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.
Wheels Up, the U.S.-based aircraft access membership program scheduled to begin service this November, has named Gama Charters of Stratford, Conn., a subsidiary of Farnborough, UK-based Gama Group, as operator of its U.S.-based fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops.
NetJets “soft opened” its new 10,000-sq-ft dedicated passenger terminal solely for the fractional provider’s customers at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Airport last month, almost exactly a year after breaking ground on the facility. A formal grand opening is scheduled for November 6, but AIN was able to get a first look at the new complex just before the NBAA Convention this week.
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.
As the global economic recovery slowly builds, a combination of new jet designs and block changes of existing ones is taxiing for takeoff across the size spectrum into ever-narrowing and fiercely competitive niches.
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 private lift provider made clear its intention to target former and current fractional ownership clients in building its North American client base.
Private aviation club Wheels Up has appointed a management team packed with business aviation pedigree. Last month’s announcement of 15 high-level appointments came as Beechcraft completed the initial build of the first of 105 King Air 350i aircraft that Wheels Up ordered in July.
Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter has recruited executives from NetJets’ Executive Jet Management subsidiary for his new private aviation club’s management team. Robert Garrymore, most recently EJM’s president, is now president for ventures at Wheels Up. Serving alongside him as executive v-p for ventures is Ronald Silverman, who was EJM’s senior v-p of aircraft management, sales and owner services.
Embraer counts the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show as a key element in its business aviation strategy, especially for the light Phenom 100 and 300 jets, many of which are owner-flown. The Brazilian manufacturer brought examples of each jet to this year’s show, as well as a Super Tucano light-attack turboprop single that participated in the afternoon flight demo with famed aviator Patty Wagstaff at the controls.