NBAA Convention News

NetJets’ need for bizjets insatiable

 - November 14, 2006, 6:26 AM

Preparing for future growth of its U.S. and European operations–and in spite of mounting losses–fractional ownership giant NetJets has placed orders for 72 business jets valued at more than $1.6 billion.

Raytheon aircraft announced a deal with NetJets and NetJets Europe here on Monday for 30 Hawker 750s and 18 Hawker 900XPs. The manufacturer put the value of the dealorders at “more than” $500 million. On the eve of the show, Dassault said it received a NetJets order for 24 Falcon 7X trijets, a deal that came after two years of negotiations with the company. The value of that saledeal, announced on the eve of the show, was placed at $1.1 billion.

In his 2005 annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett said operating results for NetJets Europe showed “excellent growth and a reduced loss,” but he added that the company’s U.S. operation “dipped far into the red” despite a biglarge increase in the number of share ownerscustomers. “I said last year that this business would earn money in 2005, Buffett said,–“and I was dead wrong.”

In the letter, Buffet expressed his confidence in NetJets president and founder Richard Santulli to turn the situation around. “Rich Santulli is one of the most dynamic managers I’ve ever met,” Buffett wrote. Berkshire Hathaway owns the fractional ownership provider.