FlyMustang matches fliers with VLJ seats

 - April 30, 2009, 11:31 AM

A UK-based broker is seeking to capitalize on surplus capacity among Cessna Citation Mustang operators by offering a variety of fractional ownership and per-seat on-demand charter packages in the airplane.

According to FlyMustang founder Ruchir Gupta, the company is providing a way to get a return on excess capacity for operators who ordered Mustangs during the recent boom years for business aviation but now face a significant reduction in charter demand.

The precise terms of the fractional ownership offering will vary according to which Mustang a customer is acquiring a stake in and who operates it. For now, owners will have access only to Mustangs operated by a specified operator, but FlyMustang is trying to establish a fleet-exchange program to provide availability in various aircraft.

According to FlyMustang, it is now negotiating terms with two undisclosed Mustang operators in central Europe and two more in the UK. The fractional contracts will be between FlyMustang and the shareowners, with the aircraft operators signing as third parties.

The standard terms will involve aircraft being available for a specified number of days per year, instead of a specified number of flight hours.

The FlyMustang Web site shows sample terms offered for an aircraft operated by an unspecified European operator. This offers shares of 10, 25 and 40 percent, which would allow owners to use the aircraft for 30, 75 or 120 days, respectively, each year.

According to sample prices AIN found on the FlyMustang.com Web site, a 10-percent share in a Mustang would require an investment of $316,769. On top of the purchase price, a 10-percent shareholder would have to pay annual indirect operating costs of €30,647 ($40,454)–an amount that includes the crew costs of €20,436 ($26,975). Customers would also pay €810 ($1,069) per flight hour in direct operating costs.

According to the Web site, FlyMustang.com “works with” Mustang operators such as London Executive Aviation, Blink and Flying Group. AIN could find no operator willing to confirm any established business ties with FlyMustang.