A former Australian airline executive and a finance and leasing expert have teamed up with aircraft sales and services company Hawker Pacific to launch a fractional private jet service in Australia.

JetGroup's Private Class service is modelled on fractional ownership, but is geared towards the Australian market, where traditional fractional ownership has previously failed to take off due in part to local financial regulations and depreciation issues. "A key difference is that Private Class is based on a very simple 'pay for use' monthly subscription model without any requirement to outlay large sums of capital up front for part acquisition and ownership of each aircraft," says managing director Anthony Dunlop, a former finance and leasing executive, who has partnered Bill Meeke, formerly chief executive of West Australian airline Skywest, to launch JetGroup.

Private Class is designed to be more "balance-sheet friendly and deliver a lower cost and fully tax-deductible proposition to corporate Australia", Dunlop adds. A maximum of six customers per aircraft is planned, with the company targeting large corporations with a need for 150 flight hours or more.

The company plans to offer a range of light, mid-size and large aircraft, including the Hawker 400XP, Hawker 900XP, Cessna Citation CJ2, Citation XLS, Dassault Falcon 900EX and Gulfstream G450. The aircraft will be provided and managed by Hawker Pacific. "JetGroup will be building its fleet over time and is very much focused on a sustainable business model that grows with market demand," says Meeke.

JetGroup's launch follows that of GoJet earlier this year, which plans to offer a fractional ownership scheme based on very light jets.

Source: Flight International