Avantair offers frax-share leasing

 - April 27, 2011, 6:20 AM

Avantair now offers leasing of fractional shares of Piaggio Avanti turboprops. The new Axis lease program allows buyers to lease a share of a fractional Avanti; this is a true lease, not a block-charter program. The Axis lease replaced the Axis club, which allowed customers to buy 25-hour blocks of flight time after paying a membership fee. The Clearwater, Fla.-based company’s fleet of Avantis recently grew to 56 airplanes, “due to increased sales of fractional shares,” according to Avantair.

Complementing “increased sales of our traditional competitively priced fractional offering, our new fractional lease program is demonstrating additional market traction,” said CEO Steven Santo. The Axis lease starts at a minimum period of two years and a one-sixteenth share and 50 hours a year of flying time. Introductory pricing, available through June, includes a two-year lease of a one-sixteenth share for $13,150 per month and five-year lease at $11,900 per month. These amounts include the lease, monthly management fee and incidentals and 50 hours per year. Buyers also have to pay federal excise tax, and fuel for each flight is billed separately, according to Avantair.

Lease terms are available for flight-hour increments of 25 hours per year, on top of the starting 50 hours. The Axis lease service area covers the 48 U.S. contiguous states and some destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, the same coverage as the regular Avantair fractional-share program.

The Axis lease program is the result of Avantair’s market research, according to Santo. “Based on what we learned, we’ve made fractional ownership financially more accessible and less daunting by reducing clients’ initial [investment] and removing financial risk.”