CaravanShares is planning to relaunch its fractional ownership venture in the first half of next year, around 12 months after the Cessna Grand Caravan-based programme's initial unveiling.

The venture, believed to be the first of its kind using the turboprop single, was put on hold last March due a lack of market confidence, says Chicago, USA-based CaravanShares, a joint venture between Cessna distributor JA Aero and charter operator Planemasters.

"There was interest in the programme initially but, as the economy was continuing to slow, not enough people were ready to make a commitment," says Caravan-Shares director of sales Scott Fank.

CaravanShares is rebuilding its customer base, prompted by increased interest in the eight-seat, single-engine aircraft and is optimistic the market will support a relaunch early next year. Fank adds: "We have the infrastructure in place with a service and maintenance centre and a charter operation. But we won't jump in until we are confident of success this time."

The programme focuses on private individuals or small companies wanting to travel within two hours or around 800km (430nm) of Chicago and return the same day.

Under a five-year agreement, customers buy shares in a Grand Caravan starting at an eighth and costing $228,500. This entitles them to 43 days annual use of the aircraft, says Fank. A $1,800 fixed monthly management fee and a $320 occupied hourly rate are also levied.

CaravanShares plans to relaunch the programme with between eight and 16 customers which, Fank says, will equate to two aircraft.

Source: Flight International