Austrian charter company GlobeAir is to take delivery of its eleventh Cessna Citation Mustang today, making it the largest operator of the type in the world. The company has 29 percent of the entry-level jet segment market share in Europe, and is aiming to push that figure up to 55 percent over the next two years.
“The most asked question for us is, ‘Do you make money?’” said GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner. “In 2006 there were thousands of start-ups with ambitious business plans saying operating these aircraft was like having a cash-printing machine. We became profitable in 2011 and will continue to grow our revenues.”
GlobeAir owns half of its aircraft, with private investors owning the other 50 percent. Fragner said that four of the fleet came directly from Cessna, while the remainder were sourced from the used market and have fewer than 200 hours. He added, “We expect to see lots of consolidation in Europe over the next couple of years and survivors will be those who are operating according to economies of scale.”
The company’s business model is based on that of an airline. It operates one type of aircraft, as well as having its own in-house maintenance facility. According to COO Claudio Bruno, a three-year inspection on a Mustang costs €50,000, compared with €150,000 to €200,000 on a Citation Bravo, for example.
New Jet Cards
The operator also launched two new jet card products at EBACE. Dubbed “Fix” and “Flex,” customers can buy a membership for €1,000, with options to pay for 25 or 50 hours flying time to first- or second-tier destinations. Depending on their chosen card, they will wait no more than 12 hours for an aircraft, and have a four- to eight-hour window in which to fly.
So what does the future hold for the Austrian operator? Bruno pointed out that, given its range and the impending advent of Cessna’s new light jet, the Citation M2, there are limits to the versatility of the Mustang. He said the company may look to larger aircraft such as the Citation CJ1+ to expand its capabilities.