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.
Signature Flight Support completed its acquisition of Maguire Aviation Group at Van Nuys Airport. Through this acquisition, Signature expanded its FBO at Van Nuys to a combined footprint of 1.17 million sq ft of hangar, ramp, passenger lounges and office space. This also includes a dedicated NetJets facility at Van Nuys.
The National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) has welcomed six new members. To its core aircraft broker/dealer segment, the association added North Carolina-based Corporate Fleet Services and Exclusive Aviation, an affiliate of Fargo Jet Center. The four new members of NARA’s aviation products and services group include global fuel provider Avfuel, aviation services chain Landmark Aviation, NetJets and aircraft financier Guggenheim Partners.
NetJets will import its first two aircraft into China this month in anticipation of securing a Chinese air operator certificate (AOC) around the end of the first quarter of next year. The U.S. company will base a pair of its Hawker 800s in China so it can offer charter services to local clients. The main business model for Zhuhai-based NetJets-China Business Aviation Ltd. will be to provide aircraft management services.
NetJets expects to operate approximately 200 flights in and out of Florida’s Miami-Dade area this week for Art Basel in Miami Beach, a modern and contemporary art show. For the 12th year in a row, NetJets has partnered with the international show, allowing the fractional aircraft company to provide its customers with access to the entire event, including the preview opening. This year, NetJets plans to host more than 800 of its customers and their guests in an expanded, exclusive and private NetJets lounge in the collectors’ area of the show.
NetJets is installing the Tempus IC system–a lightweight device that connects cabin crew to ground medical facilities through the aircraft’s satellite telephone system–aboard its midsize and large-cabin fleet of business aircraft. According to a NetJets spokesperson, some of the company’s current in-service fleet of Bombardier Global 5000s and 6000s already have the Tempus equipment installed and an additional number of the fractional ownership provider’s Globals, as well as its Challenger 350s and 605s, are being fitted with the system.
Revenue at Berkshire Hathaway’s “other services” business, which includes NetJets and FlightSafety International, grew by 9.4 percent in the third quarter, to $2.235 billion, thanks in large part to higher sales of fractional aircraft shares at NetJets. In the first nine months, revenue was up by 10.5 percent, to $6.649 billion.
The maintenance operation at Sunrise Jets is an outgrowth of the company’s long-term charter and management service.
The fractional market has undergone severe contraction this year, with CitationAir nearly out of the business of commercial business jet operations, Bombardier’s Flexjet sold to Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital and Avantair forced into
Fractional jet share and charter companies from NetJets to JetSuite to Executive AirShare are choosing to stack their fleets with Cessna Citation jets, large and small, according to Brad Thress, senior vice-president of business jets for Cessna Aircraft Company (Booth No. C8843).
NetJets, the largest Citation Jet operator in the world with 50 Citation Xs in its fleet, is perhaps one of the clearest examples, Thress pointed out. NetJets has 25 Cessna Citation Latitudes on order and options for 125 more, all of which will begin deliveries in 2016.