Business Jet Traveler’s Toolbox

Essential reading for anyone just getting started in bizav.

July 29, 2015
Photo: Delta Private Jets
Delta Air Lines has taken significant steps toward introducing its elite airline fliers to the convenience and privacy of business jets. The carrier will now offer a business jet upgrade program for its “Medallion” frequent fliers (those who fly more than 25,000 miles annually on the airline).
July 26, 2015
A charter or fractional provider's insurance can cause problems for customers. (Illustration: John Lewis)
If you’re a charter customer or fractional owner, your net worth may well exceed that of your flight provider. That would make you the deep pocket with the most to lose in an accident, yet you have no role in selecting the provider’s insurer or drafting its coverage terms. So how can you protect yourself? By performing the most dreaded task in all of aviation—reading the insurance policy—and by keeping these tips in mind:
July 19, 2015
Travelers who want to fly privately but can’t or don’t want to opt for full aircraft ownership have typically enjoyed three options: charter, jet cards and fractional shares. Choosing among them can be challenging, and now you have other alternatives to ponder as well, including lease arrangements, membership clubs and purchase-support programs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these options.
July 13, 2015
Falcon 5X
Here comes the widest conventional bizjet cabin in the sky. Dassault revealed its long-anticipated large-cabin twin, the 5X, in late 2013.
July 5, 2015
Buyers who face long waits for a new airplane may consider leasing on a short-term basis. (Illustration: John Lewis)
An aircraft buyer waiting for delivery of his new Gulfstream G650 once complained that the manufacturer “wasn’t promoting instant gratification.” Who could blame him? The scheduled delivery was eight years away. With a wait like that if you don’t have another aircraft that you don’t mind flying for the better part of a decade, you might as well buy one to tide you over.
July 1, 2015
AirFlite Aviation Services
Our survey identifies top performers worldwide. Fixed-base operations (aka FBOs) deliver essential business aviation services such as fueling, deicing and aircraft shelter, as well as waiting areas for passengers and crew. Some FBOs also feature audiovisual-equipped conference rooms, business centers, snacks and concierge services, while many provide pilots and crews with flight-planning facilities; rooms for resting, showering and movie watching; and courtesy cars. For the past 34 years, BJT sister publication Aviation International News has conducted an annual survey to determine which FBOs offer the best customer experience. Those who do the reviewing are a specially selected segment of AIN’s readership—the pilots, flight-department managers, dispatchers and others who have the most interaction with these facilities. For its 2015 survey , the magazine received more than 12,000 evaluations of FBOs in 90 countries. AIN asked respondents to rate facilities they’d used over the past year from 1 to 10 in the following five categories: Line service—competence of the workers who meet the airplane on the ramp and service it. Passenger amenities—quality of lounges and conference rooms and availability of ground transportation. Pilot amenities—availability and quality of pilots’ lounges, flight-planning facilities, snooze rooms, crew showers, entertainment and recreation offerings and complementary crew cars.   Facilities—cleanliness, comfort, upkeep and convenience of the location. Customer service—professionalism of customer-service reps, their familiarity with the local area and their assistance with reservations and catering arrangements.  This year, two FBOs share top honors in the Americas with an overall score of 9.5: AirFlite Aviation Services at Southern California’s Long Beach Airport, which earned the highest score for the second consecutive year; and J.A. Air Center at Chicago-area Aurora Municipal Airport.  Toyota-owned AirFlite, which tallied top scores in three of the five categories, has occupied the same meticulously maintained building for 23 years and has long participated in Ritz-Carlton’s customer-service training program. The facility’s general manager is also a pilot in Toyota’s flight department, which allows him to view the FBO from a customer perspective. J.A. Air Center has been a top performer in the survey for seven years and has earned a 9.5 score for the past three. Manager Randy Fank believes there are no mysteries when it comes to delivering quality service. “Take care of the customers in the back of the airplane and get them on their way,” he says. “Then you take care of the customers in the front of the airplane. You’ve got to go in there with a good attitude and take every day the same.” European service providers continue to dominate the international part of the FBO survey, which also covers the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Nine of the top 10 locations to garner enough reviews to be ranked are in the UK, France or Switzerland. The lone exception is the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre.  While scores for the international facilities tend to lag those of the longer-established premier North American operations, the gap has been closing. For the first time in the survey’s history, more than one location in Europe scored 9.0 or higher this year.  TAG Aviation at the UK’s Farnborough Airport, which has made the list for nine straight years, earned a 9.1 score in each of the past three. Tag owns the dedicated London-area business aviation airport, which handled nearly 25,000 aircraft movements last year. The company’s FBO there received top scores for both passenger and crew amenities and the 9.4 score for its facilities was the highest ranking in any category in this year’s international survey.
July 1, 2015
Traveling with the airlines these days often means paying extra for a ho-hum sandwich and bag of chips, but mealtime can be the highlight of a private flight for foodies. The bizav caterers listed here offer a wide range of options, including many that compare to what you’d enjoy in the world’s finest restaurants. 
June 29, 2015
Helicopters have been assisting in rescue efforts in the aftermath of Nepal's earthquake.
Some of the helicopter pilots who participated in the recent Nepal earthquake rescue effort have been trained in an innovative recovery technique taught by Air Zermatt CEO and pilot Gerold Biner.
June 22, 2015
Jet cards have their benefits, including consistent service and guaranteed aircraft access. (Illustration: John T. Lewis)
Growth could literally be in the cards for the bizav industry. Sentient Jet, which claims 4,000 jet card customers, reports 35 percent sales growth for 2014, while card purchases at Delta Private Jets set records last year and card hours flown in NetJets’ Marquis program saw double-digit growth.
May 15, 2015
A business jet.
What’s driving today’s faster depreciation rates?

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