After years of looking to enter the Chinese private aviation market, NetJets finally confirmed plans for a new joint venture in the People’s Republic of China today at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai. Though NetJets is known as the company that pioneered the sale of aircraft fractional shares in the U.S. and Europe, its services in China “will begin only with managing and chartering aircraft that are wholly owned by customers” rather than fractional ownership.
NetJets has attained Level III of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) pilot program. As such, NetJets is the first fractional operator, as well as the first fixed-wing Part 135 operator and the first combined Part 135/91K operator, to achieve Level III. The FAA SMS pilot program, which has a four-level system of acknowledgement, is intended to help operators develop and implement a comprehensive SMS for their entire organization through safety-centric policies and risk mitigation.
After almost a decade of controversy, four years since the first complaint was filed and several postponements of the actual trial, the Bobigny Criminal Court (a French court near Paris Le Bourget Airport) decided on Tuesday to acquit NetJets Management Ltd and NetJets Transportes Aéreos (two companies trading as NetJets Europe) in a case where they were accused of employment practices contrary to French law. All civil plaintiffs’ claims were rejected.
Bombardier Aerospace today reported revenues of $8.6 billion last year, down from $8.8 billion in 2010, while pre-tax profits slid by $52 million year-over-year, to $502 million.
“A few years ago NetJets was my number-one worry–its costs were far out of line with revenues, and cash was hemorrhaging,” Warren Buffett, chairman of NetJets and FlightSafety International parent company Berkshire Hathaway, wrote in his latest annual letter to shareholders, released on Saturday. “These problems are now behind us,” with NetJets delivering $227 million in pre-tax earnings last year, up $20 million from 2010.
Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No 7010), a helicopter financing company, made a splash at Heli-Expo this year, announcing a $480 million deal with Eurocopter (Booth No. 1917) for 16 EC225s, a contract with Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 6148) for three S-92s (terms not disclosed), and a $125-135 million leasing agreement with major operator Bristow Group for five large helicopters.
NetJets Europe launched the first direct financing product for the fractional industry in Europe, providing new clients with an alternative financing method with rates comparable to those offered by major financial institutions.
Bombardier Aerospace and NetJets celebrated the rollout of the fractional provider’s first Global-series jet today, in this case a Global 6000 (neé XRS). Last March, NetJets placed an order for 50 Globals worth $2.8 billion, as well as options for an additional 70, breaking the fractional provider’s tradition of buying only Gulfstreams for its large-cabin jet fleets.
AIN Publications, AINonline’s parent company, publishes Business Jet Traveler and many other magazines, including on-site airshow dailies in seven countries.
Lufthansa announced yesterday it will introduce its Lufthansa Private Jet service to the North American market on February 1 through an expanded relationship with fractional provider NetJets. The new service will build on the existing Lufthansa Private Jet service in Europe, which is done in conjunction with NetJets Europe.