Aeris Aviation – the independent European distributor for the Eclipse 550 – is hoping to launch a shared ownership programme for the very light jet next month, and have the programme up and running in the first quarter of 2015, following European certification of the six-seat twin.

The programme will be be introduced in the UK first, and then rolled out Europe-wide. "We have spent some time developing this concept and building up a customer base. We now have plenty of interest in the programme. We are just waiting for board approval to get it signed off," says Aeris founder and chief executive David Hayman.

Under the terms of the scheme, the $2.9 million EA550 would be purchased by between two and eight owners – each with the same share. Each aircraft would be managed by a newly established venture and operated under Cardiff Aviation’s aircraft operator's certificate. The St Athan, Wales-based engineering and training company is owned by Aeris chairman Bruce Dickinson.

"We will charge only for the fixed costs – management, fuel, pilots, landing fees [and] maintenance, for example. When the aircraft is not is being used we can offer it for commercial charter, which will help to offset some of these fixed charges for our customers," says Hayman.

Owners will be split into regions, starting with London, the central UK and Aberdeen, Scotland, Hayman says. "We will eventually broaden the offering to cities [and] regions across Europe," Hayman adds.

He is confident the programme will appeal to corporations and high net worth individuals who see the advantages of private jet travel, but are reluctant to purchase an aircraft outright. "This programme will lower the barrier to business aircraft ownership and make private air transport accessible to a lot more people," Hayman adds.