A busy year for upheaval in the fractional ownership and closed-fleet private aviation sectors reached a crescendo in December when Flight Options parent company Directional Aviation Capital completed its $185 million acquisition of Bombardier’s Flexjet program.
Flexjet saw a 60-percent surge in new fractional aircraft sales and a 57-percent jump in jet card sales last month year-over-year, the company announced yesterday. For the entire year, Flexjet’s fractional share sales rose 10 percent, while jet card sales climbed 29 percent over 2012. After 18 years under Bombardier Aerospace’s wing, Flexjet was acquired last month by Directional Aviation Capital.
VistaJet is moving into the U.S. private lift market with a new alliance with Jet Aviation Flight Services, which is to operate a fleet of 12 Bombardier Globals on its behalf. The Europe-based group has made clear its intention to target former and current fractional ownership clients in building its North American client base. Under the terms of an agreement announced on September 6 in New York City, the Europe-based private flight provider also is teaming with start-up membership-based program Wheels Up to market VistaJet’s Flight Solutions Program (FSP) to customers in the U.S.
PlaneSense took delivery of the 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters last month during a ceremony hosted by company founder and CEO George Antoniadis. The aircraft is the 49th PC-12 acquired by PlaneSense since its founding in 1995 and launch in 1996. With retirements (typically after 6,500 hours of service) and replacements over the years, PlaneSense’s current fleet counts 30 of the turboprop singles, with an average age of five years (including the four core aircraft).
Prime Fraction Club, whose members buy shares in high-end boats and automobiles as well as aircraft, has added a new six-passenger AgustaWestland AW109 Grand to its fleet, which now features 10 helicopters. The pricing structure for the fractional ownership program offers one-quarter shares in an AW109S Grand at a buy-in cost of R$3.56 million ($1.55 million), in addition to a fixed monthly fee of R$34,724 ($15,074) for maintenance, hangar space and other costs.
Even as the Brazilian economy appears in a slow slide downward, business aviation fractional ownership operator Avantto (Stand 6111) is watching its value grow. “People are flying about 20 percent more, and the number of flights at Avantto is growing faster than the size of our fleet,” said company president Rogério Andrade.
Yesterday afternoon fractional operator PlaneSense took delivery of the milestone 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters, during a ceremony hosted by PlaneSense founder and CEO George Antoniadis. Pilatus Business Aircraft president and CEO Thomas Bosshard was among the guests.
Fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet says it experienced 96-percent growth in new fractional and jet card sales during the first six months versus the same period last year. The company said sales of new fractional shares climbed by 112 percent, while new jet card sales gained 68 percent. “The skies continue to brighten for Flexjet,” said Flexjet president Deanna White.
The future of Avantair, the operator of Piaggio Avanti fractional ownership, Axis Lease and Edge Card flight access programs, was hanging in the balance at press time as the Clearwater, Fla.-based company urgently sought restructuring options following its June 26 cessation of operations.
As prospects dim for Avantair, the Clearwater, Fla.-based Piaggio Avanti turboprop fractional ownership program, concerns about its future are taking a back seat to questions about how owners will recover their aircraft. Among recent developments:
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