Jet Aviation Zurich has expanded its capabilities to include major interior refurbishment. One of the first beneficiaries of the expansion was the Citation VII, below, refurbished for fractional-ownership provider NetJets.
The surprise departure last month of Bill Boisture from Gulfstream after 10 years as its president and the naming of vice chairman Bryan Moss as his replacement tops a list of several major revelations over the last few months by the Savannah, Ga.-based manufacturer.
When Richard Santulli sold three fractional shares in a business aircraft in 1986, people snickered. Ten years later, NetJets had sold 1,551 shares and Santulli was the one left laughing. Today, NetJets has company in the fractional-ownership industry, an industry that now represents 5,827 fractional shares. Even with the current economic slump, last year’s new share sales were up by 17 percent over the tally for 2001.
Sentient, launched four years ago as a business aviation charter broker, is now second only to fractional-ownership giant NetJets in the number of business jet flights flown annually, according to president and CEO Mark Stone.
It has turned out to be one of the biggest deals in business aviation that never was. In late January Jet Aviation announced it had rejected all purchase offers after a months-long effort to find a buyer for the charter, completions, maintenance and FBO conglomerate.
According to a statement by Raytheon Aircraft chairman and CEO Jim Schuster last month, certification of the super-midsize Hawker Horizon is still expected for late this year, but “our main focus is not so much the certification milestone, but to assure that we introduce a reliable, producible aircraft that meets or exceeds all of our customer expectations.
Flight Options, the second-largest fractional operator behind NetJets, and Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) reached an agreement in which RAS will provide all maintenance for the operator’s entire fleet. RAS will dedicate additional facilities for Flight Options maintenance, and all Flight Options mechanics will become RAS employees.
Aviation–and more particularly business aviation–is increasingly becoming the dominant component in the portfolio of UK public company BBA Group. The London-based group aviation holdings on both sides of the Atlantic now account for close to 60 percent of its worldwide business (out of approximately $2.3 billion total revenues recorded last year).
According to research from AvData, Amstat and ARG/US, Cleveland, Ohio-based Flight Options had a share-owner increase of 20.5 percent (from 541 owners to 652 owners) between December 31 last year through June 30 this year, the largest percentage increase of four major fractional aircraft ownership providers (including NetJets, Flexjet and Travel Air). As of last June, Flight Options had a 16-percent share of the owner market.
And you thought the dot.com bubble-burst was bad.