JetBlue founder David Neeleman takes stake in Phenom operator JetSuite

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JetBlue founder and Chairman of Brazilian carrier Azul David Neeleman has partnered with investment firm Acadia Woods Partners to purchase private jet operator JetSuite.

JetSuite chief executive Alex Wilcox, who was also a founding member of JetBlue, says he's "gratified that the JetSuite business model has captured David Neeleman's and Acadia Woods' imagination, and that they share our vision of making private jet travel far more efficient and more affordable than ever before".

Neeleman continues to entrench himself with Brazilian manufacturer Embraer by working with Acadia Woods to acquire JetSuite. JetBlue was the launch customer for the Embraer E-190 when Neeleman was its chief executive and Azul is a Embraer E-190/195 operator.

JetSuite currently operates seven Embraer Phenom 100 very light jets and previously said it would take delivery of five more aircraft by year-end, enlarging its fleet to 12 aircraft.

The company says the additional Phenoms are being used to reinforce its operations across the Western USA and JetSuite's expansion into Texas.

Based in Long Beach, California, JetSuite operates its seven Phenom 100s around the metropolitan areas of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Explaining his decision to invest in JetSuite Neeleman states: "The private jet market has been broken for some time, loaded with unnecessary expense, poor asset utilisation and low return on capital, despite the exorbitant costs to its users. I believe JetSuite will be able to deploy its uniform fleet efficiently, following some of the basic rules of low cost carriers, to deliver the availability and low price points that are going to open the industry to large numbers of new corporations, resorts and individuals."