NBAA Convention News

JetDirect promising lower rates than the competition

 - November 8, 2006, 8:31 AM

Chairman and CEO Gregory Campbell predicts that JetDirect Aviation clients will be lured by a network set to burst from today’s 60 managed aircraft to a year-end target of 100, and new strategic locations, forming a “fully integrated national presence with local flavor.”

Clients may find the JetDirect flavor tastiest in pricing, scheduled for announcement online on November 1. Campbell promised rates 20 to 30 percent lower than competing flight hours, accessible via a new cost calculator tool to be published at at the end of this month.

“JetDirect is the combination of an FBO chain, an aircraft management company and a unique fleet membership program,” said Campbell. “Customers who fly in and out of our home bases will get a home base discount compared to a free-floating fractional plan or a jet-card business model.”

Campbell said that clients will net the savings achieved when missions fly from or land at JetDirect bases and/or connect city pairs occupied by the company’s fleet of 60 managed aircraft. JetDirect has embarked on an acquisition spree of FBO locations, managed aircraft and Part 135 operations to ensure a foundation essential to achieve cost efficiencies.

Acquisitions began with FBOs at Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Mo.; Dallas Love Field, Texas; and Chester County, Pa., joining Part 135 operations in Van Nuys, Calif., and in New York at Farmingdale.

All acquired locations including those now trading as Regal, Spirit or Summit Aviation will be re-branded as JetDirect facilities following regulatory approval, and merge their managed aircraft fleets to operate under JetDirect’s Part 135 certificate.

Until the cost menu is available next month, Campbell and JetDirect Aviation staff are providing custom quotations and service plans at NBAA, via JetDirect (Booth No. 4899). JetDirect will offer five size groupings, all flown in two-pilot operation: light jets (but not very light); midsize; super midsize; heavy; and long range.

David MacDonald, JetDirect’s executive v-p and COO of flight operations, said that though all training standards are rated to the ARG/US “Platinum” certificate, the company does not otherwise plan to specialize in a certain bizjet class, achieving efficiencies largely by consolidating activity to and from key bases regardless of type.

Campbell said he expects the city pair most in demand to be New York to South Florida, and the company is searching for a Florida base. Additional demand may center on Dallas to New York, New York to Los Angeles  and New York to Las Vegas.

There are no plans to differentiate price tiers for current managed aircraft customers to convert to the membership plan versus a new client. Incentives are tied rather to the key FBOs and bases of origin or departure, and estimates of lower costs in synergy with related capabilities of JetCorp Technical Services. JetDirect Aviation will expand its maintenance network and repair stations while continuing to operate its major facility at Spirit of St. Louis (SUS) Airport under the JetCorp brand, with its Honeywell TFR731 line service center and AOG logistics support.

JetDirect aims to expand opportunity for charter revenue to its management customers, and to share with clients its efficiencies on maintenance, fueling, lower reposition costs and services flowing from the larger scale targeted for these next months.