E U R O P E A N
BUSINESS AIR NEWS ISSUE 213
Heliservice International’s versatile S-76B is completed Comprehensive modifications have been completed to a Sikorsky S-76B for export to Germany’s Heliservice International GmbH. Originally designed for vip transport missions, the S-76B has been reconfigured and is currently equipped to perform maintenance operations on windmill farms throughout Germany. The work has been carried out by Sikorsky Aerospace Services’ (SAS) commercial maintenance facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Heliservice says the modifications were completed within four months. “The aircraft customisation included installation of a side sliding door, a Goodrich hoist and complete interior overhaul for 12-person utility capacity with all new interior panels, overhead LED lighting, new seating and floor covering.” It adds: “Air-conditioning was adapted to the new interior along with a belt mount for securing the hoist operator. Other variants of this interior can be installed for a variety of mission profiles; each modification is tailored to specific mission requirements.” Heliservice says that, although founded as a rescue service, it prides itself on carrying out all kinds of helicopter operations. “Our business has developed to increasingly extend beyond the borders of Germany. We work in the polar world of the Arctic and the research stations of the south pole, survey flights along the gas and oil pipelines and the wind power plants in the North Sea. We are also specialists in urban operations.” Clients include the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Laeisz shipping company, ADAC Air Rescue Ltd, the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior and the Hessian Ministry for Youth. Several complex modifications transformed the vip configured S-76B into an aircraft equipped for completely different applications. Joe Coleman, director of SAS maintenance, repair and overhaul says: “We look forward to continuing to meet customisation requirements for our operators worldwide.”
ABS Jets ready to reveal new expansion plans page 2 JoinJet Hawker 800XP upgrade expected to be first of many page 3 EAG says time is right for luxury hotel partnership page 4 UTair firms up 2013 deliveries of EC175s
DC Aviation’s A319CJ wins sky cruise business
Flymyjets celebrates Mustang hat-trick Pilot Louis-Antoine Harlé, founder of Flymyjets, celebrates the addition of a third Mustang based at Paris-Le Bourget. Joining the club involves acquiring a Mustang either completely or partially. See the full story on page 4.
Germany’s DC Aviation reports a good response to the availability of its A319CJ for sky cruise holidays, organised by the Hamburgheadquartered Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Michael Kuhn, ceo, says: “By chartering an individual jet from DC Aviation, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is able to offer extraordinary routes to cities and places of interest that could otherwise not be combined through normal scheduled flights.” He adds: “With four vvip/vip A319 CJs, the company is one of the largest operators of this type of aircraft worldwide.” All Hapag-Lloyd sky cruises between December 2011 and June 2012 will use the A319CJ named the ‘Albert Ballin’. Kuhn says the aircraft has a range of up to 8,000 km or 8.5 hours of nonstop flight. He adds: “The spacious cabin provides premium business class seating for 42 passengers. The seats feature individuallyadjustable head, feet and leg rests and are spaced at a generous distance of 152 centimetres. “Their ergonomically-formed backrests provide the highest level of comfort, thus guaranteeing passengers a relaxing travel experience even on extended and overnight flights.” Kuhn says all pilots have a single type rating and flight attendants are certified by a vip excellence programme. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says planned new routes include sky cruises to India, the Maldives, and Oman; to Central America and along the routes of the Silk Road.
Brokers shoulder normal and emergency workloads as disasters strike worldwide Charters brokers have been at full stretch evacuating people in danger from the world’s hotspots, but as EBAN’s latest Perspectives feature details (see page 6), that is only one – albeit high profile – facet of their demanding work. Air Partner, Chapman Freeborn (CF) and Air Charter Service (ACS) are just three of the companies whose staff have handled their normal workloads and put in extra hours to deal with emergencies. ACS was heavily involved in evacuations from Japan, arranging several evacuation flights for major corporations making a number of Boeing 747s available. It promptly advised people to look at alternative destinations to Hong Kong as the hotels filled up. The input of brokers such as Air Partner and CF were even more
ExecuJet’s Helle Brodsgaard
welcome as the unscrupulous touted €8,200 scheduled airline economy tickets and airlines reduced their services to avoid radioactive areas. Air Partner ceo Mark Briffa says: “Our teams around the world have been working tirelessly for several
weeks to rescue expatriate personnel.” Evacuations from Libya and Egypt, as well as unrest and demonstrations in countries ranging from Bahrain to Syria, however, did not slow the growth of private and business aviation in the Middle East. There were welcome signs of an expansion in routine business demand. The ExecuJet Aviation Group reported that it had already booked flights on its recently arrived Falcon 900DX EASy. The company’s Helle Brodsgaard says: “We are receiving a number of requests from the charter brokers, not just in the region, but also from the US, Europe and Africa.” Private Jet Charter reported strong growth in January. “Private jet business is booming in the UAE, with businessmen switching to charter jets instead of having their own.”
Business aviation through the eyes of the charter broker
CF successfully completed an urgent humanitarian charter to assist victims of the recent floods in Sri Lanka. According to a government spokesman, more than 325,000 people have been displaced by the floods. Over 30 people have died and more than one million have been affected by the natural disaster. Chapman Freeborn says: “The priority since the rains abated has been to deliver humanitarian aid to Continued on page 6
SPECIAL FOCUSES Perspectives: The charter broker Ireland regional review
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2 APRIL 2011
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
AirMed sets scene for transfer of critically ill twins together AirMed is planning completion of phase two of its new neonatal transfer service by the end of 2011. Jane Topliss, bdm, says the service, called AM AirBorn, started in earnest when neonatal medical director Dr Charlotte Bennett joined the team in 2010. She explains: “This large investment in state-of-the-art equipment and specialist personnel allows us to support the assistance industry and neonatal hospital units throughout the world, giving their clients access to a consultant-led, fully integrated neonatal transfer and retrieval service.” The decision was taken after lengthy consultations with assistance companies, consultant neonatal intensivists and parent support groups. Topliss says: “A team of nurses and doctors, already experienced in landbased transfers, have completed a rigorous and bespoke aeromedical training course. The service provides rapid access to specialist advice on clinical safety, family support and strategic planning, allowing safe transfers to be pre-planned and carried out during the ideal window of opportunity.” AirMed says it has invested more than £250,000 (US$400,000) in high-tech medical equipment and the provision of comprehensive training for its neonatal aeromedical staff to complete the implementation process. The equipment, which has been
designed and purchased by AirMed, is fully compatible, not only on its Learjet 35A and Piper Cheyenne IIIA fleets, but also with the UK HEMS EC135s and road ambulances. Topliss says: “This allows incredible flexibility and versatility when carrying out transfers either between the specialist UK hospital units or between units on a more global scale.” The system currently in use
T R AINING
Lisa Moran, one of the leading transfer nurses associated with the AM AirBorn service.
PL A NNING
The Babypod provides a secure environment for babies during transfer.
following completion of phase one includes a Babypod II, babyPAC
ventilators, Propac monitors and Braun infusion pumps in addition to the existing intensive care equipment currently operated by AirMed. “The Babypod provides a warm and secure environment for babies and protects them from the physiological disturbance arising from vibration, sound interference and thermal challenges,” Topliss explains. “The medical team are able to continually monitor the baby’s
vital signs and can provide intravenous infusions and respiratory support if required.” Development of the AM AirBorn service is ongoing and AirMed is planning completion of phase 2 by the end of 2011. Topliss says: “This will lead to a further expansion in capabilities and will see the addition of a Drager incubator, a custom-built trolley and lift system currently being designed and built by Paraid. PrinterNoX inhaled nitric oxide delivery will also be added. Not only will this enable AM AirBorn to carry out transfers of the most critically ill neonates, but the additional system will also allow twins to be transferred together.” Dr Bennett is a consultant neonatologist at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. She says her experience with the Thames Valley Neonatal Transfer Service since her appointment in 2001 has provided an excellent platform from which to set up AM AirBorn. Topliss says: “To ensure a complete service with back-up consultant provision, Dr Bennett is supported by Dr Julian Eason, a fellow consultant neonatologist who is currently service line director for the neonatal department at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.” Dr Eason says he has considerable experience of aeromedical transfers from his Canadian fellowship post with the infant transport team based in Vancouver and subsequent experience in the Channel Islands.
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ABS Jets ready to reveal new strategic expansion plans Prague-based ABS Jets plans to detail the next phase of its strategic growth plan at EBACE 2011. Vladimir Petak, ceo, says: “Having recently opened a brand new facility at Bratislava airport, ABS Jets is in expansion mode with new subsidiaries in Kiev and Sofia due to be announced (EBAN March 2011). He adds: “ABS Jets has already implemented major expansion plans with new hangars, new offices and a growing fleet of aircraft, firmly establishing the company as a leading European operator that provides a full package of handling, charter and maintenance services.” A new 6,000 sq m hangar due to be completed this year in Prague will, he says, allow ABS Jets to “really push the envelope with the ability to accommodate BBJ and ACJ sized aircraft with MTOW up to 120,000lb.” The ABS fleet of aircraft currently consists of 11 aircraft comprising
Vladimir Petak: looking for synergies.
Legacies, Gulfstreams, a Learjet and a Citation Bravo. Petak says: “We will keep moving the company forward, enlarging the fleet of aircraft and maintain a similar ‘trajectory’ over the next 10 years to obtain optimal synergies between operations and services.”
APRIL 2011 3
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
Aero France Hélicoptère chooses AS350 B3s for comeback New French operator Aero France Hélicoptère has ordered two AS350 B3s. Owner Eric Aguettant has been in the helicopter business for more than 20 years with Paris Hélicoptère and Helifrance, which he sold in 2007 to iXAir. Aguettant says: “I am now back in business with Aero France Hélicoptère which is a subsidiary of Airex Aviation. We believe that investing money in Eurocopter’s new mid-sized helicopters for aerial work and passenger transportation in the Paris area, south of France and Corsica is a good move. “The post-crisis period gives us the opportunity to make a comeback in the French market as well as in some North African countries with the EC120 and AS350 family. The AS350 B3e has a new-generation digital FADEC and an engine data recorder for condition monitoring.”
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VR Jet aims to specialise mainly in business clients.
VR Jet says the private aircraft sector is enjoying a new lease of life VR Jet, a new company specialising in operating and brokering executive jets, is basing its business plan on providing clients with exclusive leasing of an eight-strong fleet. Vladimír Malík, md, says: “Growing interest in air travel and customers specifying flights in either private jets or large aircraft has convinced shareholders of the need to separate these services. VR Jet will concentrate on guaranteeing customers quick and independent transport by business aircraft, primarily in Europe.” The fleet includes a Super King Air B-200, King Air B-200 GT, King Air 350i, Citation Jet, CJ1, CJ3, Premier IA and Hawker 800XP. Malík says: “These aeroplanes had previously been flown by VIP Wings, which also operates three ATR-72s and expects to increase its fleet with the addition of a Boeing 737.” Sales and customer service focused on
The appeal of luxury interiors.
smaller aircraft have been passed to VR Jet. He adds: “VR Jet wants to specialise mainly in business clients, offering them the highest possible flexibility and comfort. Private jet services are slowly growing again after the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. This is logical. The benefits it offers – time savings, the ability to land at small airports, no fixed schedules, comfort, and ultimately an affordable price – are
JoinJet Hawker 800XP’s major upgrade expected to be first of many JoinJet, part of Sun Air of Scandinavia, is eager to put the first upgraded Hawker 800XPR to work. Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (HBC GCS) reports that the aircraft is progressing toward a mid-year certification following the recent installation of genuine Hawker winglets at the company’s Chester, UK, service centre. It adds: “The aircraft has been flown to the US where it is now preparing for the installation of new Honeywell TFE731-50R engines.” HBC and JoinJet say they are pleased with the progress of the programme and are anxiously awaiting certification. “JoinJet is eager to put the aircraft to work, flying its clients throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while we are preparing our service centres to support the installation demand,” says Christi Tannahill, HBC GCS vp.
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The aircraft’s baseline pre-upgrade performance has been established and it is currently undergoing minor structural and electrical modifications prior to engine installation. Ground power runs are expected within the next several weeks followed by flight-testing and certification. He adds: “Once JoinJet’s aircraft is certified, interested Hawker 800XP and 850XP owners and operators can choose to have their aircraft similarly upgraded at the Chester or Little Rock service centres.” JoinJet says the Hawker 800XPR upgrade offers significant improvements over the performance and capability of the 800XP. “We will benefit from greater range, better climb time and faster cruise speeds,” it adds. “In addition, optional avionics, a newstyle interior and XPR custom paint designs were available.”
often said to be factors in favour of having your ‘own’ aeroplane. The advantage we have is our own fleet, composed of several different types of aircraft. This allows us to find each client the best transportation solution.” The fastest aircraft VR Jet offers is a Premier 1A with a cruising speed of 850 km/h, while the King Air 350i seating nine has the largest passenger capacity. The Hawker 800XP has the greatest range at maximum load (4,704 kilometres), Malík says. VR Jet is the exclusive executive jet broker for VIP Wings, cooperating with the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation while meeting the need for special air transport during the World Hockey Championship. VR Jet’s clients can also lease their ‘own’ aircraft during this time in order to fly quickly between Kosice and Bratislava, with prices starting at €3,000 for a return flight.
Heron Aviation has added a Falcon 900EX to its fleet for private owner use and charter worldwide. “The Falcon’s high-level performance was decisive in the choice of aircraft,” says Guido Schneider, chief pilot. The company gained its AOC in July 2010 and says it is experiencing a slow improvement in business in 2011. “We believe a steady growth focusing on controlled expansion will further develop our business,” Schneider adds.
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4 APRIL 2011
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
Flymyjets third Mustang increases strategic coverage of the Paris region
EAG's 850XP takes off for an exotic destination
EAG says time is right for luxury hotel partnership Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group (EAG) has joined forces with Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces to create a new portfolio of luxury holiday travel packages. “They all include a private jet operated by Empire Aviation Group,” says Paras Dhamecha, executive director, “and offer a choice of exotic holidays at select Taj Hotels – some of the most exclusive properties in India, the Maldives and South Africa. The locations include idyllic beach resorts and authentic grand palaces, each of which offers warm
A grand arrival at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.
Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury.” EAG, which operates and manages
a large fleet on private jets, says the timing of the launch is excellent. Dhamecha says: “The taste for luxury travel and private jet charter demand is returning strongly in the region.” Sajid Khan, regional director of sales Middle East, Taj Regional office, Dubai, says Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has 92 hotels in 53 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.
INAER orders 10 EC145 T2s Eurocopter’s new EC145 T2, which was launched at Heli-Expo 2011 in Orlando, has already attracted four launch customers. Spain’s INAER has signed for 10 EC145 T2s. The company says: “The initial helicopters will be configured for EMS but the EC145 T2’s flexibility will enable INAER to decide on other mission-specific versions depending upon its operational requirements.” Helicopter services are provided by INAER to national, regional and local governments.
Flymyjets, whose members have to part or wholly acquire a Mustang, is celebrating the addition of a third aircraft of the type based at Paris le Bourget (see photo story on page 1). Founder and pilot Louis-Antoine Harlé says the location complements the base of the first co-owned Mustang at Toussus-le-Noble aerodrome, close to the business centres of Yvelines and Hautsde-Seine. “With these two bases, strategically located on both sides of the French capital, Flymyjets can meet the needs of the local population – companies or individuals – wishing to be part of the club,” Capt Harlé says. “In addition, the company will consider any request for a regional base – the second Mustang we acquired is based in the French provinces.” The latest acquisition is based at Paris le Bourget’s Advanced Air Support, inaugurated in October 2010, which has integrated all handling and concierge services. Capt Harlé adds: “The added ‘plus’ of this competitive ownership formula is the option of taking the controls, in the left cockpit seat, from the very first flight, whatever your piloting experience. “The club member can make the childhood dream of flying their own aircraft come true.” Capt Harlé, captain and flight instructor on business jets, launched Flymyjets in November 2009 (EBAN November 2010) after noticing his clients’ excitement when they visited the cockpit. “Fed up with the constraints of public transport, they are attracted to business aviation, but some would
much rather be in the cockpit than in the cabin.” Although small jets are used for business trips, they are also chartered for the weekend with the family onboard, and then the space in the cabin is limited. By using one of the pilot seats, the owner frees a seat in the cabin and the cost per seat is also reduced. Capt Harlé explains: “Training is at the heart of the Flymyjets offer. A personalised training programme is adapted to each client according to their fancy, schedule and aeronautical knowledge, be they complete beginners or already pilots.”
Owners get the benefit of pilot instruction.
He points out that: “The student pilot can pursue training up to the type rating certificate to be able to fly the jet solo or, if they prefer, to continue flying with the instructor.” Flymyjets, he says, applies the principle of fractional ownership without chartering the jets to other clients. “In order to protect the aircraft interior, only the owners have access to the fleet. The exchange system between co-owners gives access to the whole fleet.”
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Turkey’s MNG Jet Havacilik AS has ordered a Global 5000. “The aircraft is the perfect addition to our current fleet,” says Mehmet Nazif Gunal, president. “It combines speed and range with unparalleled comfort and 0luxury and will substantially enhance our business offering as well a s provide an effective and important business tool for our own travel requirements.” Founded in 2008, MNG Jet is a member of the MNG Group. The
company currently operates a Challenger 601 aircraft and performs maintenance for executive jets. Gunal says: “MNG Jet is expanding its business aviation services to include aircraft management, operations and spare parts distribution.” The Global 5000, he adds, combines superior transatlantic speed with a spacious cabin. “It features high speed internet connectivity and unmatched entertainment options as well as a head-up flight display system, with
one of the largest fields-of-view of any business aircraft. “With a recent range increase of 400 nm it can now connect IstanbulNew York, and Istanbul-Seoul nonstop with eight passengers and three crew.” Gunal adds: “Operators of commercial fleets today have to seriously consider investing in business jets to meet very particular and demanding corporate needs. Once this need is established it is simply a matter of ensuring we have the right aircraft to meet or surpass
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APRIL 2011 5
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
When good business is a racing certainty for PremiAir
Vibro-Air adds a CJ3 to diverse fleet German operator Vibro-Air Flugservice has brought a CJ3 into charter operation. “We are proud that we convinced the aircraft owner that we are the best local choice for operating his aircraft,” says new joint ceo Ammr Shaladi. “In operating the CJ3 we are not only further expanding the short and medium haul business but also the aircraft management division.” The CJ3, he says, carries up to seven passengers in comfort and is capable of flying distances such as Düsseldorf-Moscow non-stop and into airports including Cannes or London City. “The successor model of the CJ2 is well known for landing on short runways and in smaller airports.” Shaladi adds: “We are pleased that more aircraft owners are placing their trust in us and that this means we will be able to bring further aircraft into our fleet in the near future.” Vibro-Air, founded in 1987, now operates a Legacy 600, two Premier Is and an Astra SP. The operator, with bases in Düsseldorf and Mönchengladbach, plans to further expand the fleet with two Phenom 300s and a Legacy 500.
The CJ3 arrival continues expansion for Vibro-Air.
UTair staff celebrate the milestone agreement.
UTair firms up EC175 deliveries for 2013 UTair Aviation has confirmed an order for 15 Eurocopter EC175 helicopters. Deliveries are scheduled in 2013 and 2014. General director Andrey Martirosov says: “UTair will use the EC175s for further market expansion and in development of the oil and gas segment. The quality of Eurocopter products, along with its high level of technical support, gives us confidence in taking these steps for our further strategic development.” UTair’s order positions the Russian operator as a major customer for Eurocopter’s new seven ton category helicopter. Martirosov says: “The twin-engine EC175 incorporates a mix of proven and advanced technologies for excellent performance and reliability
UTair Aviation general director Andrey Martirosov and president and ceo of Eurocopter Lutz Bertling sign the contract.
in a full range of missions, including oil and gas operations, search and rescue, emergency medical transport, and business aviation. Depending on its configuration, the EC175 can accommodate up to 16 passengers.” UTair has been operating Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft since
2006, with a current fleet that includes the AS350 B3, AS355N and BO105. These are flown in a wide variety of missions that range from vip services and oil and gas industry support to medical missions. UTair says it is among the world’s top four civil helicopter operators by volume of operations, and the largest in Russia with a fleet of more than 250 helicopters of all types – primarily Mil and Eurocopter. It has been active in the oil and gas industry for over 40 years. “UTair Aviation is also the largest provider of transport services for United Nations peacekeeping missions,” says the company. Eurocopter Vostok’s Laurence Rigolini says: “We have created a technical support centre, pilot and technical staff academy in Russia.”
As Long Run raced towards the finish line to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, UK-based PremiAir was preparing to wrap up an extremely busy flying schedule. Neil Gibson, director of charter and management, says: “Each aircraft in the company’s executive charter fleet flew every day from locations in the UK and throughout Europe.” The company flew race-goers to and from the Cheltenham Festival direct to the heliport located beside the racecourse. Its fleet of S76s and Twin Squirrels carried passengers from Denham aerodrome, the London Heliport, Oxford airport and several private addresses in the south of England. Gibson says: “The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival marks the start of the 2011 corporate hospitality season and, as the country emerges from recession, PremiAir is looking forward to a busy summer season. Bookings for Royal Ascot in June are gaining momentum while interest is high for Goodwood’s Festival of Speed that same month and for The Revival in September. “The British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July is proving especially popular and PremiAir has already sold 95% of its capacity for the Sunday,” Gibson says the fleet, which currently comprises 12 helicopters and three jets, will be further boosted by an additional Learjet 45 joining the managed fixed-wing fleet from May.
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6 APRIL 2011
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
Brokers balance normal and emergency workloads Continued from front page
thousands of people who now face further risk from disease and famine.” For many brokers and operators it has been a few months of immense focus on emergencies but alongside that business as usual, with Grossman Jet Service summing up the client service objective. Dagmar Grossmann, ceo, says: “We see our task as a duty to inform and help and finally take very good care of the customer and also of the asset during the whole lifecycle of the aircraft. It is an interesting job and you can learn and experience at first hand a great deal. It is a challenge as you have to take on a lot of responsibility.” Grossmann adds: “I think it is true to say that the lifestyle depends on the particular individual’s personality and is more connected to the person’s outlook and service dedication than to the job per se.” The charter operator and broker world is a sector where everyone is a competitor but there is a community of kindred spirits and it is sometimes prudent to work with others, or help them out, because you never know what difficulty might be around the next corner. As in every other service industry the client is never wrong but, at the same time, might be best persuaded to trust the professionals.
Adam Twidell and Carol Cork of PrivateFly: charter broker role is evolving.
P E R S P E C T I V E S – Business aviation through the eyes of the charter broker
Surprises are a racing certainty for those living life in the fast lane Jack of all trades and master of one The charter broker must learn to: ■
Expect the unexpected – no two days are ever the same
Treat the mundane with the same care as a global emergency
Enjoy the brief lulls and the longer, frantically busy periods
Work hard and play hard or work hard and relax entirely
Provide a personal service that ensures online alternatives are always second best
Cater to the client’s every whim with a smile
Accept that 24-7 commitment goes with the territory
Communicate with a range of clients with different needs and expectations
Continually broaden knowledge, expertise and contacts
Constantly monitor the staff quality and service levels of charter operators
Be a diplomat, salesman, aviation expert and good friend to the client
Air Partner used an Antonov 225 to good effect.
Grossman says: “The customer is always right, of course we try to show him the full scope of advantages and disadvantages but, realistically, at the end of the day it is their money and their decision.” PrivateFly underlined that it was also business as usual by sealing a deal to partner with Glasgow-based luxury transport provider, Phantom Scotland to offer online private jet booking to their customers. Phantom Scotland, whose services include Rolls Royce Phantom hire, celebrity car services, corporate chauffeurs and luxury yacht hire, has added private jet charter in and out of Scotland’s airports to its offering. Shazad Bakhsh, director of Phantom Scotland, comments: “Our clients are increasingly requesting private jet charter services – not just celebrities but also timestarved business people and groups travelling together for weddings and sporting events.”
Continuing the ‘Perspectives’ series looking at the issues facing a particular group of business aviation professionals, this month EBAN talks to charter brokers about the highs and lows of their fastpaced role. Charter brokers today never know when and where the next emergency requiring their lifesaving skills will strike, necessitating a race against the clock. With offices and headquarters in Europe and the Middle East well placed geographically to organise assistance, aid for the problems of Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Haiti, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia is provided closer to home than many outside the private charter industry realise. Air Partner’s international evacuations on behalf of governments and corporations numbered 63 flights involving more than 12,000 people and 300 tonnes of aid in one six-week period this year. Mark Briffa, ceo, says: “In a period when far-reaching and unprecedented political upheaval has coincided with devastating natural disasters, Air Partner has been working around the clock to organise humanitarian aid flights and to evacuate more than 12,000 people from across the world in just six weeks.” Its emergency planning and 24 hour operations teams, together with on-call broker specialists, have been
Chapman Freeborn evacuated groups passed across the Libyan border into Tunisia from Djerba to locations such as Cairo, Accra and Bamako.
pooling their knowledge and resources to secure suitable aircraft for the evacuations and aid flights involving Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, New Zealand and Japan. The Air Partner teams have also negotiated flight slots, fuel, aircraft handling and visa permissions as well as postevacuation onward travel. One important flight to Japan took in 59 UK fire service search and rescue specialists, two rescue dogs and a medical support team alongside up to 11 tonnes of specialist rescue equipment, including heavy lifting and cutting equipment to save people trapped in debris. Air Partner’s office in Germany operated a Boeing 747 flight into Nagoya on Monday 14 March on behalf of a number of German-based companies, including car manufacturers, to bring staff home. The flight carrying 477 expatriates returned on 15 March, landing at Hanover. Air Partner also organised a Boeing 747 flight that flew to New Zealand from Europe carrying 7,500 sanitation facilities and separately sourced aircraft to move personnel out of harm’s way from Tunisia. The Libyan crisis saw Air Partner organise 37 freight and passenger charters in six days. It repatriated more than 6,000 displaced Egyptians and 500 Bangladeshis on 34 flights from Tunisia to Egypt and flew 220
tonnes of humanitarian aid into Tunisia on three flights. The aid, which included blankets and tents, was used for makeshift camps by the thousands who fled from Libya to Tunisia to escape the Gaddafi regime. Insurance companies were reluctant to provide cover to operate in Libyan airspace but Air Partner operated a dozen rescue flights into the UK, several on behalf of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and organised another into France. Large Boeing and Airbus jets, with a total of 2,200 seats, were used to transport passengers of various nationalities. Air Partner also flew in excess of 3,000 people to safety from Egypt in the space of six days in groups ranging from four people to 222 using private jets and commercial airliners. Passengers were flown to a range of destinations including the UK, Dubai, France and Germany. Clients included governments as well as major energy companies, financial institutions and telecommunications conglomerates, who were concerned about staff safety.
A broker’s lot is not too bad if you thrive on a bit of stress Briffa says: “We have repatriated thousands of displaced people and corporate employees and their dependents. We are on hand to support governments and corporates from around the world who are concerned about the safety of nationals and employees. Much of Air Partner’s success is due to forward planning, which means even in unprecedented situations, we are able to respond to multiple emergencies simultaneously.” Air Charter Service is another of the many brokers working all hours and has been organising staff relocation flights out of Japan as fears
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Air Charter Service evacuated more than 6,000 people from Tripoli, here the remaining few UK nationals board a flight home.
over the extent of radiation leaks heighten. ACS’s Gavin Copus says the first evacuation, involving a 400-seat Boeing 777300, was because Tokyo was having problems with intermittent power and the company was worried about their staff’s general well-being following the radiation leaks. The demand to repatriate various different nationalities has been intense. Copus adds: “2011 is fast becoming a very busy year for evacuations. I know that some people across our worldwide offices have been working seven days a week. After the uprisings in Egypt and then Libya, it was non-stop for more than six weeks.” ACS promptly evacuated almost 2,000 foreign nationals on 26 charters from Cairo and Alexandria after the uprising began on 25 January and demand continues. Copus says: “The situation in Libya was on an even greater scale – ACS evacuated more than 6,000 people from Tripoli and Sebha in the country across 34 flights. Among these was the last British governmental flight out of Tripoli carrying the FCO workers and final remaining Britons. ACS was not, however, involved in the heavily criticised first few British evacuation flights. The company had people on the ground in the region including in Malta where an airbridge was set up by ACS from Tripoli (only one hour away by air) to enable a speedier evacuation process.” ACS then conducted a further 13 flights from neighbouring Tunisia, after many people fled across the border from Libya. “ACS flew more than 2,000 foreign nationals from the Tunisian airport of Djerba. The company’s cargo departments chartered aircraft into Tunis that brought in over two hundred tons of aid including tents, blankets and food,” Copus says. Following the earthquake near Christchurch, ACS arranged an American governmental aid flight carrying search and rescue teams as well as 65 tons of relief cargo. The seemingly endless flow of crises has meant non-stop hard work for brokers. But many work hard and play hard, enjoying the days when clients and schedules cut them a little bit of slack.
Direct approach that makes the middle men see red The charter broker has to guard against operators who would like to cut out the middle man and work ever harder to earn a living good enough to justify the hours and the stress. Some countries, and some clients, are easier than others. Holger Rathje of FlightTime GmbH says that in some countries like the US, chartering an aircraft is like renting a car. “They just want to fly from A to B.” But: “In Germany it is still a little special to charter an aircraft for a business trip, although more and more managers are becoming aware of the advantages. The price in most cases is the most important factor, followed by comfort.”
Hard work goes with the territory. “So you always have a Smartphone with you – that’s because a more or less good lifestyle is the result of a lot of work.” Professional knowledge can often be used to point clients in the right direction where the choice of aircraft is concerned. Rathje says: “In some airports, like Stuttgart, you can operate in the night with a turboprop but not with a jet or airliner.”
In Germany it is still a little special to charter an aircraft for a business trip – Holger Rathje
Some operators add to the broker’s difficulties. These include those that contact the end client after the flights in order to try to do business directly. But: “In most cases the operators are very fair and very professional.” The air charter broker must be able to cope with increasing competition. Gokcehan Dace, md of Apron Aviation, says there are more than 1,000 companies and independent agents that offer the services of renting an air ambulance, air cargo and jet/helicopter in the EMEA region. “However, only a few of these organisations will have the chance to survive and grow in the future.” He says brokers need to provide 24-7 accessibility, flexibility in the pricing, reliability and success in managing international operations to successfully create client loyalty. The Turkish market, he says, has its own problems. “It has an important and strategic place in international air transport but air taxi operations do not have a solid base. In the last ten years, many such companies have been established but there are still hundreds of applications that are waiting for approval at the Turkish civil aviation authority.” Dace says the charter broker can seem to be a cell phone and laptop addict. “The time difference between countries means you need to be ready for the job at any moment. It is not good business to talk in a sleepy tone with a customer even if they call you at 3 am or to ask them, as it is night time here, if they can be called back tomorrow.” He concedes: “Sometimes brokers who are very successful in their jobs inevitably fail to maintain their private lives in a healthy way because of the never-ending stress and the demanding 24-7 pace of the work.” Brokers and operators in the rotary sector also have to deal with high expectations, according to Annette Barnardo-Le Negrate and Rachel Kelly of Heli Riviera. Kelly says: “All nationalities have a high level of expectation, especially in the luxury helicopter charter business. Our aim is to provide a smooth and seamless experience for the client, so that they do not need to worry about any of the small details and therefore have a pleasant and enjoyable experience.” Barnardo-Le Negrate adds: “The client does not always have the time to ‘shop around’ for the best deal in terms of quality and price, so we do the hard work for them. We ensure Continued on next page
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Perspectives: the charter broker
that they benefit from the best quality aircraft at the best price and we have charter partners all over the world so we are in a good position to be able to offer this service.” Kelly confirms: “We can be required to work with very short deadlines and at odd hours. However, once everything has gone according to plan, it is very satisfying. You never know what’s next; that is what makes this job so interesting. We get all sorts of requests – anything from a 10-day charter in Kilimanjaro to a surprise stag party where the groom was dropped off in a secret location.” Jens Dreyer of Aviation Broker, which was founded in 2001, says the last 10 years have brought massive changes and increased competition with its related impact on lifestyle. “When we started, there were maybe 10 to 15 broker companies active in Germany. As a consequence of the good years from 2004 to 2008 that number increased massively. The market seems to get bigger but you always meet the same people. We see many companies come and go but the people keep on working in various firms. That makes the market small and familiar. It is always good knowing the people you deal with.” Brokers and operators in Western Europe will face ever-increasing competition from Eastern Europe and to survive the broker always needs to bear in mind and cater to the different mentalities of different countries. Dreyer says: “Eastern European citizens sometimes demonstrate their understanding of the capitalist system by enquiring through dozens of brokers and carriers for the same trip, shopping for the best price. The line between a reasonable pricecomparison and fair behaviour is rather blurred.
The achievement of pet desires proves it’s a dog’s life For charter brokers, no two days are the same and they must relish the challenge of the unexpected. They provide the rapid response that can make the difference between life and death as well as the efficient and sympathetic handling of the unusual or sentimental that can make or break a special occasion. PrivateFly recently organised a flight from Amsterdam to New York – for one man and his dog. Adam Twidell, md, says: “The dog had apparently helped the owner through some difficult times and the “If money is the criteria for a good lifestyle, I would say ‘Yes, in order to earn that money you have a stressful life.’ You just cannot do that job with a nine-to-five approach”. Some charter operators are more difficult to work with than others. “But to be fair: if you ask the carriers, they would also report that some brokers are more difficult than others.” Julian Burrell, md of The Charter Company, reports marked differences between countries when it comes to expectations to do with chartering of aircraft. “In the Middle East, generally price is the overriding factor and there is a lot of bargaining that goes on. They like to know a little bit of background to the operator, but are not as interested about the age of the aircraft in the same way as clients in other parts of the world. Catering has to be good, but passengers generally do not ask for anything in particular.” Chartering an aircraft will often be left until the last minute. In Russia and the CIS price is important but clients are also very
New York trip was specifically arranged to thank his four-legged friend for his support!” Catarina Martins, md of Blue Heaven Portugal, was told only as a client departed on a flight from Faro to Marrakech that she was charged with taking care of his new Porsche 911 Turbo while he was away. “You can imagine how carefully I took that responsibility! When the client arrived back in Faro he found a shining car waiting for him.” Olga Sevcuka of Private Jet Charter says: “I love my job as a
broker. It is varied and interesting: you never know what unusual requests will come in during the working day. My favourite unusual recent request was a Russian client who asked me to fill his Hawker 850 on a trip from Ukraine to London full of red roses because his wife was pregnant and he wanted to surprise her. Indeed he did – and it was my pleasure to make that happen.” Emre Islek, md of Istanbul’s Afdair, remembers how a typing error lead to a mass of confusion that had to be corrected promptly. “The
Service is the key according to the HeliRiviera team. Pictured from left are: Michelle Richards, Rachel Kelly, Kathryn Westall, Catherine Pardini and Annette Barnardo.
particular when it comes to aircraft age. They will often not only stipulate a maximum age and layout of interior but will request very specific catering on board, often asking for it to come from their favourite restaurant. “They are quite organised and will often book months in advance, especially if they are booking to fly during the main
holiday periods,” Burrell reports. He adds: “Some periods can be quieter than others, but of course it can be stressful when there are several charters happening at once. However, generally the life of a charter broker is interesting and varied. A charter broker is there to provide a client with the most suitable aircraft options for a
client’s typo meant he requested the transport of goats when it should have been cows,” he recalls. Such sentimental or amusing commissions contrast starkly with demands in a year that, even though only a quarter of the way through, will be remembered as one of the busiest on record in terms of emergency evacuations. But, to the client, every request – from a pet surprise to a life-saving evacuation – is important and, to the charter operator, every piece of profitable business is valuable. particular charter, and at the best market prices. “However, should a client be set on an unsuitable aircraft, then it is the broker’s responsibility to explain to the client why it would be unwise to use it. This has to be done showing good aircraft knowledge and reasoning on why a particular aircraft may not be suitable.” Burrell points out that the broker must take into account that some operators do more chartering than others. He says: “An operator that is mainly there to fly for its aircraft owner may not have as much experience chartering to others and are sometimes less flexible, especially when it comes to last minute schedule changes. “Operators who are easier to work with are those that simplify the job of a broker. They do this by keeping the broker informed at all times, eg during the planning stage of a flight they will inform a broker when overflight and landing permits have been granted, on the day of a flight
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they will give punctual updates on actual times of departure and arrival. This is information a broker needs.” Mark Green, director of Oxygen Aviation Ltd, says: “It is often the case that the inexperienced clients are the hardest work: a broker’s job is to educate the client about aircraft – about how to gain the most benefit from the private jet experience. We treat every client the same in terms of size of flight and brokerage effort, but it can be frustrating when a client wants to negotiate £1,000 on a £5,000 deal. These are challenges that a broker needs to learn to handle.
Inexperienced clients can be the hardest work – Mark Green
“They need to remember that while they are booking the jet and are the operator’s client, they are not sitting on the aircraft and should be respectful to the operator. That said, we are very selective with our VLJ and light jet operators, some of whom comfortably out-punch their MTOW in terms of service. They should be proud of this and we are proud to put our clients on their aircraft.” Green says: “A clever man once told me that, as a broker, if you want to take the credit when things go well, you need to take the grief when thing don’t go so well. Generally and thankfully things go well but the problem is that aircraft are machines and pilots are human – occasionally one or both let you down. “As the interface between airline and client, these times are when a broker truly shows their mettle. It can be tremendously stressful and as a
broker, it is a high-pressured environment. The relationship between broker and airline can be strained at times, but what a broker needs to remember is that without the airlines, we have no product ... what some airlines need to remember is that without brokers, they have fewer clients.” Green says: “I personally welcome it if the airlines spend a day in our office to see the things we deal with before we speak to them. Likewise we have sent our staff for day placements at airlines and handling agents so they see things from the airline’s perspective. They then see the industry from all angles, this give the individual a 360° view and onthe-job training.” At the end of the day, what the client wants, the client gets. “As a broker, clients utilise our expertise, just because the client asks for a Citation XLS, it doesn’t mean we can’t suggest a Challenger for the right route and vice versa. If there is an attractive price on a light jet we will offer it. “I recall a particular client who wanted to fly from London to the Middle East: she asked for a light jet for four passengers. We offered a Learjet 60 that would fly direct and a Citation Jet that we’d made available, with our advice that it wouldn’t be particularly comfortable with a fuelstop. They took the Citation Jet but it works the other way more often than not. As a broker, we do have a responsibility to develop new aircraft types, so when a client asks for a well established brand such as ‘Citation’ or ‘Challenger’ it is our job to offer a competitive Phenom or Legacy – the client then chooses.” Brokers say that some carriers’ attitudes can change with the market. Some airlines can take a very arrogant stance and be inflexible. Others,
QUALITY AND EXPERIENCE
Sam Heather of Air Charter Service helps co-ordinate the movement of Vietnamese evacuees at Malta Airport, where an airbridge was set up from the troubles in Tripoli.
which are preferred by brokers, apply a common sense attitude to business and service. Those operators that apply stringent cancellation terms, those that run two charters too tightly and are difficult to communicate with are those that cause brokers headaches. A good broker knows these operators and it is in the client’s best interest going forward to use the most flexible. The lifestyle of an air charter broker depends on their clients. Robert Almqvist, md Nordic Air Brokers AB, says urgent requests mean it is not nine-to-five work and it is unlikely you will be employed with this type of contract. “Quite often we work with tight deadlines and if you’re able to handle this, it’s a great
type of job.” The job, Almqvist points out, includes everything from marketing to contracts. “You need to have some kind of aviation background with a service-minded approach. If you in addition have some legal education you’re definitely in the spotlight for this kind of job. At Nordic Air Brokers we’ve been looking for an individual with this type of profile and it’s not easy to find.” Ocean Sky, which has developed a flight brokerage office in Dubai, says choosing the right local operator for an evacuation flight will be important, especially if civil unrest spreads further across the Middle East and Arab North Africa (the Maghreb).
Neil Backhouse, Dubai office manager, says: “A critical factor in arranging such flights is securing the necessary landing permits, which can be difficult at short notice unless you know the national aviation authorities. As personal relationships continue to have great importance in the Middle East, we would advise anyone booking an evacuation flight to choose an operator who can call on existing links throughout the region.” Backhouse says careful thought is also advisable in the choice of evacuation flight crews. “Nationality is always a sensitive topic in the Middle East, and particularly at times of political stress. The passports carried by crew members may influence how a flight is treated by certain national authorities. Conceivably, in some countries, a British or US passport could create delays or issues that an Arab or Australian passport might not.” According to Backhouse, who has worked in the Middle East for a decade, this sort of local knowledge is essential for flight brokers. “Charter customers want their travel organised smoothly and, usually, at short notice. This is particularly true in an evacuation, when delays or disappointments can cause frayed tempers or worse. The broker therefore has a special responsibility to understand the Middle East’s business culture and the measures necessary for the customer’s objectives to be met.” There is an advantage in having a sister fleet with an international base. The Ocean Sky group has offices in Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Russia and manages a fleet that ranges from Airbus aircraft to the Cessna Citation Mustang. Richard Seeberg of Skybrokers, giving a perspective from Oslo, points Continued on next page
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best service they can. “These actually tend to be the smaller operators – the larger companies seem recently to have developed a bit of an overconfidence that makes them less helpful. Detailed and accurate information is what will always make an operator stand out.” Her colleague Olga Sevcuka says: “It is very interesting to note how different the Russian clients are to work with from European clients. Russian clients like to work with people that they can trust and who speak their own language, so personal recommendation is a good way of ensuring this. “It is often the case that Russian requests we receive have a very short lead-in time, meaning that choice of aircraft availability can sometimes be challenging, as the Russian clients always prefer to utilise heavy jets such as the Challenger 605 or Legacy aircraft, even if there are only one or two passengers travelling. Also the year of manufacture of aircraft is very important. For example, it would be rare for one of our Russian clients to entertain the idea of booking an aircraft pre-2005, they always prefer the later models.”
Perspectives: the charter broker
out that the straightforward days have gone for ever. “The air broker business, to my mind, has changed somewhat pricewise when you compare the scheduled airlines and chartered aircraft. “Some 20 years ago we had the Apex tickets which were limited per flight. The alternative was full price tickets which a chartered flight could compete against and this applied to larger aircraft, the 50 to 200-plus seaters. Today’s scheduled airlines offer such cheap seats in addition to being able to obtain up to over 100 seats on a single flight that the chartered aircraft don’t stand much of a chance pricewise. “Two empty legs will, in any case, ruin the calculations. There are a few exceptions where the chartered aircraft stand a chance, but generally they are losing out more than before.”
Scandinavian charter market is more limited
Troops often have to be flown to disaster areas: Photo Air Partner
– Richard Seeberg
The era of cheap travel means doing profitable business is tougher but the way of negotiating is more or less the same. Seeberg says: “It can be stressful in, for instance, central Europe, where chartering aircraft is much more common than up here in Scandinavia where the charter market is more limited. We inform the client of the advantages and disadvantages and let him decide. The response often depends on the country and any language barrier we experience.” Thierry S Huguenin of TSH One says some clients have a focus that is bound to cause stress. “What astonishes me quite often is how some charterers put price considerations well before their very own safety! And by ‘own safety’, I mean the safety of their family or close entourage as well. This is probably what continues to shock me the most in our business.”
Some clients put price before their own safety – Thierry S Huguenin
But Huguenin says: “Our relationship with operators is usually very good. I believe most operators understand now more than ever the true value of cooperating with a good and honest broker and affiliations to associations such as the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) or the Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA). TSH aero is a member of BACA. Wael Al Marjeh of JetEx Flight Support believes there is a simple bottom line. “Just like every other business in the service industry, your reputation is all you have. A charter broker strives to keep the customer happy. Aviation in particular is very
We work between the two millstones of the client’s demands and the aircraft operators’ practices stressful. You deal with flying restrictions, war zones and the like. You cannot allow a client to be bothered with minute details and this means you always have to take great responsibility. “We work as a consultant and a service provider. If a customer approaches us with a request we try to get him the best possible aircraft. If a customer has an aircraft that we know would not be suitable for their requirements we share our thoughts with them and explain why their aircraft would not work and suggest that they contact a third party charter broker so that they may not feel we are trying to sell them an extra service.” Charter operators, he points out, vary in the standards of their credit terms and in consistency. “When we get a quote from an operator we take it to the customer and wait for a confirmation. When a quote gets accepted by a client we return to the operator only to find out that they have raised the price,” Al Marjeh says. “This may sometimes be due to aircraft availability but in most cases is purely done to increase profit. This makes it difficult for a broker because it gives the impression that the broker is trying to make more money and used the first price as bait.” In the end it is a question of always doing your best for the client and putting your needs second. But the happiest brokers are those who learn to enjoy themselves as well. Chapman Freeborn’s Alex Berry sums up the target which cannot always be achieved. He says: “We are very keen to continue the tradition started by Chris Chapman in making sure that our staff enjoy their work and maintain a great work-life balance. Of course, when there is an immediate requirement like the
situation in Libya or Egypt our staff will work around the clock to help the customer as much as possible. While evacuation flights are an obvious example, the same can be true of an airline awaiting a spare part, an international rock group on tour or a business delegation on a fundraising trip. Every customer’s requirements carry equal importance.”
Daily grind that puts industry between a rock and a hard place The charter broker’s daily grind smooths the rough edges out of the lives of clients. Pál László of Air Connect Hungary says that the charter broker must relish the challenge of working between a rock and a hard place. “It is a paradox but for those who like terribly stressful activities, it is a relaxing place to be because we face changing situations every day – sometimes even every minute. “We work between the two millstones of the client’s demands and the aircraft operators’ practices. It is definitely a stressful job. You have to be not only a salesman and an aviation expert but a good travel organiser and sometimes an accomplished diplomat to achieve a workable win-win deal.” Air Connect Hungary works mostly on the Eastern European
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market, where all countries demand a different speciality. László says: “To the north we feel clients are more experienced, in the middle they are more price-conscious and to the south and east they focus more on size and quality of aircraft.” Emre Islek, md of Istanbul’s Afdair, says that much difficulty and stress can be avoided if a charter broking company is properly organised and understands and responds efficiently to the way in which different people and organisations want to do business. Diplomacy is a key quality. “If a client’s heart is set on an unsuitable aircraft you have to find diplomatic ways of making them understand the market and its realities,” Islek explains. Charter operators who prove difficult to work with should be avoided. Alison Wressell of Private Jet Charter says the company’s brokers report that clients in different countries inevitably have different ways of going about things. Arabic clients are quite forceful and are not afraid to negotiate hard – they prefer larger vip aircraft and know what they are willing to pay. “The Russians are similar and we do have to deal with clients changing their mind about their destinations and aircraft at the last minute, they always like to have several options to mull over. “European clients are pretty reasonable in their negotiating and with their expectations. The Americans have an altogether different perspective on the market as private jets are not seen as ‘exclusive’ or a specifically vip choice, due to the prominence of the air taxi market. Often they have no idea of the price of a charter, and are surprised when they find out!” But she says: “The lifestyle is pretty reasonable to be honest. When on call in the evenings and weekends it can be relatively stressful and tiring. The last thing you want is someone calling you at three in the morning with a ‘go now’ to Caracas – Quito Ecuador or something but I’m sure there are jobs out there that are far worse.” Wressell says some charter operators are proactive and helpful and genuinely want to provide the
On duty 360 days a year but it's a good lifestyle – Catarina Martins
Catarina Martins, md Blue Heaven Portugal, says: “I would say that I have a good lifestyle, even if I am on duty 360 days a year. The mobile phone must be switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Is that stressful? For some people I believe so.” Carl de Verteuil, md of Ascent Jet, which back in 2006 launched an ecommerce web site that enabled clients to book flights direct by credit card, says the business priority is to get a signature at the bottom of a flight confirmation. “But to generate that initial request for offer, you’ve already done a considerable amount of lobbying, cold calling, networking – call it marketing if you like – to get the word out there! It also helps to have a welldesigned website without any of those tedious flash introductions that you always press the ‘skip Introduction’ button on.” He adds: “A good broker locates the best solutions at the most competitive prices for a given flight profile. It is far better to work with an established client base where the relationship is built on trust and where competitive pricing and consistency in offering optimal solutions are the names of the game.” A broker generally works with a limited number of operators. In cases where new operators are solicited, there is some due diligence to be done. De Verteuil adds: “Once my clients are in the air with minimal delay, I breathe a sigh of relief in the knowledge that my job is mostly done. So a broker’s daily lot is not too bad if you thrive on a bit of stress, if you like the unpredictable nature of the business and if you like working with a host of different nationalities and cultures.” De Verteuil says: “Most charter operators I work with are very
Workaholics who treasure time off The successful charter broker must be a workaholic with a sense of fun, able to enjoy limited time off to the full. The job satisfaction comes from pleasing clients, meeting interesting people and travelling – usually by scheduled airline – as they see others enjoying the advantages of private jets and helicopters.
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Others will disappear in the same way that many others have disappeared in recent years.” Air Charter Dubai charter sales manager Claire Brugirard says she strongly believes that there will always be people who want the personal touch and the convenience and reassurance of speaking to an expert on the telephone. “The customer service of a good broker cannot be provided via an online booking service,” she points out. Olga Sevcuka, senior broker for the
Diplomacy and organisation are key qualities – Emre Islek
Networking builds a valuable database for new director Where personal contacts are concerned few work harder in building an online and offline database than Antonia Tomkova, commercial director of Prague-based ABS Jets. A founder member of the association Central Europe Private Aviation (CEPA), created to foster the development of private and business aviation in central Europe, she believes in networking and is a member of a wide range of business and management organisations including Women in Aviation, the Czech Management Association, Business and Professional Women of the Czech Republic, the International Business Forum and the Association of Business Sports. She is also a member of both the British and American Chambers of Commerce. cooperative. This goes back to what I said earlier about having to do some due diligence prior to selecting them as partners. The most common issue that I and probably other brokers would raise is that of the ‘broker rate’ as opposed to the ‘general public’ rate. We deal regularly with operators who do give us a verifiable broker discount in the knowledge that there is repeat business in the offing further down the road.” There is a degree of stress, a degree of uncertainty and definitely a large degree of enjoyment on the back of client satisfaction. Dino Rasero of Italy’s Top Jet warns: “To be able to work well and in a productive way in the executive charter world, you must be very patient. It is part of the job.” He adds: “Our method is to choose five reliable operators with different aircraft and locations and work hard on high volumes and excellent services.” Air Charter Dubai charter sales manager Claire Brugirard says: “The stress depends on how busy the market place is. When there are natural disasters, war, or other such things going on, we can work days and nights in a row. Under normal circumstances, the life of a broker is also quite hectic, and you need to be prepared to be active at any time of day just as in any other sales job. The difference is that aviation is 24-7 and the business never stops.” She sums up what makes the constant hard work seem worthwhile. “The small things that make this job interesting are often related to what kind of people we deal with and the jobs we get done. We get to meet a lot of interesting people – vips and high net worth individuals etc. But we also get to be involved in projects which are very rewarding from the job satisfaction point of view, such as successfully carrying out evacuations or helping save lives during medical emergencies.”
Online and on call: it’s a typical day in the life of the charter broker Successful air charter brokers today need to be able to provide a rapid ondemand response – both online and in person. Clients, who often want instant answers, also have access to a great deal of information on the internet and, if minded, can do a great deal of research themselves. However, Alison Wressell of Private Jet Charter is among the vast majority of brokers who are confident that online booking systems will not mean the end of the charter broker but the continued advance of a new era: “I don’t think so, there are too many variables for them to be booked online and also it’s not a fixed price market, so negotiation and relationships will always play a key part.” Charter operators offer an extremely wide range of quality which can be difficult to monitor, according to Pál László of Air Connect Hungary. “The style and standard of approach to the business depends more on people in charge than on prescribed standards so it can change time by time even within the same company.” Emre Islek, md of Istanbul’s Afdair, says online booking systems are already competing for market share especially for brokers who rely mainly or exclusively on just locating suitable aircraft. But complicated projects need special expertise. “Air charter brokers who have the ability to deal with complex projects will remain.
Russian broking department at Private Jet Charter says: “As far as online booking systems are concerned, our Russian clients do not like this and would not use it. They want to book private aircraft with confidence and they appreciate that speaking to an experienced and professional broker whom they can trust will ensure that they have the right aircraft for their trip.” Adam Twidell, md PrivateFly, which sets great store in its online services, confirms: “The traditional charter broker role is now evolving much as the role of the traditional high street travel agent role has changed over the past 10 years. Searching for the perfect luxury holiday is as complicated and as fragmented as searching for the most suitable private jet. Just as global distribution systems and other online databases have revolutionised the search power of a travel management company, the private jet broker now can use services such as Avinode to dramatically speed up the response times to their clients.” Online systems are becoming ever-more sophisticated but the private jet customer does have different, and sometimes hard to categorise, expectations that may depend on region and cultural differences. “Russian clients will often request new aircraft (less than
five years old), negotiate hard on price, vip lounges are always requested and catering requests are normally more complicated.” For the American client, especially those travelling to parts of the Middle East and Europe, safety is much more part of their make-up and they are very informed about it. Wyvern and Argus ratings are household names in the US for private jet customers. Highs and lows are part and parcel of the broker’s life. With 24-7 service required, working long shifts and being on-call are all part of the job description. Twidell says: “The highs come when deals are made and passengers are happy. Slots, technical delays and airport closures are a few of the lows.” Two operators at the same airport can offer completely different interpretations of good customer service but experienced brokers get to know who to trust. Twidell says: “Take for example a possible technical failure on an aircraft. A professional operator will inform the broker immediately so, if bad news is required later, it comes as no surprise and alternative arrangements can already be initiated. An unprofessional operator may have the attitude that ‘maybe it will be alright’ and ‘there is no need to bother the customer yet’ – which can obviously cause major problems later on.” Holger Rathje of FlightTime GmbH says the so-called ‘online booking systems’ are useful but will not mean the end of the broker, as they do not include all operators and cannot be a substitute for experience and market knowledge of the broker and the personal contacts with the operators. However, Jens Dreyer of Aviation Broker says the development and proliferation of online booking system will definitely make it even harder to win and keep customers. “I would guess that a lot of broker companies could disappear from the scene but the advent of online systems will not spell the end of all charter brokers. Online shopping has proved a serious threat for all shops – especially those offering standardised products. If a customer knows exactly the size and brand of a pair of jeans he wants to purchase, he gets it way
Chapman Freeborn staff work around the clock to help the customer.
cheaper through online shopping. The message is that some clients with enough experience in flying private might be able to do without a broker. Many others will not have that expertise or wish to spend their time shopping around and organising their trip.” Ascent Jet is combining online booking with personal service. Carl de Verteuil, md, says: “Online booking – at least online booking the complementary way we are continuing to build our system – will by no means spell the end of charter brokerage as we know it today. Our system will provide pricing indications and estimated flight times on entering an itinerary. Testing has shown that we are consistently very realistic in our pricing and flight time estimates. The client can then solicit offers which can, as a first step, be submitted by Ascent Jet.
Online booking will not spell the end of charter brokerage – Carl de Verteuil
“As a second step, qualified operators will be sent requests directly from our site and they will be able to respond directly to the users’ login areas of our application. This adds a large degree of automation to the entire process but changes nothing with respect to customer care or the due diligence necessary to qualify an operator transit to their offers through our system.” Continued on next page
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12 APRIL 2011
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
Perspectives: the charter broker
Wael Al Marjeh of JetEx Flight Support says there is absolutely no chance of online systems replacing brokers. He adds: “Brokers still get good deals, they extend favourable credit terms that operators may not be so generous to offer and a lot of the time the ‘human touch’ makes a great deal of difference.” Will online booking systems mean the end of the charter broker? “Not at all,” says Catarina Martins, md of Blue Heaven Portugal. “The client still trusts more in a person than in a software process. The online booking systems are good to give a price estimation but usually we offer a better price and a better service.” The answer from Dino Rasero of Italy’s Top Jet is: “I doubt it. It is still a job based on public relationships and customised client services.” And it won’t mean the end in the near future, according to Richard Seeberg of Skybrokers. “There are many elements involved that an experienced airbroker has the
Online services are unable to guide clients through the complex choices Alex Berry, Chapman Freeborn group executive sales and marketing director says: “In my opinion what the internet is not doing, and in business aviation specifically, is removing the value that a broker can add because there are increasingly more complex choices to navigate through. At Chapman Freeborn our brokers are equipped with knowledge and experience that customers can access 24-7-365 without having to go through endless automated options. We understand the importance of communication and ensure that we offer our customers a service based on value, as well as advantage of knowing through his experience which can financially disadvantage a client who does not know much about the business and does not have expert advice.” Thierry S Huguenin of TSH One points out that the internet and the
multitude of various applications linked to it bring an easy access of information to pretty much anyone. But: “I am convinced that reputable and experienced charter brokers will always have a tremendous role to play for their clients in carefully
arranging trips. Most charterers are looking for personalised services that only a dedicated broker is capable of offering. Most of the time, clients are shopping around for the best possible price for a particular trip. Our goal as a charter broker is
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offering advice and support, which generally the internet cannot provide.” He adds: “In most instances there are three fundamental factors that would cover the vast majority of customer needs – price, quality and procedure. We find a way to meet those requirements and in many cases exceed them with whatever aspect of the process is the most important. It could be an entrepreneur who needs to maintain a hectic schedule or a last minute car part that is holding up production, or even a government requiring urgent evacuation flights or humanitarian assistance.” not only to make sure that the price is right, but also that the service being offered meets and even exceeds our client’s expectations and that the operator, the aircraft and the crew are diligently selected for a safe and comfortable journey.”
Customers will return to brokers after trying online services – Pál László
Air Connect Hungary’s Pál László also says: “Definitely not. This is a fast changing industry. Not only newcomers, but also experienced clients need continuous updates and explanations of new or existing possibilities. Contrary to scheduled airline flights, where passengers often look for purely or mostly the best price among similar variations of services, in private air chartering the price is just one factor in a wide range of service portfolio. We expect an uplift of online booking systems in the short term, but after experiencing its disadvantages, we believe many of the important customers will return back to their trusted brokers.” The charter operators that buy rotary and fixed-wing aircraft often greatly rely on attracting business from brokers. The aircraft must appeal to the broker – or at least make them confident their clients will like to travel on them. Mark Green, director of Oxygen Aviation Ltd, says there is no chance that online booking systems mean the end of the charter broker. “Private jet bookings are a personal thing – so many jobs change, with so many variables and so many potential issues. Even in this day of modern technology and web-based companies, I would suggest 95 per cent of our clients need and want to pick up the phone to an account manager.
95% of clients need and want to pick up the phone “That said, I recall I booked a flight purely via SMS with a client, from enquiry and quote to confirmation – happily payment arrived by BACS not via SMS though. This was, however, an established and experienced client! Ordinarily, chartering a jet is an investment. Could you imagine any business person with an ounce of acumen investing a substantial sum of money without actually talking to someone?” Patrick Raftery of Imperial Jet says: “Brokers are an essential and fundamental part of how private aviation functions. As with any business, those that are professional and really look after their customers will evolve and grow. Those that don’t will struggle. As for online bookings,
APRIL 2011 13
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
Private Jet Charter: reports expanding business
technology like this will undoubtedly be a feature of the broker world and may lessen the direct interaction with customers. Having said that, the very best personal service will always be attractive to and valued by private jet customers. Those who can marry the opportunities presented by technology with outstanding service will prosper. ” Chapman Freeborn’s Alex Berry says there are critical differentials such as his company’s in-house auditing department. “This works with all our suppliers to make sure that they maintain, and exceed in some cases, the safety requirements
necessary to safely carry out the wishes of our customers.” Julian Burrell, md of The Charter Company, says the life of a charter broker has changed markedly over the years and the advent of online services has made a big contribution to the altered environment. “Where years ago it may have been possible to book a charter for a client and rely on the operator to do the rest, there is now increased competition in the market, not only from new brokerages but also web-based booking vehicles. Professional brokers are therefore differentiating themselves from others by offering a far higher
A day in the life – Markham Jackson
The A to Z of a show day Thursday, March 3, 2011 9am Today is the third day of the Business Airport World Expo 2011, held at Farnborough. As well as manning the BACA stand at the show, I am due to chair a session called Choosing the Right Partner. The Expo has been really busy and the organisers seem to have a full house, no doubt due to the good publicity they gave to the show. 10:00 It’s nice that there is decent space between the various lines of stands so that there is not the sort of crowding you sometimes get at other events like this. It’s not much fun if you have to push your way through crowds of people all the time. Though, of course, an empty exhibition hall is even worse! I was pleased to sign up two potential new members yesterday and had plenty of opportunities to spread the word about BACA and hand out our brochures. We are dedicated to promoting the highest standards in the air charter industry generally and events like these are an excellent way to raise our profile. 11:00 I moderated the seminar Choosing the Right Partner with a panel of four industry experts – two airlines and two FBOs. The discussions ranged round (a) what the airlines expected from FBOs at each airport they use and (b) what FBOs have to offer airlines. I was pleased to see there was some fairly robust questioning from the audience. It is a moderator’s worst nightmare if no one asks questions! I think the panel
Markham Jackson is ceo of the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), networking organisation for air charter brokers and others involved in the commercial aviation industry. Members include air charter brokers, airlines, airports, business aircraft operators, handling agents, aviation lawyers and consultants.
acquitted themselves well when answering questions. Maybe they did not always say what the questioner wanted to hear, but being clear and honest is more important. 13:00 I am back to the BACA stand after a chat with the participants. More people are asking about our organisation. Some are confused about the fact that we are called the Baltic Air Charter Association although we have nothing to do with the Baltic Sea. We were established at the Baltic Exchange in London, as an aviation branch of the maritime organisation. 14:00 It looks like I have another two companies interested in membership and I am off to a lunch with industry colleagues before networking in the evening.
quality of service. Clients are supported from the first call until they land, 24-7 flight watching and support, on request seeing customers off at the airport, or even providing an onboard flight rider to ensure that the charter goes smoothly.” He adds: “The Charter Company has found that its customers still like to talk to someone in person or on the telephone in order to discuss their requirement and aircraft options most suitable in the market. Often the enquiries will involve multiple sectors and during the flight programme there may be changes in departure time and also destination. Customers like the benefit of a 24-7 service so they can speak to their broker at any time and receive an instant response.”
“We will get back to you” makes clients unhappy – Gokcehan Dace
Gokcehan Dace, md of Apron Aviation, says clients always want to speak to a human being who is knowledgeable about the subject. “Filling in a booking form on a web site that is filled with beautiful visuals and getting the message ‘we will get back to you as soon as possible’ does not make them happy.” Both operators and brokers appreciate that it is who you know, what you know and how you apply your knowledge and contacts rather than impersonal online systems that bring in the business. Rachel Kelly of Heli Riviera explains that the company’s business is about more than offering simple vip transfers from the airport to the villa or yacht. She says: “It is also about providing something a little bit different to allow them to experience the region, whether that be helidining at exquisite restaurants, heliadventure such as heli-golf, heli-ski (snow and water ski), heli-polo or a more relaxing option such as heli-spa or heli-picnic and wine tasting experience. The options are endless and we are always working hard to come up with new experiences to keep our clients happy.” Such services are hard to replicate online. The consensus is that online technology will supplement and complement personal service but never replace the charter broker entirely. With all high-end and luxury travel verticals there will always be a requirement for professionally excellent and bespoke service. That said, online innovation is giving more search and booking capability to the customer, the broker must evolve to carve out their niche – be that superlative concierge-style service, exclusive deals or industry insight. Brokers and intermediaries in other travel sectors and other industries have already gone on this journey and, while some have thrived, others have failed to respond to the challenge. The charter broker needs to be online and on-call to survive and prosper. ■
Avanti yes, but is it art? Mimmo Paladino’s art has recently been displayed using a Piaggio P.180 Avanti II aircraft, marking the first time an aircraft has been painted by a contemporary artist . The Avanti, dubbed “Cacciatore di Stelle” (Star Hunter), will be displayed in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan from March 28th to April 28th, 2011.
ExecuJet Europe opens its first Spanish FBO ExecuJet Europe has opened its first Spanish and fourth European FBO in the Spanish city of Valencia. The entity has derived from an agreement with Spanish FBO chain, Assistair, to buy the assets of the FBO in Valencia and retain the services and staff at the facility.
Falcon flies first EGNOS approach Dassault has flown the first approaches using Europe's new EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) satellite navigation system. The approaches were flown into Pau Pyrénées airport in France on a Falcon 900LX equipped with EASy II. EGNOS uses geostationary satellites and a network of ground reference stations. It improves the accuracy and integrity of the U.S. GPS satellite system to within one metre horizontally and two metres vertically, allowing LPV approaches down to 250-foot minima.
Weston opens FBO at Humberside Weston Aviation has finalised a deal with Humberside International Airport to open a Business Aviation Centre on the June 1st. This will be the first dedicated FBO at the airport and the company will also open a regional charter sales office there. The new facility will include vip ground handling, crew and passenger lounge, wireless internet and easy ramp access.
Bombardier makes parts pledge Bombardier has introduced a parts guarantee, with benefits for customers. This will eliminate
restocking fees on the return of any parts ordered for an AOG situation and confirmed unused, eliminate shipping charges for replacement parts recommended by Bombardier which do not fix a fault and are deemed unnecessary; Bombardier will absorb shipping charges for the unused part, as well as labour costs associated with its installation and removal; and eliminate shipping and labour charges incurred for a replacement unit if the original part was not functional or was received damaged.
Sky Services revamps Rome FBO Sky Services has completely refurbished its facility at RomeCiampino. The facility now offers a new and modern vip lounge with satellite TV, free internet point and coffee area.
Air Culinaire opens in Le Bourget Air Culinaire France has opened for business at Le Bourget to provide premium catering and services in the Paris market "We have a very seasoned staff led by Ms. Maya Um, general manager. Her experience will bring the same great quality and service our customers have come to expect from all Air Culinaire locations," said Paul Schweitzer, president of parent company Air Chef Holdings.
FlightSafety celebrates sixty years FlightSafety International has marked the 60th anniversary of its founding. Business aviation was just beginning when FlightSafety was incorporated on March 29th, 1951. At that time, most business aviation pilots flew military aircraft converted to civilian use and weren’t required to undergo formal training.
HondaJet is up to speed The HondaJet has achieved a maximum speed of 425 KTAS (489 mph) at 30,000 ft. and a maximum Mach number of 0.72 above 30,000 ft. This achievement surpasses the company's performance commitment of 420 KTAS.
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14 APRIL 2011
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
IRELAND REGIONAL REVIEW
Operator focus contributes to soundly based business recovery
By Joe McDermott
Joe is a journalist working in private aviation
The last three years has seen the deepest recession Irish aviation has ever endured. It affected all sectors but most heavily hit was the helicopter business. For close to ten years property developers sustained the growth in the sector by buying, leasing or chartering. In turn the helicopter service industry grew at a phenomenal rate for such a small country. Sales and maintenance facilities kept pace with demand. Helicopter training schools invested heavily in skills, equipment and facilities. But once the property bubble burst the country’s rotary stock was mostly sold abroad and all too soon many of the highly trained crews followed. The Irish HeliExpo was held at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom at Punchestown in June 2007 and attracted high net worth individuals. Over a dozen helicopters were sold over the three-day event to private buyers and 100 helicopters visited the exhibition heli park to avail of this private invite event. Dave Scully of AEML and Alan Nee of Premier Aviation were the brains behind the showcase. At the Punchestown Racing Festival in 2008 over 1,500 helicopter movements were recorded over the
Business aviation in the Republic of Ireland by the numbers business aviation airports
Major business aviation airports* 1. Shannon 2. Dublin International 3. Dublin Weston Executive 4. Waterford 5. Cork
EINN EIDW EIWT EIWF EICK
SNN DUB WAT ORK
* ranked by the number of handler, charter, maintenance, sales and training organisations based at each.
16 business charter operators Fixed-wing charter operators include: 1. Private Sky 2. Westair Aviation 3. Starair
Helicopter charter operators include:
Premier Aviaton is confident about future business. Pictured from left are: John McCallion, Michael Gilhooly, director of PAS Capital Solutions, Lynn Mattisson, Alan Nee and Gordon Wilson.
five days of the festival. Dave Scully of AEML says: “Our busiest day was ladies’ day on the Friday with over 360 helicopter movements recorded.” The fixed wing sector was hit almost as hard. JetBird never materialised despite much promise, planning, investment and experienced personnel. The customers were no longer there to sustain the necessary growth.
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But the industry here in Ireland has the people needed to rebuild the sector. Smaller, established and more realistic operators scaled down or looked further afield for opportunities. Shannon-based Private Sky lead the way by looking east and now has a number of aircraft based in Russia including a new Challenger 300. They have a Hawker 900 and Citation XLS based out of Shannon and a Citation X located at Stansted. Dublin-based Starair developed its core business and its Challenger 604 is as busy as ever. Westair’s AOC and managed fleet includes a Challenger 605, a Gulfstream 550 and a Bell 430 and has a very loyal client base. Weston-based Premier Aviation took delivery of a Gulfstream III at the start of 2011. Another Weston-based operator is new start up AeroMedEvac-Ireland, operating on the Private Sky AOC, which took delivery of a Citation II in January. AeroMedEvac offers a clinically-led emergency medical assistance service utilising dedicated air ambulance aircraft, the first such service to be based in Ireland. Ray Mills, director of operations at Private
Sky, says: “We are delighted to partner with AeroMedEvac to supply Ireland’s only air ambulance repatriation service”. FBO facilities found that close to 50 per cent of their traffic evaporated in 2008/9 following the double whammy of local and international recession. One well respected FBO closed its Ireland office. But inbound traffic to Ireland has very definitely been on the increase from the North Atlantic since the end of 2010 and has rebounded to almost 2007 levels. Continental Europe and the UK are not far behind. Outbound traffic from Ireland has been slower to recover but Dublin-based charter broker Jim O’Sullivan of Exchequer Leasing Ltd reports that “the Irish market went into decline between 2007 and 2010, however, with the recent increase in the number of enquiries since the start of 2011, the future looks better. “Regardless of whether there is a recession or not, Ireland still has a significant number of business people who will always have a need to charter aircraft as it still makes economic sense to maximise the use of their working day.”
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Chris Shiels, chief pilot at Executive Helicopters: enjoying a new contract.
Executive lands power line contract Executive Helicopters has won the Irish electricity power line inspection contract and has purchased an AS355N for the work. Executive already operates a mixed fleet including a Bell 222, an EC120 Colibri and several Robinson R-44s. Apart from AOC operations Executive has a flight training school and part 145 maintenance centre at
Galway airport. The company says: “Executive Helicopters has invested heavily in top of the range camera systems giving us a highly competitive edge.” Camera specifications are: 5 Axis Gyro Stabilised Sony 1080 HD camera with full CCU onboard Canon HJ 17X Lens with 2X Extender.
1. Westair Aviation 2. Irish Helicopters 3. Executive Helicopters 4. Gaelic Helicopters 5. Premier Helicopters
aircraft 19 business maintenance organisations Leading maintenance companies*** 1. Irish Helicopters 2. Executive Helicopters 3. Shamrock Aviation 4. Air Atlanta Aero Engineering 5. Premier Helicopters
Leading TRTO training companies*** 1. Executive Helicopters 2. Premier Helicopters *** ranked by number of aircraft types covered
business aircraft on the EI 91 Irish register Data extracted from the Handbook of Business Aviation in Europe, and the EBAN reader roster.
Dublin goes global as national business contracts The international market is likely to become increasingly important for private and business aviation in Ireland as the national economy focuses on clawing its way out of debt, EBAN research confirms. Premier Aviation, based at Dublin’s Weston airport, is one company that says it is benefiting from increased international business. The group focuses on developing business aviation strategic plans and providing aircraft transaction services, financing, sales, leasing and asset management of both jets and helicopters. The company says: “We have opened new outlets that are benefiting from increasing international business and opportunities as the business aviation sector evolves in new markets. We now have new large cabin aircraft under management and two more of similar type due to go into service this summer as we meet the demands of our international customers.” It has established partnerships in growing markets such as the Middle East. Joseph McCarthy, md, Mach Aviation Services, says: “We are very
APRIL 2011 15
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
active in selling business jets and helicopters in the European and worldwide market. While we are hearing from other sales companies that business is slow, we are finding the opposite. “The past two years or more have been very busy for us. We have been extremely active and still are, in selling assets for individuals and companies that weren’t able or didn’t need to operate their aircraft any longer. Now that we have seen a pick up in the market we are also busy sourcing aircraft for people. The Hawker Beechcraft side of our business has also been very active especially in the King Air and H900/H4000 models.” Mach Aviation Services is the HBC representative for Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. McCarthy says: “We are taking on more people and setting up offices in central London as a lot of our business is now based in England, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Of course we sell all over the world; in the past few months we have had customers in North and South America, India, Middle East, South Africa and of course Europe”. The current market, he says, is a
IRELAND REGIONAL REVIEW
Universal Ireland: steady business.
Private Sky Challenger 850 is winning business. Photo Leor Yudelowitz
mix of distressed sellers and those who have decided to sell their aircraft for other than financial reasons. “The general trend we have seen
over the past six months is that offers have generally been up to $2 million below the advertised price in some cases. “However, in our experience, the offers accepted by sellers range from 5 per cent to 20 per cent less than the asking price. This flux in prices is leaving sellers hesitant to accept offers in the hope of achieving a better deal,” McCarthy adds. “This stall tactic is hurting the seller in the long run through higher maintenance and storage costs in
addition to advertising costs. The longer it is on the market the more there is a perception that the aircraft has something wrong with it.” MIU Events, Shannon airport and Shannon Development have initiated a new two-day event designed to bring together analysts, bankers, lawyers, accountants, owner/operators, FBOs, OEMs, business angels, business airport operators, IT consultants, regulatory authorities, industry associations, pilot groups and service industries on 29 and 30 June. Financing and international opportunities will be included on the agenda. Gerard Cashman, director, South Aer Services, Cork, says about 800 business aircraft movements are handled per year. Ireland in general has a financial mountain to climb but business aviation is recovering.
Comprehensive Irish data online free-of-charge The 2010/11 EBAN Handbook of Business Aviation in Europe is out now, and gives details of many more Irish charter operators. It also lists business aviation facilities and services including airports, FBOs and maintenance centres. The details can be accessed online through a search of aircraft operated or the airport bases. For more information please visit www.handbook.aero
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Aircraft charter brokers – These are key positions within the organisation and we welcome applications from both experienced brokers and those looking for an exciting new career. You will have proven commercial experience gained in either an aviation or travel related environment and have a strong focus on sales and business development. Flight services executive – Probably one of the most demanding yet rewarding customer service roles you could have, every day presents a different challenge. To succeed you will need excellent administration skills and a keen attention to detail while knowledge of airport passenger handling would be an advantage. Competitive remuneration packages available including salary, pension and benefits. For full details visit our website www.huntandpalmer.com/recruitment.php Applications with full CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Closing date 15th April 2011
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AIRCRAFT MARKET & FLEET DATA
Job advertisements can be placed at a cost of UK£50 per single column centimetre, the minimum depth being five centimetres.
Legacy 650 Immediate delivery. Less than 250 hours t/t. EASA, JAR OPS. 7,223 km range. 13 passengers. Fwd and Aft Lavs. Full onboard conveniences include Internet and e-mail access, large file transfers and videoconferences using a wireless-
AMSTAT PROVIDES INDUSTRY LEADING CORPORATE
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OUR NEXT ISSUE: MAY 2011 BOOKING DATE: APRIL 29th
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“The 800XPR is, without doubt, the ideal aircraft because it delivers a ‘win-win’ proposition for our clients and JoinJet. It can carry a full load of passengers and their luggage nearly 2,800 nautical miles and do it in the most environmentally-friendly manner.” —Kristoffer Sundberg, General Manager of JoinJet Ltd. A subsidiary of SunAir
LOWER OPERATING COSTS. INCREASED VALUE. ENHANCED OWNERSHIP. When JoinJet decided to expand its charter and first class connection service beyond Europe to Russia, the Middle East and Asia, they chose to upgrade their Hawker 800XP with the XPR Performance Upgrade exclusively available from Hawker Beechcraft Services. Nobody in Europe is as keen to be green as JoinJet, and with the XPR’s lower fuel consumption, it combines superior cabin size and a concierge-level flight experience with an extremely economical cost of operation. READ THE WHOLE SUNDBERG STORY IN FLIGHTPATH MAGAZINE FlightPath.HawkerBeechcraft.com
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