EBACE Convention News

Ferrari, Skyjet floor sales accelerator

 - November 29, 2006, 5:33 AM

Owners of Ferrari F430 sports cars will be educated about the advantages of business jet travel and the specific benefits of the Bombardier Skyjet International charter service, thanks to an agreement signed here yesterday with Team Ferrari West Europe.

As well as exposing Ferrari drivers to the advantages of business jet travel, the alliance signed yesterday will provide the opportunity for Skyjet International customers to test-drive the Italian manufacturer’s automobiles, said Team Ferrari West Europe managing director Andrea Castronovo. The Ferrari Challenge series, which involves “gentlemen drivers” racing their high-performance road cars as part of a professionally managed team, kicks off this weekend at the Silverstone circuit in the UK.

Skyjet International was launched in 2002 as a European alternative to fractional ownership, which has yet to replicate its U.S. success on this side of the Atlantic. Skyjet makes Bombardier business jets available in blocks of 25 or more hours a year to buyers of its jet membership card, as well as offering ad hoc charter, and with offices in Dallas, Dubai and Hong Kong in addition to its Farnborough, UK, headquarters, it does so on a global basis.

Judith Moreton, Skyjet International managing director, said Bombardier has delivered 102 business jets to European operators in the last four years and her operation now has 27 partners in the region. Globally, Skyjet International provides access to a fleet of 950 Learjets, Challengers and Globals. “Customers can call any regional office and use their card to fly anywhere in the world, any time, with no qualification or penalty,” Moreton said.

While other card providers are struggling, Moreton said, “Skyjet continues to thrive and improve, with no requirement for excessive up-front financial commitment.” The customer base has grown by 40 percent since the launch of the international card just over a year ago. And from providing fewer than 100 customers with 3,000 flying hours in 2002, it now does more than 10,000 hours.

The proportion of customers opting for widebodies has also grown, from 18 percent in 2002 to 28 percent last year. The number of passengers per flight has increased, and the length of the average single leg flown has grown by 30 percent.