By Paul Richfield
About 100 people interested in using the new breed of very light jets for on-demand charter service met in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week for the first formal gathering of the International Air Taxi Association.
Attendees were treated to individual presentations and panel discussions covering various aspects of this emerging market niche, from potential business models and operational details to insurance considerations and FAA Part 135 certification strategies. Speakers included Bruce Holmes of DayJet, a VLJ air taxi startup, who sees the VLJ/air taxi movement as nothing short of an Internet-style revolution requiring an entirely new way of thinking. “We have to create a new value network, and create a story that shapes our view of ourselves as an industry,” he said.
Donald Kenny of Falcon Insurance answered a question in the minds of many attendees. They were wondering if the insurance market is ready for the anticipated influx of hundreds of light jets over the next several years. “The insurance industry supports you, and VLJs can be easily assimilated into the existing insurance market,” he said. “Still, this market can turn on a dime.”
January 29, 2008