Private-equity Firms Increase Stake in Flight Options

 - March 31, 2009, 10:20 AM

Directional Capital and Resilience Capital Partners have increased their financial stake in fractional-share operator Flight Options and now own a majority of the company. Members of Flight Options’ management team also participated in the new investment. Directional Capital is headed by Kenn Ricci, chairman of Flight Options and also the company’s founder. HIG Capital, which purchased Flight Options from previous owner Raytheon in 2007, remains an investor with “an upside interest,” according to Ricci. Management of the two private-equity firms “decided this was a great opportunity to put an additional investment into the company and take a majority interest,” said Flight Options CEO Mike Silvestro. Flight Options furloughed 105 personnel earlier this month. “Our hours are down year-over-year,” he said. “Customers are demanding less time on their airplanes. But we’re in solid shape because we’ve taken painful but prudent moves to keep costs in line with what customers are demanding.” Flight Options’ first Embraer Phenom 300 is slated to arrive in November, part of an order for 100 of the jets.