EXECUTIVE JET Aviation (EJA) has launched the long-awaited expansion of its NetJets business-aircraft fractional-ownership programme into Europe.

EJA will base four company-owned Cessna Citation S/IIs in Europe, beginning in the fourth quarter of 1995 and will begin selling aircraft shares, in the first quarter of 1996 says, chairman Richard Santulli.

"It is important that our core fleet be in place...to assure the level of service and responsiveness that has been the hallmark of our success in the USA," he says. Aircraft, based in Europe, will be used by existing US NetJets customers and new European owners, Santulli predicts.

EJA has formed an alliance with Swiss aviation services company Zimex Aviation, which will market the NetJets scheme in Europe. Santulli says that the companies have been working for two years to understand the European market and to develop a modified NetJets programme tailored to Europe's different operational environment.

Santulli has sold a minority shareholding in EJA - "more than 10%, but less than 49%" - to investment bank Goldman, Sachs to finance expansion plans. Goldman, Sachs will have a passive role, leaving Santulli still in control of the company, which he founded in 1987, but he will use its international presence to help EJA expand, he says.

Business JetSolutions, the joint venture between Bombardier and AMR Combs, is "into double-digit customers" for its FlexJet fractional-ownership programme, says President Rob Gillespie, with part-shares sold in all three aircraft types available: the Learjet 31A, Learjet 60 and Canadair Challenger 601-3R.

The Dallas, Texas-based venture began flying customers in May with core-fleet aircraft and will be operating six 31As, six 60s and two 601-3Rs by late October. The majority of customers are new to business-aircraft ownership, he says.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Avlease & Finance Group has launched Avshares, a fractional-ownership programme offering part-shares in used business aircraft, including Beech King Air 200s, Learjet 24/25s and Hawker 400/600s, to Latin American customers.

In addition to selling shares in used aircraft purchased in the USA, the company will open up aircraft now leased or owned by single Latin American entities to three or four owners to make ownership more affordable. Avshares plans to put one or two aircraft a month into operation in the first year.

Source: Flight International