NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business in mid-2014, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It also has hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation Ltd., which initially will provide aircraft management services.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Starman Brothers Auctions has released the time and address for Friday’s auction of assets from bankrupt Avantair. The auction will start at 9 a.m. at 13000 Automobile Boulevard, Suite 501, in Clearwater, Fla., with a preview day on Thursday at the same site. The auctioneer’s website has a complete listing of assets to be sold, including Piaggio Avanti fuselages, aircraft tugs, golf carts, automobiles, a custom motorcycle and various aircraft parts, shop equipment, office furniture and computers.
The assets of bankrupt fractional provider Avantair will be auctioned off next month at a warehouse about a mile from the company’s former headquarters at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Florida. According to court documents, the auction is being held off-site from its headquarters to address airport security concerns, especially since the building is adjacent to a National Guard air unit.
Flexjet is offering two limited-time offers–25 Challenger 300 upgrade hours and “60 for 50”–to spur fractional jet ownership sales in its Learjet and Challenger programs. Until December 31, new and existing Flexjet owners purchasing a one-sixteenth share in a Learjet 40XR, 45XR or 60XR will have the opportunity to upgrade 25 of their annual allocated hours, at their same Learjet hourly occupied rate, to a Challenger 300.
Bombardier closed the sale of Flexjet to Flexjet LLC, a newly created company funded by Directional Aviation Capital, last week, though aircraft are still being transferred to the new owner. When the deal was announced on September 5, the acquisition price was $185 million; following “purchase price adjustments,” it is now estimated at $195 million, including the “assumption of an estimated $70 million of customer advances” by Directional’s Flexjet LLC.
NetJets expects to operate approximately 200 flights in and out of Florida’s Miami-Dade area this week for Art Basel in Miami Beach, a modern and contemporary art show. For the 12th year in a row, NetJets has partnered with the international show, allowing the fractional aircraft company to provide its customers with access to the entire event, including the preview opening. This year, NetJets plans to host more than 800 of its customers and their guests in an expanded, exclusive and private NetJets lounge in the collectors’ area of the show.
Piaggio Avantis formerly in the Avantair fleet, stripped of their airworthiness certificates (ACs) by the FAA in the wake of the August bankruptcy of the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional program operator, now have approved paths to recertification.
Because of a recent fleet reduction at CitationAir, the company recently sent furlough notices to 19 pilots. The furloughs will be effective December 6 and will leave approximately 100 pilots at the company, which is winding down its fractional aircraft business as it continues to exit that market.
Flexjet and Abercrombie & Kent introduced “Passport to the World,” the first completely private jet experience circumnavigating the globe. For $1.5 million, guests will travel for two weeks aboard a Challenger 605 operated by Jet Solutions to seven landmark destinations and get “exclusive access to hidden wonders that are out of reach to the rest of the world,” ranging from the Forbidden City to the Taj Mahal. It includes a Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto and a private opening of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, off limits to the public.
Fractional jet share and charter companies from NetJets to JetSuite to Executive AirShare are choosing to stack their fleets with Cessna Citation jets, large and small, according to Brad Thress, senior vice-president of business jets for Cessna Aircraft Company (Booth No. C8843).
NetJets, the largest Citation Jet operator in the world with 50 Citation Xs in its fleet, is perhaps one of the clearest examples, Thress pointed out. NetJets has 25 Cessna Citation Latitudes on order and options for 125 more, all of which will begin deliveries in 2016.
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