Aircraft Detailers – Now Is Your Chance To Dance And Make Some Money Honey

It looks as if the 2016 Presidential Elections are going to turn out to be a Bonanza for the general aviation sector. It seems that all the financial analysts, Flying Magazine, Private Pilot Magazine, EAA President, AOPA, AvWeb, and Aviation Week and Space Technology all agree – 2017 is the year that will break records and set a nice pace for years to come. What does this mean for those of us in the general aviation services sector? It means ‘clear skies ahead’ and profits too.

Apparently, unlike the Obama Administration the Trump Administration doesn’t see aircraft owners as some part of the Evil One Percenters – rather it sees them as winners. This is a good thing. New Business Jet Aircraft Orders are already hitting record highs merely with the anticipation of change with the new administration. Financing for new aircraft is also following suit, while smaller companies are investing in Air-Taxi Memberships, fly-sharing, and fractional jet plans. All of this is making things look rather good for those of us who’d like to get back to making money servicing all these new aircraft.

Aircraft International News had a special report in December of 2016 on the state of Corporate Aircraft Financing which stated;

“Cycles for the U.S. business aircraft fleet this year are expected to approximate the levels last seen in 2003, according to statistics provided by industry analyst JetNet. At that time, there were 9,500 business jets in service in the U.S.; today there are 12,500.”

Indeed, this trend is climbing out fast. Okay so, what does this mean for aircraft detailers? Well, it is a known fact that when aircraft owners buy new aircraft they are 50% more likely to put those aircraft on a cleaning regiment or regular customer program – including weekly washes and monthly detailing. It also means more usage of current and existing aircraft, which equate to aircraft getting dirty in shorter time intervals. It also means used aircraft will be selling again as new aircraft start to back-order. People selling used aircraft make great detailing customers.

All-in-all, 2017 and 2018 appear to be on track to break records in the General Aviation Sector and that’s just great news for all of us aircraft service industry folks who’d also like to have a couple of solid record breaking years. If you already own an aircraft detailing company – it’s time to expand. If you want to start a new aircraft cleaning company – you’ve just been cleared for takeoff.

Austrian Airlines’ Cancun Charter Flight Operation

Although passengers are aware that airlines fly to the destinations they need to travel to, whether it be for business, pleasure, or relational reasons, they may not know that some are served by cargo-only flights; code-share services, in which another carrier operates the aircraft; or charter arrangements, which enable airlines to extend their reach to cities only supportable by group or travel agency bookings, particularly during seasonal-demand periods.

Acting in the capacities of overseer and trainer, the author experienced one such charter flight operation-that of Austrian Airlines in Cancun, Mexico-at the beginning of its Winter 2006-2007 schedule. Observed was the season’s inaugural flight.

1. Mexican Civil Aviation Regulations

Austrian Airlines was handled by Passenger Handling Services/Maca in Cancun. According to Mexican Civil Aviation Regulations, all ground handling companies were required to adhere to three regulations.

They first needed to submit a letter from the handled carrier, verifying that the ground company in question was properly trained in the areas of Flight Plan Coordination, Weight and Balance, Ramp Procedures, Refueling Procedures, and Passenger Service. The letter also needed to indicate the names of the staff actually trained in these areas.

They secondly needed to possess copies of the applicable, aircraft-specific operations manual(s). In the case of the Cancun flight, it was the one concerning the Boeing 767.

Finally, they needed to file a manual check-in plan, with the necessary seat charts, boarding passes, and other supplies.

2. Ground Operations Training

In order to fulfill the training requirement, the author reviewed the Cancun Station Operation Plan, inclusive of the passenger check-in and Centralized Load Control (CLC) procedures, with the handling company’s Duty Manager shortly after his arrival in Mexico, and held two training classes with its staff the following day.

The first, the 2.5-hour Austrian Airlines Load Sheet Familiarization Training, included an overview of the Centralized Load Control (CLC) procedures, load plans, the creation of an inbound load plan based upon the day’s actual container/pallet distribution message (CPM), and the collective completion of a manual load sheet example, copies of which were placed on file at the Cancun station.

During the second session, held after the flight departed, the author again reviewed the CLC procedures with the three staff members who had been unable to attend the morning class.

3. Passenger Check-In

Passenger check-in and boarding occurred in Terminal 1. A small passenger service office, located behind the Mexicana de Aviacion check-in counters, was located in the Vuelos Nacionales (Domestic Flights) section of Terminal 2, while the Operations office was situated behind the security checkpoint and on the ramp side of Terminal 2. A complimentary, periodically run passenger shuttle connected the two buildings from designated terminal frontage departure points. Terminal 3, intended for international flights, was scheduled for March 2007 completion at that time.

The Passenger Handling Services/Maca Duty Manager of Austrian Airlines’ Cancun flight operations, a licensed Aircraft Dispatcher, had amassed 15 years in the airline/aviation industry and took great pride in adhering to regulations.

Passenger check-in was located in the recently reopened, but downsized, hurricane-damaged Terminal 1, which was then only occupied by charter carriers, such as Miami Air, First Choice, Air Transat, and Corsairfly.

Passenger check-in itself commenced three hours before the scheduled 1640 departure time of the flight at counters that were located only a few yards from the terminal entrance. All passengers, in accordance with Mexican security regulations, were required to have their baggage manually inspected prior to actual check-in.

Five check-in positions were used: one for Amadeus (business) Class and four for the economy cabin. The Passenger Service Supervisor and the business class check-in agent spoke Spanish, English, and German, and seat selection, provided by the MaestroDCS system, along with any authorized upgradings, were coordinated with the Tui tour representative, whose company chartered the flight.

Check-in itself was accomplished with the MaestroDCS system. During the process, a passenger requested a wheelchair and it was immediately furnished.

4. Boeing 767

The Cancun flight was operated by the extended range version of the Boeing 767-300, the second of the two stretched-fuselage, higher capacity variants, whose general design features included the following.

General Description: A widebody, twin-engine, cantilever, low-wing monoplane of semi-monocoque construction intended for commercial passenger and cargo and military applications.

Fuselage: Of aluminum alloy, fail-safe construction.

Wings: Employed advanced aluminum alloy skins and featured 31 degrees of sweepback and six degrees of dihedral.

Tail: Conventional empennage with swept surfaces on both its horizontal and vertical tails.

Landing Gear: Hydraulically-retracted, tricycle undercarriage with a Menasco twin-wheel, which retracted forward, and two, four-wheeled, Cleveland Pneumatic main gear units, which retracted inward. Both were equipped with Honeywell wheels and brakes.

Engines: Two aerodynamic, pod-encased high bypass ratio turbofans pylon-mounted to the wing leading edge undersides.

Design Features: Replacing the 727 with a larger capacity, widebody design, it was nevertheless optimized for 727-type route sectors with one-stop transcontinental range capability. It employed computer-aided design (CAD) during its initial development phase, whose costs were reduced because of parallel 757 development. Although it was not considered a single-aisle aircraft, it introduced a narrower fuselage cross-section than that used by previous widebody types, yielding several advantages, including a reduction in parasite drag; a twin-aisle cabin, in which passengers were never more than one seat from the window or the aisle; gate and ramp compatibility at smaller, 727-like airports; and advanced, light-weight aluminum alloy flight surfaces, specifically the fixed wing leading edge panel, the spoilers, the ailerons, the fixed wing trailing edge panel, the undercarriage doors, the elevators, and the rudder.

Additional benefits were derived from the use of a supercritical wing, such as a high aspect ratio, an aft-loaded section, the development of more lift for less drag than any previous airfoil, 22-percent greater thickness than that employed by previous-decade airliners, a lighter and simpler structure, and more wing-integral fuel tank capacity.

Powered by two high bypass ratio turbofans, it was able to offer higher thrust, lower specific fuel consumption, a reduced noise footprint, lower maintenance costs, and improved reliability.

Like the 757 then concurrently designed, it was operated by a two-person cockpit crew.

By using the previously dry center-section fuel tank, Boeing was able offer an increased-range version that required few other modifications, yet its inherent fuselage stretchability, the greater capabilities of its existing wing and tail, its 757 common pilot type rating, and its extended range twin-engine operation certification enabled carriers to substitute it for DC-10 and L-1011 aircraft.

It offered the optimum range and capacity for Austrian Airlines’ transatlantic charter operations to and from Mexico.

Powered by two 60,900 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney 4060 high bypass ratio turbofans, the aircraft operating the flight, registered OE-LAX, was first delivered in 1992 and bore serial number 27095. Accommodating 30 Amadeus business class passengers in a six-abreast, two-two-two, configuration and 200 in economy in a seven-abreast arrangement with one additional seat in the middle bank, it featured the following maximum weights: 130,634-kilo zero-fuel, 145,149-kilo landing, 186,880-kilo take off, and 187,333-kilo ramp.

5. Ramp

Operating as Flight OS 9573 from Vienna, Austria, and Varadero, Cuba, the aircraft landed at 1515 and taxied into the non-jetbridge-equipped parking position 1, as scheduled, at 1520. It was chocked and the safety cones were properly positioned. A stair truck was immediately positioned at door L2 and, in accordance with Mexican regulations, marshaled into this position. The passengers disembarked after a short consultation with the Chef de Cabine (chief purser).

According to the inbound container/pallet distribution message (CPM), the following Cancun-destined unit load devices (ULDs) were on board: an empty DPE in position 11L, baggage AKEs in positions 22L, 23L, and 24L, and an empty DQF in position 43. With the exception of the last one, all were located in the forward hold and were single, or half-width, containers. The latter, in the aft hold, was a double, or full-width, one.

6. Departure Gate

All five departure gates were located immediately up the escalator, through the security checkpoint, and a short walk away. Two snack bars and two shops comprised the terminal’s passenger convenience facilities.

Because of the proximity of the aircraft parking positions, buses or mobile lounges were not necessary, and access ramps led from the departures level to the ramp.

Sequential boarding of the departing flight, operating as OS 9574, commenced at 1545, with announcements in both English and German, and entailed pre-boarding passengers, followed by those in Amadeus business and economy class, the latter by row numbers, beginning at the rear of the aircraft.

Boarding control was computerized, with seat numbers entered into the system. After the last passenger passed through the gate at 1612, the general declaration and all required lists were brought to the cabin crew. Since the Varadero station had changed some seats, the seat occupied message (or SOM) of through-passengers to Vienna was not entirely accurate and resulted in several discrepancies, but these were quickly rectified by local ground staff.

7. Centralized Load Control

In accordance with the Centralized Load Control procedure for charter flight operations, the cockpit crew sent the final fuel figures to Vienna by means of the aircraft communication and reporting system (ACARs), while the local operations staff filled out and faxed a preprinted sheet with passenger totals subdivided by class and zone, along with the number of bags and their weights, all of which was furnished by the MaestroDCS check-in system and telexed to the Terminal 2 operations office. Back-up sheets were available in the event of last minute changes (LMCs) or an ACARs failure.

Although initial difficulty with the fax machine delayed the sending of the information to Vienna on the day of my visit, missing Atlantic tracks in the meteorology folder caused a short, 15-minute departure delay.

8. Conclusions

All the members of the Cancun ground operations staff were professional, dedicated, and motivated, and obviously possessed considerable knowledge and experience. Because the handling company’s operations office had to be relocated from Terminal 1 to its then-current Terminal 2 facility due to hurricane damage, the logistical challenge could only be met with ramp vehicle conveyance, but the operation was otherwise well orchestrated. The Maca duty manager was an excellent asset to the station and his team, and the use of the German language at the check-in counter was a plus to Austrian Airlines’ passengers.

Its Cancun charter flight operation that day could not have been more seamlessly executed.

The Benefits of Hiring a Private Jet

When you are traveling by an air charter, it is more likely that you can have it compared to a 1st class commercial flight you have once taken before. When you take these flights you can simply enjoy comfort, privacy, and a great sense of luxury. Although it is known today that fare costs for such flights are higher than those of commercial flights, you will surely enjoy the many advantages and benefits they may offer.

The Advantages of Hiring an Air Charter Flight

The following advantages prove that it is a great idea to hire a private jet.

1. Convenience

Convenience is the number one advantage one can get from hiring a private charter. When traveling on a private flight, you save much of your time and effort falling in long lines at the airport for security checks, claiming of baggage, and other kinds of formalities. Traveling on an air charter also gives you the privilege to pick your own date of travel and the privilege to decide whether you should travel on the air charter alone or with people you know.

2. Privacy

When you take a ride over it, privacy is what you usually get. This is especially true when you are not at ease or comfortable riding on a plane with other unknown passengers. And if you are traveling for long hours, the lack of leg room and eating food you don’t really like can really make you feel too wasted all throughout your journey. However, these things can be avoided when you choose one for your ride. Here, you can have the freedom to fly alone or to be joined by two up to fifty persons on board. In fact, many businessmen and corporate executives also conduct meetings while traveling.

3. Better Communication with the Pilot or Attendant

When you choose an air charter for your next travel, you will be given the privilege to have a better and easier communication with the attendant or the pilot of the plane. You can have this option when you travel on public flights. As such, you will be given special attention whenever you board one on your next trip.

4. Excess Luggage – Not a Problem

Another great advantage of taking an air charter flight is that the number of luggage you want to bring along with you is not restricted. You can take everything that’s necessary for your business trip and simply work inside the plane like you were in your office.

Your Utmost Convenience

When it comes to a private jet you can look for various air charter services providers. Hiring a professional air charter gives you the luxury you need without saying it; you can see, feel, and sense it instead. There are some of its kind designed to treat customers the VIP way, with much comfort, and incomparability. Although, some flights may not be as luxurious as the others you can still achieve the best comfort and benefits which you cannot get from commercial flights. You must choose the best one when it comes to taking a nice and heavenly trip through an air charter.

Charter Your Way to the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is a horse race. That is putting it simply of course, because since it is the third of the ‘big races’ for three year old thoroughbreds, it can be the site of a Triple Crown winner. The Belmont Stakes is held in New York each June, five weeks after the Kentucky Derby has been run and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, which are the first two races of the Triple Crown.

The race is named after August Belmont Sr. and is the oldest of the three races that make up horse racing’s elite. It was first run back in 1867 but there wasn’t a Triple Crown winner until 1919’s Sir Barton became the first horse to win it. In fact, throughout history there has only been 12 winners, most recently American Pharaoh who won the whole shebang back in 2015. His win was thirty seven years in the making so it isn’t hard to understand why the Belmont Stakes is nicknamed The Test of the Champion.

Belmont’s track is the longest of the three races, with a track measuring 1.5 miles which means the horses are tested in both speed and endurance, and the track was the first to run a race counter clockwise, which happened in 1921. They also implemented the paddock walkabout for the horses which doesn’t happen in Kentucky or the Preakness Stakes.

The Belmont stakes is special because it is the only race that can crown a Triple Crown winner. If a horse has won the first two, all eyes are on him come June at this big race, so why get there commercially when you can charter a jet to get you there in style and on your schedule?

We are all busy so who has time for commercial airlines and busy airports? Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back, relax and leave when you wanted to in a spotless state of the art jet whose seating plan you can configure to your individual needs? New York’s airports are busy places to begin with, but arriving in a jet gives you the leeway to arrive at a smaller airport and without all of the long security lines and check in hassle you expect at the large airports.

As you watch the winner of the Belmont Stakes get his blanket of white carnations and walk past the statue of Secretariat, still the owner of the fastest time in the race, won’t it be nice to think of the luxury awaiting you to whisk you home again? You bet it will!

Private Jet Services and Their Benefits

Traveling on a private jet means you save time and energy. Its hassle-free and a much more productive and stress-free way to fly. It puts you in control. Private jet charter services have made it very easy for people to organize instant business trips. Especially for business tycoons, jet charter travel is of great importance. There are several advantages of hiring a private jet:

Scheduling

You are the boss here. Your aircraft would leave when you decide. The main advantage of hiring private air charter is the freedom of scheduling. You can plan out the entire schedule according to your business needs and fly at any time you want. You can also alter the schedule if required.

Time-Saver

For business community time is money. Wastage of aprecious time means loss of millions. Normally, traveling by a commercial airline lead to a great wastage of time due to delayed or cancelled flights. On the other hand with private jet charter services you save time reserving tickets, registering, making queues for security, getting the luggage etc. In short, you avoid delays and save a lot of precious time.

Size

Here you are the king. You choose the private air charter service which suits your needs. You can choose from a variety of aircraft like light jets, midsize jets, super mids, jumbo jets or even helicopters according to your requirements, i.e. seating capacity, speed of travel, etc. Now that’s the luxury you will never get when traveling on commercial flight.

Additional Facilities

A private air charter service also ensures that you get excellent gourmet meals, ground transportation facilities and return services to make your trip convenient and memorable. You dictate the needs here. You can also demand specific items to be served on board like vegetarian meals or a certain drink.

Added Security

The most important benefit of private jet charter services is that you get a high level security. It’s hassle-free. You don’t need to stand in a queue to get through the security area. No need to worry about luggage loss. You get high level of comfort, privacy and security.

Choose your Airport

With private jets you get the facility of choosing the airport you want to land in. You can decide to land in a less crowed airport, where you can save your precious time in car and ground transportation.

A private jet charter service ensures that its customer service personnel are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet client’s demands. It provides corporate, executive and independent travelers with top level security, comfort, privacy and flexibility; which is not available in any other mode of transportation.

Probably that’s why more and more corporate houses are now beginning to prefer private jets charter services to regular commercial flights to ensure their people reach the right place at the right time with minimal hassles and fatigue.