Bombardier launched its restructured European Flexjet fractional ownership programme earlier this month, with the scheme moving from operating a dedicated, wholly owned fleet to selling time through third-party charter operators.
The manufacturer restructured its European Flexjet operation following a slow response to the traditional fractional model in Europe (Flight International, 29 January - 4 February). Bombardier's European operation now comprises two programmes - Jet Membership and Flexjet Charter. Jet Membership features two levels of participation: Première, for higher-use customers flying to multiple destinations, and Same Day Business for shuttle-style operations between two destinations. A Première customer would pay €4,700/h ($4,090/h) for a Bombardier Learjet 31A compared with €3,750/h for Same Day Business. Flexjet will also provide pure charter services.
The programme will use a fleet of Bombardier Learjet 31As, 45s, 60s and Challenger 604s from eight "Bombardier-approved operators". The partners are Aero-Dienst, DaimlerChrysler Aviation and Jet Connection Businessflight in Germany; Avcon Air Charter and TAG Aviation in Switzerland; Ireland's Corporate Jets; Gold Air International in the UK and Denmark-based Execujet Scandinavia. Two further operators, one in Italy and one in either Germany or Switzerland, are likely to join by the end of the month. The operation has yet to secure a French partner.
James Hoblyn, managing director of Bombardier Flexjet Europe, says that a drawback in Europe had been the perception of corporate aircraft as status symbols rather than business tools.