Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC
Jet Aviation has invested $100 million in a fleet of business jets for a dedicated charter operation, aiming to bridge the gap between charter management and fractional ownership.
The aviation services company has placed five refurbished Gulfstreams into service in the USA - two GIIs and three GIIIs - and plans to add two more GIIIs by February. The aircraft are dedicated to Jet Aviation's new Private Fleet charter operation.
The US-based fleet is to total 10 by the end of next year, with the aircraft located at Jet Aviation's sites in Burbank, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Dallas, Texas. The firm also operates two Cessna Citation IIs and a Bombardier Canadair Challenger 601 in Europe under the Private Fleet banner.
The US-based Gulfstreams have been refitted with standardised 12-passenger interiors and equipment and repainted in identical colour schemes. This guarantees customers availability of a consistent standard of aircraft, an advantage fractional ownership schemes offer over conventional charter operations.
The advantage of Private Fleet, Jet Aviation says, is that customers are guaranteed on-demand availability without the "up-front costs, capital investments or on-going management contracts", or the need to fly a fixed number of annual flight hours, as required by fractional ownership. With over 140 aircraft in its managed and owned fleet, Jet Aviation flew more than 30,000 charter hours worldwide last year. The Private Fleet Gulfstreams have a charter capacity of about 5,000h a year, according to the company.
Source: Flight International