Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong received a hero’s welcome as he boarded his NetJets aircraft after winning the race in Paris for a historic fifth consecutive time on July 27.
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.
At first glance, the fractional industry, like the alien menace in a sci-fi thriller, appears to be morphing into a menagerie of hybrids. But in reality these hybrids are essentially sales and marketing programs of existing operations, both fractional and charter.
Executive Jet Aviation owner and CEO Richard Santulli brought the fractional-ownership concept to the business aviation community in the mid-1980s. Santulli created a program called NetJets, selling aircraft in shares ranging from 1/16ths to halves.
Three business jet manufacturers on June 20 separately announced fleet orders worth as much as a combined $3.5 billion. Fractional provider NetJets was the biggest shopper, placing a firm order for $1.9 billion worth of Gulfstream G450s and G550s that will “significantly expand” its large-cabin fleet. Under the agreement, NetJets will take delivery of 20 G450s and 20 G550s between 2012 and the end of 2016.
It’s become tradition. No sooner does a manufacturer introduce a new airplane than NetJets follows right behind with an order announcement. This year’s NBAA Convention is no exception. The Woodbridge, N.J.-based fractional jet operator has placed orders and options for 200 of the newest midsize business jets, introduced here by Cessna and Gulfstream, transactions that have a potential value of nearly $2 billion.
Flight Options announced yesterday that it is adding the Cessna Citation X to its current stable of 10 aircraft models, with the first five aircraft becoming available on November 1.
Defying the sluggish U.S. economy, three business jet manufacturers on Friday separately announced fleet orders worth as much as a combined $3.5 billion. Fractional provider NetJets was the biggest shopper on the block that day, placing a firm order for $1.9 billion worth of Gulfstream G450s and G550s that will “significantly expand” its large-cabin fleet.
At its inaugural staging in April, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) did more than enough to seize a space for itself in the world’s crowded airshow calendar.
Avolar, the budding stand-alone fractional business jet division of UAL Corp., stepped up its launch effort last month with a pair of new aircraft orders–despite a current economy that has other fractional providers turning to new marketing tactics. To boot, the Avolar business plan is ahead of schedule. Avolar president Stuart Oran said at the NBAA Convention in New Orleans last month, “We are now operational.