United Airlines subsidiary also signs letters of intent with Bombardier and Raytheon to complete fleet by 2009

United Airlines' fractional ownership subsidiary Avolar has confirmed an order for 24 Gulfstream 200 super mid-size business jets, plus options for another 43. The deal, including a long-term maintenance agreement, is valued at more than $2 billion.

The order follows on the heels of Avolar's announcement that it has signed letters of intent with Bombardier and Raytheon which, when confirmed, will complete the company's fleet plan, taking the number of aircraft on order and option to 309, for delivery up to and including 2009 (Flight International, 18-31 December, 2001).

Avolar has signed commitments with Gulfstream for 102 aircraft, including seven GIV-SPs and five GVs on firm order, plus options for nine GIV-SPs and 14 GV-SPs. In addition, the company has orders and options for 122 Dassault Falcon 50EX, 900EX, 2000 and 2000EX business jets.

The agreement with Bombardier covers 15 firm orders and 20 options for Learjet 45 super-light business jets, and 10 firm orders and 12 options for mid-size Learjet 60s, and is valued at $632 million. The deal with Raytheon covers 15 firm orders and 10 options for Beechjet 400A light business jets, and is worth $150 million.

Avolar, which has decided to locate its headquarters in Chicago, has begun selling shares and offering buyers short-term leases until deliveries of the aircraft on order begin in April. Avolar president Stuart Oran is "confident several aircraft will have been sold" by year-end. The company plans to end 2002 with 20 aircraft, increasing to between 205 and 210 by the end of 2006.

The fractional operator has begun hiring flightcrews, and Oran expects Avolar to meet a "substantial portion" of its requirements by hiring pilots and flight attendants furloughed by United as a result of 11 September.

Source: Flight International