Daher Socata has launched a co-ownership programme for new TBM 850 customers in an attempt to drive up sales of the single-engined turboprop within the increasingly turbulent business aircraft market.

The venture - the first of its kind offered by Socata - is called the Fly And Share your TBM (Fast) programme and is designed to reduce the capital outlay for a $3 million high-speed TBM 850 for those owners who are either struggling to get enough finance or do not have enough capital to acquire an aircraft outright.

"A test programme was introduced by our distributors in the USA earlier this year as an incentive to boost the market," says the Tarbes, south-west France-based manufacturer. "It has proved a success so we have decided to open the scheme worldwide through our international distributor and support network."

TBM 850 
 © Daher Socata

Fast "is ideally suited for two shareholders on a one-third/two-thirds co-ownership basis, but the programme could accommodate up to three shareholders per aircraft," says Socata. A minimum 100 days of exclusive use is provided each year on an unlimited flight hour basis.

The distributors draw up the contracts and offer customers "a menu of services", including aircraft management, maintenance, flight scheduling, aircraft tracking, concierge services insurance and hangarage. "Customers can choose some, all or none of the services on offer, there is no obligation to buy," says Socata.

The airframer and aerostructures company says that while it is seeing a steady flow of interest in the TBM 850 - notably from customers who are moving down from a twin-engined business jet due to their higher price tags and operating costs - sales and orders of the seven-seat aircraft have been hit by the financial crisis. "We have had no cancellations, but some customers have postponed their orders or have resold their positions," Socata says. "Last year we delivered 60 aircraft and hope to deliver about the same if the Fast programme is a success," it says.

Source: Flight International