The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), which is based in the City of London, is exhibiting at EBACE for the first time this year (Booth EO66). Richard Mumford, newly appointed chairman and head of aviation at Stevens & Bolton met with AIN earlier this month to explain why the association is now raising its profile and what it is really about.
“Historically, we represented companies across the board,” Mumford said–meaning all types of commercial air charter, both in business aviation and air transport. BACA is now looking to bolster its presence in commercial air transport as a priority, as it was increasingly being seen as focused on the executive charter market.
“We’re hoping to change the perception that we’re focused on executive charter, while not taking our eye off the executive market,” Mumford said. “So we’re looking to re-engage with organizations like BATA [the British Air Transport Association] and ERA [the European Regions Airline Association], on the charter side. Lots of European airlines have aircraft with spare capacity they want to charter out.”
BACA’s main push on the executive side is its Code of Conduct and its tagline, “Our word is our bond.” Instilling confidence in brokers’ integrity is something that Mumford, has been championing. He envisions BACA approval becoming a recognized stamp of quality. This is imperative, he said, at a time when “the general view is that charter will come under greater scrutiny…and the CAA lacks the resources, so it’s an opportunity for BACA to step up.”
Mumford admits his is a very traditional organization, while pointing to the need to modernize. “We have an opportunity to offer thought leadership in the market, political lobbying, etc,” he said. “We held a symposium around a year ago with our members, who were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Then we set up a strategy committee and I’ve been elected as chairman–which is unusual, as I’m a lawyer, not a broker. But the reason is, we’re looking at things differently.”
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