Grob’s SPn European corporate-come-utility jet has made its debut sale to a fractional operator.  PlaneSense, the US’s fifth largest fractional ownership program, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has signed an order for 25 aircraft.

The aircraft are likely to be split into minimums of eighths and complement the company’s existing 30-strong (and still growing) fleet of Pilatus PC-12 single- engined turboprops.

The aircraft will be configured with the six-seat executive interior and Niall Olver, Grob chief executive, says “PlaneSense is our strategic partner in the USA.  We are keen to work with fractionals outside North America, but want to make sure this is sustainable.”

He adds: “Many people are interested in starting fractional schemes, but a fractional ownership program is a relationship between the operator and manufacturer. 

It is not just selling an aircraft, but also a long-term strategic partnership.” For PlaneSense, the SPn is the logical choice. 

“Our customers told us there was a need for more speed and all along we have been looking around for potential aircraft.  We did consider the Avanti and all of the ‘light class’ of jets such as the CJ3. 

But the philosophy we’ve been successful with is having a larger cabin and economics that beat the class coupled with short field operations.  That falls down into what the SPn is, that’s why it fits our philosophy,” says George Anoniadis, PlaneSense chief executive.

“We expect it to be a good addition and enhancement to our fleet and look forward to being the largest SPn operator in the world.  We are keen on close co-operation and marinating a good dialogue with the manufacturer.  We expect to rack up hours like nobody else – potentially 800-900h a year,” adds Anoniadis.

Anoniadis also says that enough of his customers are also customers with other fractional schemes, and that his customers have stated enough interest in using PlaneSense if it had similar light jets offerings.

The first SPn will be delivered towards the end of 2008 and Anoniadis is keen to take around five aircraft a year.

More news from NBAA 2007 ...


Source: Flight Daily News