim, president of MerchantBridge International Holdings which owns Clear Sky, says CST will provide its large client base short and long haul charter. “CST will offer charter through its own fleet and third party aircraft and management services in a first phase and maintenance and FBO in a second phase,” he adds. “CST, supported by the experience of its parents, aims to offer more than just convenient and efficient personal transport but a unique suite of quality services encompassing all phases of travel.” Munzer Awaida, who heads up CST, says: “The Middle East, notwithstanding the current

Martin Lener: Middle East plans

Spot Air’s Mohamed Hamed and inflight service manager Walaa Kishk are building business in Europe

challenging global and regional environment, offers some important opportunities in the medium term.” Lener says MerchantBridge has “tremendous experience” in setting up and developing new ventures in the Middle East and Europe. The TJS fleet includes two CJ2s, a Citation VII, three Dornier 328s, one based in Milan, Italy, and a Global Express.

Arab Wings works with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Markazia Arab Wings, which has built a 10strong fleet, is the sister company

of the Royal Jordanian Air Academy and the Queen Noor Civil Aviation Technical College. Ghazaleh says: “International expansion will increase our charter services to businessmen and the medical evacuations as well as aircraft management.” Arab Wings recently signed an agreement with Al-Markazia Central Trade and Auto Company, Lexus dealer in Saudi Arabia to provide limousine chauffeured transport. Egypt’s Spot Air plans to acquire a Hawker 800 later this year for its wholly owned air taxi start-up EU Air. Mohammed Hamed ceo, says Cairo-based EU

Air may look for a second Hawker 800, depending on the success of the operation. “We are now evaluating a couple of aircraft,” he says, adding that the initial Hawker 800 could be used to offer direct flights to European cities including London. EU Air will, however, primarily offer domestic flights in Egypt and services to the Gulf and Middle East region. Hamed meanwhile plans to open an office in London by 1 July to market Spot Air and EU Air’s services to European clients. As well as two Hawker 800s EU Air plans to operate a GIII and an A320-200. “These aircraft will all be based in Egypt and operate in the Middle East but we are well aware of the demand for services into Europe and will be catering for this expanded market,” says Hamed. “We are doing business in Europe already but we expect

Cargo brokers show interest in ‘chartering scheduled’ into Angola EuroCaspian Services Ltd., appointed as cargo sales agent for TAAG-Angola Airlines for the UK, Ireland and North America, is providing a cost-effective way for relatively charter small loads to be shipped into Angola. The company is currently lobbying for the 30% tax levied on cargo charters into Angola to be discontinued or reduced as it does not apply to scheduled services or to an alternative air-sea route. Chairman Sam Harris told Charter Broker: 20 CHARTER BROKER

“We deal mainly with freight forwarders although we have recently received direct enquires from air charter brokers who may also be originators of requests. There is a capability to take 10 or 12 tonnes of charter freight on our scheduled services.” Harris points out that cargoes can also avoid the 30% tax by flying to Point Noire in Congo and then shipping the equipment for oil platforms to Cabinda. Angola is expected to soon become the

biggest oil and gas producer in Africa. Harris says: “With oil and gas production levelling off in other areas, it is Angola that’s seeing remarkable growth at this time. As such, there’s an increased need to move equipment as quickly as possible. Air allows for the fast delivery of equipment and our cargo sales agents keep everything moving swiftly.” A 747 provides services out of Ostend, Belgium, for the transport of oil and gas equipment. JUNE 2009

demand to increase as we raise our company’s proďŹ le through a London ofďŹ ce which is being brought into operation this summer.â€? Spot Air is focusing on building its UK and US client base. “There is a good demand for charter into Egypt from sophisticated individuals who want an operator with a good knowledge of the country,â€? comments Hamed. “But we are not conďŹ ning our expansion plans to Europe. Next year we plan to open ofďŹ ces in Bahrain and Amman in Jordan so that we can draw clients from a wider Middle East region. We will look at ordering aircraft according to our business plan and projections.â€? The Middle East market has held up comparatively well in the global economic recession and air charter brokers can expect more Arab-European link ups in the coming months.

Mauboussin crafts charter gems Patrick Mauboussin is working with the Masterjet Group bringing the minute attention of a master jeweller to bear on increasing cabin comfort. The first project involved 26-passenger configured Masterjet A320, displayed at EBACE, which is being chartered with the luxury of a bedroom and lounge and a fuselage sporting several restful shades of blue. Mauboussin says the expertise of the jeweller, used to attending to the smallest detail, can be used in aviation to satisfy the demanding customers. Philip Queffelec, Masterjet president, says he expects clients to benefit from an approach that maximises the use of even the smallest areas of space.

Patrick Mauboussin (left) and Philip Queffelec at EBACE

time is the greatest commodity‌ &KDUWHULQJ\RXURZQDLUFUDIWRIIHUVWKHXOWLPDWHLQĂ€H[LELOLW\DQGLVERWKFRQYHQLHQWDQGFRVWHIIHFWLYH 8QOLNHVFKHGXOHGĂ€LJKWVRXUDLUFUDIWRSHUDWHWR\RXUVFKHGXOHDQGWR\RXUGHVWLQDWLRQV • ‘Check in’ just 10 minutes before departure • Avoid lengthy airport procedures • Visit several destinations in a day • Avoid expensive nights away • Arrive relaxed and refreshed • Utilise smaller airports to be closer to \RXUÂżQDOGHVWLQDWLRQ ‡'RQÂśWUXVK\RXUPHHWLQJWRPDNHDĂ€LJKW your aircraft departs at your convenience

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CHARTER BROKER 21

CARBON OFFSETTING

Charter brokers weigh up the business benefits of carbon offsetting Aviation is probably only responsible for 2% of the pollution that is said to cause global warming. However, with environmentalists seeking scapegoats, air charter brokers and operators may feel the need to project a green image. But as Huw Kidwell’s research confirms it can be a tough decision to choose an approach that can be justified in terms of time, image and business return.

22 CHARTER BROKER

Opinion among charter brokers concerning carbon offsetting is divided. Some are wholly enthusiastic but others are more cautious, citing that they have receive little demand from clients and that they want to concentrate on reducing their own company carbon footprint. Adrian Twibill and Jonathan Lloyd of EMTJets are enthusiastic about carbon offsetting and actually sponsor Treeflights, a company involved in planting trees across the world. Twibill says: “I felt it imperative that EMTJets invested time and money into offsetting against the CO2 omissions expelled by aircraft each year... It was our obligation to make a small but effective difference against global warming. The response from clients has been very positive and EMTJets has been commended on a number of occasions for their dedication to the cause and helping to provide further awareness.” Lloyd adds: “With aviation having a bad press in environmental circles it is important for everyone to do their bit for the environment. From fuel companies to the end user we could all work together in reducing the carbon footprint, which we have all ignored for too long.” David Macdonald, sales director of Air Partner Private Jets, has a slightly more reticent view on carbon offsetting, although the company has still adopted the concept into their business model. Air Partner began a Jet Card programme some years ago and offers a regular version and also a carbon neutral membership launched in 2007 with a 2% additional charge for carbon offsetting which varies according to aircraft category. Macdonald says: “We have had some interest in carbon offsetting but those clients are in the minority; we have found that corporate users tend to have their own carbon offsetting and what they really want is information about their flight such as distance and fuel burn that they can pass on to their carbon offsetting provider.” Air Partner works with the Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Management (ECCM) to calculate emissions. Calculations factor in aircraft discharges including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides. Issues such as fuel burn at ground level as well as in the air, the number of flight sectors and flying altitude are also taken into account. Offset contributions are then passed to The CarbonNeutral Company and invested in technological projects aimed at preventing or reducing greenhouse gasses at source. These projects include solar power generation in India and agricultural methane capture in Europe. Projects make the best possible use of renewable resources or aim to improve the efficiency of conventional energy use. Clients are not allowed to specify which project they wish to support; funds are spent on whichever scheme requires additional assistance at the time. The CarbonNeutral Company then issues certificates to contributing Air Partner clients, confirming receipt of their contributions. According to Macdonald, Air Partner is a carbon neutral company that just wants to JUNE 2009

Right: Three Generations of tree planters in the Treeflights nursery. Harry Hartwell, Ru Hartwell and Rocco age three Middle: Hartwell plants a young ash tree Far right: Distribution of cashew nut trees to African farmers as part of the Treeflights Kenya project provide a clear and level playing field so that costs due to environmental mitigation are transparent for the customer. As an example, an eight-seat Learjet 45 private jet operating a London-Edinburgh day return of a total 2.2 flight hours will emit 4.5 metric tonnes of CO2. This becomes equivalent to an offset cost of £38. Justin Bowman, group commercial director of Air Charter Service (ACS), has a slightly different view on carbon offsetting. ACS has been carbon neutral for three years and is audited as a business for greenhouse gas emissions each year over three sites with a resulting offset payment to be made. Bowman believes that “you can’t offset the carbon customers are producing but the broker business can make their part of the chain carbon neutral”. ACS has looked at carbon offsetting schemes before but didn’t think the company could make one work. It is now prepared to let the airlines pay for carbon emissions through the EU carbon trading scheme or by conventional carbon offsetting. ACS may offer carbon offsetting in the future but its business experience suggests that there may be less than 10 customers a year enquiring about it. Bowman says: “Beware of suppliers offering this service ... make sure you get a proposal from a least five companies and have researched the background of each in depth.”

Offsetting carbon It seems that many charter brokers and air charter operators are now entering the fray by becoming proactive in offering carbon offsetting schemes as well as attaining high standards in corporate social responsibility. Typical carbon offsetting schemes will involve the financial support of projects that have been designed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the short- or long-term. One of the most common project types is tree planting in regions of the world where trees have been lost through land conversion for agriculture. Other project types include investment into renewable energy schemes such as wind turbines. On a simple level a company interested in offsetting their carbon emissions or indeed – as a charter broker – offering this as a service to their clients will go to a foundation or scheme and give them a sum of money equivalent to the quantity of carbon dioxide they have produced in their flying activity. There are a range of companies offering the chance to contribute to environmental schemes but caution must be used as it might not be easy to determine where money is spent. There have been instances of money being taken and of non-existent trees. But Treeflights is a company which has been involved in planting trees for carbon offsetting in the UK since April 2006. This is a nonprofit company based on a Welsh smallholding which plants trees in Wales, Peru, Sumatra, Kenya and Spain. JUNE 2009

Owner Ru Hartwell has planted 22,000 trees on his land since 1990. He is enthusiastic about tree planting to offset carbon but says: “It is a bit of a bandwagon that people have jumped on; some people are doing it well and others are not so honest.” He also believes some people have been misled over carbon offsetting and, as he puts it, “making flying carbon neutral by sticking a tree in the ground could take 3040 years, probably a more circumspect view is not to fly so much”. Planting a tree in the Welsh plantation will cost £10 with £6 of this being the cost of the land. Each tree in Wales is carefully verified and has a unique reference number as well as GPS coordinates.

Aviation initiatives It is difficult to promote objectivity about global warming particularly among environmentalists who are actively seeking a high profile scapegoat for problems that could just as easily be laid at the door of any number of carbon contributors. These include road and rail transport, marine transport and, one of the biggest polluters, domestic heating. IATA believes that “aviation is responsible for 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions” and “12% of CO 2 emissions from all transport sources, compared to 74% from road transport... The best estimate of aviation’s climate change impact is about 3% of the total contribution by human activities. This may grow to 5% by 2050.” The aviation industry, however, has taken initiatives with the EU prominent with its carbon emissions trading scheme which is due to become relevant to airlines in 2012 when caps on emissions come into force. This allows polluting companies to buy credits (the right to emit carbon) from companies who cause less pollution. It is as yet unclear what effect this will have on aviation but it may lead to increased costs. Sustainable biofuels (bioJet A Kerosene) is potentially an area where airline operators can mitigate against carbon emissions but this is still in the testing stage and is unlikely to be mainstream until at least 2011/12. Biofuel will likely be more expensive than conventional fuel. Airlines will not be able to contribute as directly as other transport sectors by introducing cleaner propulsion. In the words of Sian Foster, the corporate sustainability and responsibility manager for Virgin “there are no hybrid planes or plugin 747s.” However, modern fleet aircraft do have much cleaner and efficient engines and operators/brokers can instead contribute by stipulating sustainable fuels. From a public relations point of view it is a ‘positive image’ idea to promote greenness in a business. And a green image may be a good selling point. If a green image involves offering carbon offsetting as a service to clients it may pay business dividends in the end. CB

David Macdonald, sales director of Air Partner Private Jets

Justin Bowman group commercial director of Air Charter Service plc CHARTER BROKER 23


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