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Flexjet boosts MRO capabilities with Flying Colours purchase

Flexjet Inc., a global leader in private aviation, last week announced that Flying Colours Corp., a preeminent aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, is joining the Flexjet family of companies. “Bringing the capabilities of Constant Aviation, which Flexjet bought earlier this year, and now Flying Colours in-house enables us to ensure both the highest possible service quality and the maximum availability of aircraft for our owners,” said Flexjet Chairman, Kenn Ricci.

Flying Colours, headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, offers not only a full range of MRO services but also a comprehensive set of additional capabilities specifically focused on aircraft interior completions and refurbishments, as well as custom aircraft painting.

Flexjet’s global maintenance facility footprint now includes 12 primary maintenance facilities and 30 geographically strategic AOG teams to provide field support to the fleet. This includes the new Flying Colours facilities at Peterborough Airport and at Spirit of St. Louis Airport (located west of St. Louis, Missouri). Approximately 250 Flying Colours team members will join Flexjet. In addition, Flexjet is actively in the process of hiring nearly 200 core technicians during the current year.


Portugal introduces new carbon tax

In recent times, the business aviation sector has faced multiple national initiatives from EU Member States. These initiatives, driven by a concern for the sector’s environmental impact, propose legislation aimed at restricting short-haul flights or imposing taxes. Recently, Portugal introduced amendments to its carbon tax policy, which now extends to include non-commercial business jet flights alongside commercial business jet and airliner flights, effective from July 1, 2023. Under this new framework, the carbon tax for business jet flights will be markedly higher. This is due to the inclusion of a “Pollution coefficient” set at a sensibly high level. Factors impacting on the final calculation of the tax are the number of seats of the aircraft and the distance flown. Under the new regime a Gulfstream 650 with 14 seats operating Lisbon – New York Newark would be billed for 1,792 Euro ($2,000 USD).

In response to the developments in various EU member states, EBAA has directed advocacy efforts to the national level across Europe. The organisation has engaged in constructive dialogues with policymakers in key countries, emphasising the sector’s economic contributions, connectivity benefits, and pivotal role in driving sustainable innovation which will be instrumental in achieving the net-zero emissions target. For example, EBAA France, in collaboration with EBAA, engaged with French policymakers regarding a proposal from the French Ecologist Party. They highlighted that business aviation only contributes 0.09% of CO₂ emissions in France, employs 100,000 individuals, and adds €32 billion to the GDP.


Volato to go public with Proof Acquisition Corp

Volato, the fractional operator, only got its first aircraft in August 2021. Two years later it has announced that it will merge with the Special Acquisition Company (SPAC) Proof Acquisition Corp and plans to list on the NYSE. Founded in 2021, Volato has grown quickly, posting nearly $100 million in revenue in 2022 and amassing a fleet of 18 HondaJets with another 23 on order. Including managed and leased aircraft, Volato’s fleet numbers 25, and it further has four Gulfstream G280s on order for delivery next year. The company offers fractional ownership, jet card and deposit programs, aircraft management services, and on-demand charter using a floating fleet. Volato is the latest private aviation flight provider to announce its intention to go public via SPAC. The deal will give Volato a pro forma enterprise value of $261 million.


People: Mark van Berkel, new president and CEO Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

The members of the Board of Directors of Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) recently announced that Mark van Berkel has agreed to join COPA as new President and CEO.

Originally from Calgary, Mark is now a resident of Ottawa. An active COPA member for 20 years, Mark earned his PPL shortly after college and he remains an active pilot with a current IFR rating and has owned and operated five aircraft in those 20 years of COPA membership. Mark started his life-long aviation career as an avionics AME in Vancouver, moved to Ottawa where he worked for Transport Canada Aircraft Services and became the Chief Avionics Specialist. Thereafter, he transitioned into the private sector, ultimately founding and building a highly successful avionics manufacturing business, TrueNorth Avionics, which specialized in designing and manufacturing communications and data connectivity for business jets. After growing the business to more than 50 employees in just ten years, Mark sold TrueNorth to Satcom Direct where they have continued to build on the success that TrueNorth had established.Prior to founding TrueNorth in 2006, Mark held senior positions in the aviation business division at EMS Technologies (now part of Honeywell).

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