Cleveland-based fractional operator Flight Options is now offering an optional extended service program for new owners that covers flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. Another new option includes applying part of the cost of the company’s JetPass card toward the purchase of a fractional share.
All of the major providers have jet-card programs: NetJets has Marquis, Flight Options has JetPass, CitationShares has Vector and Flexjet has Premier Fleet. It should be noted that the Marquis program is unique among the card programs because it is run by an outside party that buys shares in NetJets aircraft and resells blocks of time in them. The other three fractional providers administer their respective jet-card programs themselves.
Although it is approaching its 20th birthday, the fractional aircraft industry is still very much mired in adolescence. It’s come a long way since NetJets chairman Richard Santulli invented the concept of fractional ownership and launched his program in 1986, but the industry still has a long uphill road ahead.
It is tempting to subscribe to the stereotypical view that if you need to ask how much business aviation costs then it isn’t for you. But Bookajet.com thinks that perspective is fundamentally wrong.
The U.S. DOT’s unwillingness to ease unpopular restrictions on foreign charter operators flying into the U.S. is jeopardizing moves on the other side of the Atlantic to reform rules covering fractional ownership.
It’s one thing to find a new way of doing business. It’s quite another to make it work. Paul Touw, founder and CEO of Xojet (pronounced exojet) in San Carlos, Calif., believes he has done both.
In a recent letter to the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it has “begun the process of developing and instituting a security oversight and monitoring program for fractional ownership aircraft.” The letter was the latest correspondence between the TSA and ECAC about the European organization’s concerns about the security aspects of fractional operations.
The European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) has deferred proposed security requirements for fractional ownership flights operating into Europe. ECAC discussed the issue at a meeting early last month, but at press time a spokesperson reported that no final decision had been reached. The DOT has proposed that Europe adopt the twelve-five standard security program required for U.S. air-taxi aircraft that have mtows of more than 12,500 pounds.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) has been split by a major disagreement over what operating rules should apply to fractional ownership in Europe.
Palo Alto, Calif. consulting group Frost & Sullivan predicts that China is Asia’s greatest potential source of new fractional owners and that the Chinese government is prepared to clear regulatory and operational hurdles to business aviation growth. Nonetheless, according to Frost & Sullivan, it will be several more years before fractional ownership providers establish permanent operations in China.