Lufthansa has decided to close its Swiss Private Aviation (SPA) subsidiary and is set to seal a new deal with NetJets Europe to provide charter flights for its Lufthansa Private Jets service. At the International Corporate Jets & Helicopter Finance conference in London on February 16, NetJets Europe CFO Luis Pinto revealed that the German flag carrier has made the decision to stop operating executive charter flights with its own fleet of Cessna Citation CJ1+s, CJ3s, XLSs and Hawker 800s.
In January, Lufthansa acknowledged that it was reviewing the operation and SPA had completed a consultation with employees about the companyπs future. The airline has yet to publicly confirm the outcome of this process, but Pinto told the conference: "It [SPA] hasn't worked and they are coming back to NetJets." In late 2007, Lufthansa and NetJets suspended a previous agreement to support Lufthansa Private Jets services. A Lufthansa spokesman told AIN that a decision on SPA's future has not yet been confirmed. He stressed that the Lufthansa Private Jets service will definitely continue.
Pinto also reported that NetJets Europe is "cautiously optimistic" about the fractional ownership and block charter providerπs prospects for recording another operating profit in 2011. He said that demand for flights has started growing again, but added that the company cannot be certain that this constitutes "a sustainable underlying trend."