JetBird Obtains Funding To Get Off the Ground
European very light jet air-taxi start-up JetBird has raised an additional $14.2 million (€10 million) in launch capital by selling a 9.3-percent stake to an undisclosed Saudi Arabian family business. The Dublin-based group has also secured debt financing from the Royal Bank of Scotland to cover the “pre-delivery” payments on the first 25 of 53 Embraer Phenom 100s that it has on firm order and says that it is close to solidifying orders for 47 more. JetBird is due to take delivery of the first Phenom 100 next April, but it will likely defer the start of charter flights until June, by which time it should have three aircraft. It has indicated that its first base will likely be in Germany, as it begins to establish a western European network. The first 25 Phenoms are due to be delivered next year and in 2010, and JetBird wants to have all 100 aircraft operational by the end of 2013.