If you look at the bottom line, general aviation locally and nationally has taken an undeserved beating from a political controversy concerning the use of business jets and it has been slow to recover.
That’s a daunting trend – but not enough to convince Brent Carreker or other members of the Carreker family that this is the wrong time to start another private-jet company according to the Dallas News.
This month, the Carrekers launched Jet Linx Texas, a Dallas-based company that sells hours on private jets to people who want that private-jet trip to Wall Street or to Aspen.
“The timing couldn’t be any better for us,” an optimistic Carreker said.
Jet Linx sells travel cards offering a set number of hours of flying – 25, 50 or 100 – on turboprops or small, midsize or large business jets.
The company offers a high level of personal service and the fact that its travel cards are refundable.
“There are a lot of people who like to fly, and there are a lot of people that will always fly,” said Carreker, president of Jet Linx Texas. “We’re trying to play on this niche.”
FlightAware.com, a Houston-based company that tracks aircraft movements, found what may be some early signs of optimism for U.S. private operators. Although general aviation overall was 8.5 percent lower in June than a year earlier, it was up 1.5 percent from May.
Industry veteran Keith Plumb thinks the bottom may have been reached a few months ago.
“We saw a dramatic drop in activity from the beginning of the fourth quarter to the end of the first quarter this year,” said Plumb, president and chief operating officer of Executive AirShare and its Executive Flight Services. Executive AirShare is a fractional-jet company, meaning it sells shares in airplanes to companies and individuals, while EFS manages and operates planes.
But as of June, “we’re almost back to the same level of activity as we experienced last June,” Plumb said.