NBAA Convention News

Flight Options mulling an Envoy 7 replacement

 - June 30, 2008, 10:00 AM

Embraer and Airbus are trying to persuade fractional ownership operator Flight Options to switch its 25-aircraft commitment for Fairchild Dornier’s Envoy 7 business jet to their respective large cabin offerings, the Legacy and the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ). Development work on the Envoy 7, which is based on Fairchild’s 728Jet airliner, was suspended earlier this year when the U.S.-German manufacturer was forced into bankruptcy protection.

According to Flight Options marketing director Heather Kula Dynes, the deal with Fairchild still stands. However, the only realistic options for saving the airframer appear to be bids to separately sell off the 328 and 728 families, and whether the Envoy derivatives would be continued under new ownership is questionable. A Russian consortium is interested in the 728; and 328 production will cease at the end of this month unless the German bankruptcy administrator can find a buyer or agree on new funding with U.S. investment group Dimeling, Schreiber & Park.

In any case, the agreement that Flight Options made with Fairchild is only a letter of intent. Economic conditions have changed greatly since 2000 when this was signed, but the Cleveland-based fractional provider has said that it would still like to offer a large-cabin jet in its program. It currently has seven aircraft types in its fleet–all under the $9 million value mark.