The Gulfstream G150, which the Savannah, Ga.-based company describes as the first wide-cabin, long-range, midsize business jet, rolled out January 18 in el Aviv before hundreds of employees of Israel Aircraft Industries, which is producing the G150 at its plant on Ben Gurion International Airport.
Marquis Jet is now marketing a 25-hour card that gives users access to 12.5 hours in each of two different aircraft types. The new card combines aircraft types with different seating and baggage configurations, amenities and distance capabilities. The company offers two different versions of the new card: a Citation Excel/Hawker 400XP combination and a Citation X/Citation Excel combo.
Atlanta-based aviation placement company AIR projects that the four major fractional aircraft ownership companies will hire at least 1,000 pilots this year, more than double the 482 hired last year, but fewer than the record 1,363 hired in 2000. The last year in which the fractionals hired more than 1,000 pilots was 2001, according to AIR. NetJets, the largest fractional operator, is expected to hire more than a third of the projected total.
Bolstered by the introduction of the Challenger 300 and Learjet 40, Dallas-based fractional aircraft ownership operator Flexjet said it saw a 32-percent increase in the sale of shares last year compared with the year before.
Last year charter/management provider Executive Jet Management added 38 aircraft and a dozen bases bringing its total fleet size to more than 100 aircraft based at more than 50 locations in the U.S. As a division of NetJets, Executive Jet provides charter backup for the fractional aircraft ownership operator.
In the single largest training agreement in its history, Dallas-based CAE SimuFlite will soon start training all 900-plus pilots of Flight Options, the second-largest fractional aircraft ownership operation in the world. The exclusive three-year agreement, with an option for two more years, is valued at about $28 million and is effective starting this month.
With the exception of Bombardier Flexjet, 13 major and minor players in the fractional industry continued their growth cycle last year, according to Wichita-based AvData. Total net shares last year surged past 6,200, up 6.7 percent from 2002. During the same period, the fractional turbine fleet grew 6.1 percent–to more than 800 aircraft.
CESSNA 560 CITATION, SAVANNAH, GA., NOV. 25, 2003–A Cessna Citation 560 (N632QS) registered to Convergys Corp c/o NetJets Sales, Oklahoma City, Okla. received minor damage when it landed with the nosewheel retracted on Runway 9 at Savannah (SAV), Ga. There were no injuries in the November 25 incident, which occurred at approximately 10 p.m. in VMC. The aircraft had departed Hilton Head (HXD), S.C.
The general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
In his annual letter to shareholders published early last month, investment mogul Warren Buffett said earnings improved last year at Berkshire Hathaway’s flight services division, which includes FlightSafety International (FSI) and NetJets. Last year the unit saw its pre-tax profits rise to $191 million on revenues of $3.24 billion, up substantially from the previous year’s $72 million profit on revenues of $2.43 billion.