Flexjet Europe now in for the long haul

 - October 4, 2007, 9:47 AM

Bombardier Flexjet Europe has added a new intercontinental option to its Jet Membership block-charter program. The new service, which was launched on May 7 at Berlin’s ILA 2002 airshow, will allow its members to book flights from Europe to North America, the Middle East and Africa.

The long-haul flights will be offered in Global Express, Challenger 604 and Learjet 60 business jets at flight-hour rates that are between 20- and 30 percent lower than those charged under the premiere and same-day options for trips within Europe. The hourly rates are as follows: Global Express, E13,000 ($11,830); Challenger 604, E7,000 ($6,370); Learjet 60, E5,700 ($5,200).

As with the premiere and same-day options, Jet Membership clients can join the intercontinental program with a minimum of 50 flight hours per year, adding time in blocks of 25 hr. Customers can hold hours with combinations of the three options or with just one.

The intercontinental option is geared toward people who want to make flights beyond Europe and to return to the same departure airport in the same aircraft. They pay the same flight-hour rate regardless of how long they wish to keep the aircraft with them.

Eight approved European operators with a 34-strong fleet of Bombardier jets have now completed an audit process conducted by Wyvern. Flexjet Europe is now signing up an additional eight operators to bring a further 15 aircraft into the Jet Membership fleet. These operators will be approved to the same standards but will have a lower level of commitment to the program, either because they have fewer available aircraft or because their locations are not expected to generate high demand.

Bombardier relaunched Flexjet Europe in February under the Jet Membership brand name. The main difference is that customers are no longer required to make a down payment on the value of the hours they purchase or to pay monthly management fees on top of occupied-hour charges.

The Canadian manufacturer also no longer has a core Flexjet Europe fleet, which had been operated on its behalf by Copenhagen, Denmark-based ExecuJet Scandinavia. Instead the service is provided by a network of approved Bombardier charter aircraft operators. The other aircraft available are the Learjet 31A and 45.