Germany's DC Aviation reports that private charter flights are returning to last year's business levels. Steffen Fries, ceo, says: "The company operated as many flights in July this year as it did in the same month last year. As a result, the number of flights is running at its level before the start of the economic crisis. In July of this year alone, the number of charter flights increased by almost a third in comparison with the previous month."
Fries says business aviation was one of the first industries in which the financial and economic crisis made itself felt. "We were already operating fewer flights in September 2008. There has now been a positive development. Our customers have been returning in the last few weeks and taking advantage of the opportunity to travel with flexibility and time savings. Especially in economically stringent times, it is important for managers to be on location. Furthermore, possible company takeovers are also certainly playing a role in the increase in flying."
The upward trend in demand for charter flights has been apparent at DC Aviation since March this year, he adds, DC Aviation offers aircraft management and maintenance as well as private charter based on around 20 business jets ranging from the short haul Learjet 45XR to the long-range Gulfstream 550 and the A319. Fries says: "As business people without a personal jet currently do not want to commit themselves to one business jet operator with long-term contracts or 25 hour jet cards, DC Aviation has developed a special frequent flyer programme for charter customers. In the 'DC Aviation loyalty club', flights become less expensive the more frequently a customer flies in central Europe. Furthermore, positioning costs otherwise typical for charter companies will also be waived in the selected 'loyalty region'."
Headquartered in Stuttgart, DC Aviation GmbH, came into being in 2008 as a result of the merger of Cirrus Aviation and DaimlerChrysler Aviation.