Flight Options Says Business is Really Taking Off

 - February 21, 2013, 3:38 PM
Cleveland,Ohio-based Fractional share provider Flight Options has seen a "significant increase" in hours flown and customer utilization. Last year, sales of its jet card rose by 30 percent while fractional share sales to customers who left competing programs soared by 70 percent, the company said.

Fractional share provider Flight Options’ business is growing at a healthy clip, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company announced yesterday. “We’re definitely seeing a significant increase in hours flown and customer utilization,” said Matt Doyle, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re seeing folks are much more comfortable using their hours. On the business side, they’re using their airplanes to meet customers and clients and expand their business. On the personal side more folks are flying.”

Fractional share sales remain the company’s strongest product, although its recently launched Jet Membership program is also selling well, Doyle said, with overall sales up 30 percent year-over-year. On the fractional side, during 2012 Flight Options saw a 70-percent increase in “conquest growth”–shares sold to buyers who have left other programs.

Flight Options operates Embraer Phenom 300s and Legacy 600s; Beechjet/Hawker 400s and Hawker 800s; Nextant 400XTs; and Cessna Citation Xs. Buyers of Nextant 400XT shares are looking for value, Doyle said. “The owner coming out of a Beechjet 400 into the 400XT is not only gaining 50-percent more range, but saving about $1,000 an hour on operating costs.”

Flight Options also reported that it has been “profitable on an operating basis in each of the last four years.”


If their sales are up why are they down sizing all of their maintenance facilities?

Because outsourced maintenance typically costs much less than in-house maintenance–a CEO at another fractional provider told be that outsourced maintenance costs them one-third of what their in-house maintenance does. Not to mention that Flight Options, or any other fleet operator for that matter, has limited resources when it comes to the number and locations of maintenance bases, meaning they have a limited number of bases in concentrated areas. But by using third-party maintenance providers, they have access to a much broader number and more geographically diverse maintenance shops, but without any upfront capital outlay. The real question to ask is why Flight Options didn’t outsource most of its maintenance sooner.

Chad I would say you hit the nail right on the head. With the fleet sitting far and country wide, normal fleet maintenance, never mind unscheduled, is extremely expensive. Yes I understand that costs alone shouldn't be the only issue, but hanger space can be tough to schedule if your company is doing all the work. BTW I made my living with wrenchs, wires and meters for 15 years doing airframe inspections, certifications and repairs. As one would say, been there,done that.

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