JetDirect expands its holdings

 - August 1, 2007, 7:13 AM

JetDirect has expanded its fleet to more than 130 aircraft and increased its regional operating bases to nine with the acquisition of Sunset Aviation, a Northern California charter operator. The 25 new aircraft are based at Novato, Santa Rosa, Concord, Sacramento, Napa and Herber City airports.

According to a Sunset Aviation spokeswoman, the charter operator will be “integrated into the JetDirect brand” over time, but it will continue to operate as Sunset Aviation for the time being. In addition, “key members” of Sunset’s management team, including president and CEO Dan Druhan, will continue to be a part of the Northern California operations.

The spokeswoman said that the operator has seen “a general excitement for the additional operating capabilities” among customers of both companies. “Sunset and JetDirect share a commitment to safety and exceptional customer service,” she said. “Customers of Sunset will continue to enjoy the same world-class experience they’re used to, with the added benefits of access to a larger national fleet.” She added that at the time of the acquisition Sunset Aviation had the largest fleet in Northern California.

In a recent statement, JetDirect president and CEO Steven Hankin said Sunset Aviation “is a terrific addition to the JetDirect portfolio and will support us in our goal to deliver world-class, flexible private travel solutions to meet consumer demand.”
“We are excited to be joining the JetDirect team,” said Drohan. “With JetDirect’s industry-leading capabilities and expertise and Sentient’s highly successful Jet Membership Program, we will continue to provide a significant level of demand for the aircraft we manage. We are well positioned for aggressive growth in this market, and I think that our value proposition for aircraft owners is strong.”

JetDirect has grown significantly over the past year-and-a-half. In addition to mergers with St. Louis-based JetCorp and Sentient Jet, the company has also acquired Spirit Aviation at Van Nuys Airport in California, Regal Aviation at Dallas Love Field and Presidential Aviation, which has operations in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., New York and Los Angeles.