It became apparent late last year that the management team led by chairman and CEO Kenn Ricci would be unable to raise the investment capital needed to continue fractional provider Flight Options in its then form. John Nahill, Raytheon Co.
After changing hands three times in fairly quick succession over the past decade, the UK’s PremiAir Aircraft Engineering appears to be settling down and renewing its commitment to business aviation. In fact, it was recently appointed by Raytheon Aircraft as an authorized service center for the Premier I.
If you are looking to buy a business jet whose manufacturer provides the highest level of after-sales product support, then you would purchase one of Gulfstream’s original models, according to the results of AIN’s latest product service and support survey. The survey of 798 readers also showed that the turboprop with the best support was one that hasn’t been manufactured since 1985–the Mitsubishi MU-2.
Increasing size provides economies of scale for any business, but for fractional operators attaining “critical mass” in terms of fleet size and flight crews is essential to the model working at all. Profitability then depends on the details of pricing and cost control.
Raytheon Aircraft’s financials for the second quarter showed a healthy increase with net sales of $627 million, up from $562 million for that period last year. Also on the positive side of the ledger, the Wichita-based company delivered 49 aircraft, 14 more than were delivered in the second quarter a year ago.
Cleveland-based Flight Options came full circle late last month when it named company founder Kenn Ricci chairman, ending months of speculation that he would again take the helm of the fractional provider. In addition, Flight Options appointed Mike Silvestro the new CEO, replacing former chief executive S. Michael Scheeringa, who will remain an investor in Flight Options and a “strategic advisor at the board level,” a spokesman said.
Four months after John Nahill, former v-p of corporate strategy and development at Raytheon Co., took charge of Flight Options from its founder and then chairman and CEO Kenn Ricci, Raytheon in mid-June completed a “financial recapitalization agreement” in which it now owns approximately 65 percent of the world’s second-largest fractional aircraft ownership company.
Effective July 1, William Swanson, a 31-year Raytheon veteran who was president of the Lexington, Mass. company, takes over as CEO. Swanson replaces Dan Burnham, who announced one day after presenting the company’s first-quarter financial results that he would leave the company. Burnham joined Raytheon in July 1998 from AlliedSignal, where he was president and COO.
After experiencing a meteoric rise lasting almost a full decade, business jet production this year is anticipated to decline for the third year in a row. Those looking for a silver lining will be disappointed to learn that next year isn’t expected to be much better–nor is the year after that.
The Beech Starship fleet is being destroyed at the behest of manufacturer Raytheon, which owns 40 of the 50 production airplanes built between 1988 and 1995.