Blink empty LegsBlinzle empty legs
Articles | London Executive Aviation
It is also an interesting period this year to rethink an ambitioned corporate strategy that some see as part of the story, but which can indeed still make a difference to the way forward for corporate aerospace. Approximately a ten years ago, the Lufttaxi was described as the sector's bright sun.
It was hoped that a new breed of low-cost corporate jet would provide a totally new way of approaching airfares. Strong capacity utilization in combination with intelligent routingsoftware and standardized fleet would reduce charters to directly competing with regular carriers. Since Bill Lear came up with a great airplane plan one early hour, we were prepared for the most disturbing developments in the world.
Certainly, the worldwide economic downturn did not help and sucked away the credit and charters demands of the banks on which much depends on the aerial taxis visions. However, some of the other hypotheses on which the models are based were also found to be extremely upbeat. Obviously the revolutionary of the aerial taxis thought that the airplane utilization could amount to up to 1,200 a year.
In view of the short-term character of entry-level commercial airliners such as the Citation Mustang, it would be necessary to reach two or even three revolutions a full hour every week to reach nearly 900 or 1,000 anually. On the basis of the experiences of my own enterprise it is not an easy task to reach 600 hrs per year for an airplane, so that doing twice the amount of doing would always lead to nothing.
But we have reworked our view quite fast and switched from Lufttaxi pigeons to falcons. Whilst we still have several Mustangs, these have long been run according to a traditional chartersystem. One could therefore suppose that I see the idea of the Lufttaxis completely negatively and have copied it as a unsuccessful attempt.
GlobeAir and Blink, the leading GlobeAir and Blink operator in Europe, have shown that the operation of a one-piece mustang owned and operated fleets can work and that it is possible to obtain competitively priced charters. They have thus proven beyond doubt that the smaller plane sizes will make the charters business feel well. However, the lack of a component that would allow both firms to come nearer, if not quite reach, the initial goal of Lufttaxis is the benchmark.
Businesses could leverage economy of scales, reducing empty runs and reducing the cost of fleet restructuring with bigger fleet sizes. In my opinion, your capacity utilization would not come anywhere near 1,200 flying hrs, but could be significantly improved. It would be more difficult to raise the margin that can be achieved with the Lufttaxi thanks to the sharp price structure on the overpopulated lightweight airplane charterset.
It is unlikely that they will, as their loan approval standards have become increasingly stringent in view of the regulatory requirement for equity funds. One of the biggest challenges for the operator is therefore to help retirement funds better comprehend how an airline cab can be invested to meet their required wealth exposure profiles. Seeking ways to improve the creditworthiness of the revenue stream, in part by minimizing variability through an optimal distribution vehicle scheme, allows airlines to at last tap into the long-term investing funds required by the airline cab approach.
On the basis of this injection of funds, it could be possible to construct one or more Community owned aerial taxis, such as 45-50 aeroplanes or more, which would reach missionary mass, provide competitive yields and be a useful addition to longer entrenched parts of the charters family.