Flexjet, which will soon be owned by Directional Aviation Capital, doubled its firm order for Learjet 85s today at NBAA 2013. This latest transaction puts the Flexjet order at 115 firm aircraft from Bombardier–including 60 Learjet 85s–and options for 150 more. If all of the options are exercised, this brings the order value total to $5.6 billion
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
While the two “voluntary” groundings over the past year at Clearwater, Fla.-based Avantair eventually led to its recent downfall, the fractional provider had a long history of maintenance-related issues, according to FAA files obtained this week by AIN under a Freedom of Information Act request. In fact, one such action from June 4, 2008, involves a $500,000 civil penalty, according to the FAA documents. This particular action remains pending.
A New York City bash on the deck of the Intrepid last night continued Flexjet’s six-city “Legends Redefined” tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Learjet. Attendees were invited to take a private tour of the Learjet 85 model and test-drive Aston Martins before sipping cocktails on the Hudson River. Flexjet has ordered 30 Learjet 85s, with deliveries scheduled to begin next year.
Avantair’s bankruptcy trustee filed a motion last week that seeks to sell a Socata TBM 700 owned by a wholly owned subsidiary and used solely for company executive transport. If Middle District Florida Bankruptcy Court judge Catherine McEwen approves the motion during a scheduled hearing on October 17, aircraft sales broker Corporate Jet Solutions would list the turboprop single for $1.85 million.
Directional Aviation Capital (DAC)–the Kenn Ricci-led company that owns Flight Options, Sentient Jet, Nextant Aerospace and Constant Aviation, among others–announced last month that it is buying fractional provider Flexjet from Bombardier for $185 million. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, pending U.S. government approvals. All Flexjet employees, including president Deanna White, will remain in place, Ricci said.
New Jersey-based Part 145 repair station Teterboro Rams, which has mechanics’ liens on four ex-Avantair Piaggio Avanti turboprops in its possession, is “in negotiations with two groups [of owners] to release two of the aircraft,” Rams co-owner Dennis Espinosa told AIN. The FAA revoked the airworthiness certificates of all 56 ex-Avantair Avantis not long after the fractional provider was declared insolvent in late July.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Learjet 23’s first flight this October 7, Flexjet launched a six-city U.S. tour dubbed “Legends Redefined.” The showcase features a Learjet 85 mockup, as well as products from other legendary brands, including Aston Martin, Scotch whisky maker Royal Salute and Napa Valley-based Ackerman Family Vineyards. Tour stops and dates are Menlo Park, Calif., September 17; Chicago, September 23; Columbus, Ohio, September 26; Washington, D.C., October 1; New York City, October 7; and Houston, October 15.
A bankruptcy hearing for Avantair held yesterday in Tampa, Fla., brought some needed good news for share owners of the 56 ex-Avantair Piaggio Avantis, with the Italian OEM unveiling a path for them to get their aircraft back in the sky. These aircraft, which haven’t flown since early June when Avantair shut down, were officially grounded by the FAA last month when the agency revoked their airworthiness certificates.
Flexjet has named Dr. Kenneth Cooper, inventor of aerobics, and his son, Dr. Tyler Cooper, as the fractional provider’s official health advisors. As part of its new alliance with Cooper Aerobics, the doctors will educate Flexjet share owners about health, wellness and travel in upcoming issues of the company’s magazine that is distributed to customers.
With the exception of the heavy jet category, charter flight demand seems to be tailing off at the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer vacation season. The latest forward-looking demand index from online charter portal Avinode shows demand dipping for light and midsize jets over the next 30 days.