Karen Walker

A massive fractional ownership business jet deal - potentially worth $2 billion - was sealed between Executive Jet and Raytheon Aircraft in Paris last night.

Last night's deal, signed at a ceremony in a Paris hotel, is for 50 Hawker Horizon super mid-size business jets, plus 50 options.

That makes it the largest business jet transaction in Raytheon's history. It triples Raytheon's firm and option order book for the Hawker Horizon, taking the total backlog to 150 aircraft.

The order underscores the dramatic growth in the fractional ownership business, which in just 13 years has been responsible for the creation of an entirely new, multi-billion-dollar market for corporate jets.

The man responsible for introducing the fractional ownership concept, Executive Jet chairman Richard Santulli, was in Paris yesterday to sign the order.

It was US entrepreneur Santulli's idea, in 1986, to launch the NetJets programme, in which customers purchase fractions of a business jet rather than buy the complete aircraft. Each fraction guarantees a certain number of hours per year in the aircraft, which are managed, supported and crewed by Executive Jet staff - giving shareowners a relatively inexpensive and hassle-free entrance into the corporate jet world.


Also at Sunday's ceremony was Art Wegner, chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon Aircraft. "Executive Jet's success is phenomenal and we are excited to be a part of it," Wegner says.

Deliveries of the first 50 Hawker Horizons - worth $1 billion - will take place between 2002 and 2008. Executive Jet has previously purchased Raytheon Hawker 800XPs and Hawker 1000s for NetJets and is the world's largest Hawker fleet operator.

At the National Business Aviation Association show in Las Vegas last year, the company announced an order for Cessna Citation Sovereign mid-size jets that was similarly valued at around $2 billion. Executive Jet also has massive orders with Gulfstream for the GIV-SP and GV, and Dassault for the Falcon 2000.

This latest order means that Executive Jet accounts for 40% of the business jets on order with the major manufacturers.

Source: Flight Daily News