The CEO of Imperium Jets explains the current demand for business jets, particularly from new charter customers. Also, Airbus lays off 3200, Boeing pulls out of the $4.2B Embraer deal and pushes back the projected date for 737 MAX return to service, some post-COVID-19 airliner seat designs, American Airlines checked bag fees, and a 42-foot limousine built from a Learjet.
Lidor Revah is CEO and co-founder of Imperium Jets, a company that matches business aviation operators with brokers and travel agents. Imperium developed all-in-one private aircraft booking software that brings business jet brokers and operators together. Brokers get access to flights, and business aircraft operators get access to brokers.
The business aircraft sector is active in these troubled times and Lidor explains that with COVID-19, more people are looking to business aviation for their transportation needs. These are often people who hadn’t utilized this service in the past.
Reasons for turning to business jets include the unavailability of commercial flights, the perceived safety of bizjets, evacuation flights, travel to funerals, humanitarian flights, and cargo shipments.
Many new customers are going to charter brokers and travel agents for the first time. Often they are surprised at the shorter airport wait times and the service level found on business aircraft flights. Lidor talks about the prospects for business aviation retaining some of the new customers after the pandemic.
Lidor founded two travel-focused companies, has been featured in Fox Business, Quartz, and LeehamNews among other publications, and is an ex-special forces soldier.
The company’s 135,000 employees were told to brace for potentially deeper job cuts due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aerospace sector. Britain’s job retention scheme allows employers to furlough staff and claim cash grants up to 80% of wages, capped at 2,500 pounds per worker.
Boeing backed out of the planned $4.2 billion deal to buy an 80% stake in Embraer’s commercial aircraft division. The Brazilian company is not amused and says “Embraer believes strongly that Boeing has wrongfully terminated the (agreement).” Boeing says Embraer failed to meet conditions for closing the transaction.
Sources tell CNBC that Boeing’s latest expectations for returning the 737 MAX to service indicate late summer 2020. Two software updates and a recertification flight remain to be accomplished.
Italian manufacturer Aviointeriors has shown two airline seat concepts that look to provide some protection for passengers. Glassafe has transparent upper body hoods while the Janus concept features rearward-facing middle seats. (See #PaxEx Podcast 72, The future of air travel in a post-pandemic world for more on this.)
Fares between Europe, Israel, Morocco and the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and South America will be subject to a $75 per bag fee.
The street-legal Learjet limo is 42 feet long and 8 feet wide. Power comes from an 8.1 liter Chevy V8 and the 17,000 watt sound system simulates jet sound as the vehicle drives down the road. The “Learmousine” is scheduled for auction at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The winning bidder will also receive a custom-built 44-foot trailer and a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD to pull it.
Bad Aviation Movie Contest
The “winner” is Airplane vs. Volcano, first submitted by Brian Burke, who calls it “the worst aviation film ever to exist.” His YouTube channel is called Just Plane Silly, A Comical View of Aviation, where you’ll find a review of the movie:
Co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby break down how COVID-19 is rapidly changing virtually every touchpoint of the passenger experience, and consider whether air travel will be forever altered at the airport and in-flight.
Replay: Aerospace Industry Business After Hours Webinar hosted by the New England Air Museum with guest presenter Richard Aboulafia.