“The other difficulty was that initially the authorities wouldn’t clear FAR Part 135 charter aircraft, and procedures were a bit cumbersome in the way that they would pre-clear an aircraft. After lobbying for a couple of months we got the acknowledgement that all business jets would be included in the pre-clearance program. So that was a major step forward.”
Kadri Muhiddin, CEO, AMAC Aerospace
Basel-based AMAC Aerospace is best known for its completions and maintenance on airliner and jumbo-size corporate jets. The company started operations in 2009 and now employs 650 people across three hangars in Basel and a fourth in Istanbul, Turkey.
Kadri Muhiddin has been in the industry for 40 years with 22 years spent in VIP completions. “People knew about me, and although AMAC was new they knew they were going to get a good product.” The first aircraft completed by AMAC was an Airbus A320ACJ for a Middle Eastern ruler. “It had to sit for eight months on the tarmac waiting for the first hangar to be finished as this client wanted to be our launch customer,” Muhiddin told Aviation Week.
AMAC’s facility is fully booked into 2015. Further contracts awaiting finalization will take the backlog into 2017, according to Muhiddin.
Mark Wilson, President & CEO, NetJets Europe
NetJets has 130 aircraft in its European fleet and it currently has around 1,300 members split between fractional owners and card member products. 80% of flight hours are flown by fractional members. While membership is not growing significantly, “some ex-aircraft owners are coming into fractional over the last year and we see that trend continuing,” notes Wilson.
Wilson, previously NetJets Europe COO, became president and CEO of the company in January 2013. He is based at the company’s headquarters in Portugal.
NetJets has two Bombardier Global 6000s in service with two more due this year as the company gradually grows this fleet. “These aircraft are aimed totally at our fractional market. One of the beauties of the fractional model is that customers can buy whatever fraction is appropriate – some people have taken a larger holding than average on these aircraft as they’ve recognized that the aircraft is truly global in nature and they intend to fly in them quite a lot.” Wilson explains that each aircraft is expected to fly around 800 hours per year with owners typically averaging around 100 hours per year, which adds up to a one-eighth share in each aircraft. “800 hours is what we attempt to put on per tail per year,” adds Wilson.