TBM Tilts Toward Chartering

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For such an expensive asset, even a busy personally flown aircraft doesn’t always get much utilization. And Daher, manufacturer of the TBM 900 and 930 single-engine turboprops, has come up with a promotional plan to help owners place their airplanes into charter operations, defraying the ownership costs and keeping the airplanes in the air more often than they otherwise might be.

At the NBAA BACE event in Orlando this week, Daher’s Nicolas Chabbert explained how the company’s new FACT—for Fly and Charter TBM—can help owners develop a part-time charter program that generates revenue but still allows them plenty of access to their airplanes.

“We know that people have a lot of utilization of the aircraft, about 200 hours a year, so we believe that connecting people who have an aircraft available for certain days of the week or certain times of the year to charter operators for about 100 hours a year would be a nice web of aircraft that can be charter in the U.S. and, of course, Europe,” said Chabbert. You hear further comments in this AVweb NBAA-BACE podcast.

U.S. regulators already allow single-engine IFR in commercial operations and Chabbert said similar approval is expected in Europe early next year. Chabbert said many TBM owners haven’t expressed specific interest in charter opportunities but that Daher wanted to connect the dots between owners and operators for those who might be. He said flying 100 revenue-generating hours is a “sweet spot” for the TBM and could convince owners on the cusp of selling their airplanes to hold on to them instead. “There have been successes already and we believe this is an offer than can be of interest to some people,” Chabbert said.

Properly marketed, the TBM offers a substantially less hourly and per-mile cost than even the least expensive multi-engine choices and its nearly 300-knot typical cruise speeds outrun most of them. The TBM singles are also able to operate easily into short and unimproved airports.

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