US business jet fractional ownership company Flight Options is adding Dassault Falcon 50s to its fleet this month.

Three of the mid-size aircraft will enter service initially, but Cleveland, Ohio-based Flight Options plans to add 15 secondhand aircraft to its line-up by the end of the year.

The first Falcon 50 is Flight Options' 50th aircraft. The company also operates Cessna Citation II and Raytheon Beech 400A light business jets, mid-size Raytheon Hawker 800s and larger Bombardier Challenger 601s.

The company, which began operating in October 1998, is the fourth-largest fractional ownership programme in the USA, ending last year just behind Raytheon Travel Air, which has 54 aircraft. The market leader is Executive Jet's NetJets programme, which ended the year with 265 aircraft.

Flight Options is the only one of the top fractional ownership companies to offer shares in secondhand aircraft, although it has 25 large-cabin Fairchild Envoy 7s - corporate versions of the 728JET - on order for delivery from 2002.

A one-eighth share in a Falcon 50 costs $1.6 million and provides 100 flight hours annually and a 10h response time. A quarter share guarantees a 6h response time.

Source: Flight International