A new business aircraft and helicopter leasing programme has been set up in the UK offering "an affordable alternative" to fractional ownership.

Operated by sales and charter company Canford Aviation, Jet Credits is aimed at wealthy individuals and small to medium-size companies, which "are either new to business jet and helicopter travel or need more flexibility than that offered by the scheme they are in", says Canford Aviation chief executive Nick Davis.

Aircraft from the European charter market are divided into four categories, based on cabin size - from an entry-level Cessna Citation Jet or Agusta A109 Power in group A to a widebody Airbus A319 Corporate Jetliner, group D.

Clients buy occupied flying time in the form of jet credits "along similar lines to pre-paid mobile phones". Credits are sold in blocks of 10 costing £30,000 ($44,000) paid directly into the customer's lawyer's account and then on to Canford. Davis adds: "We act as a broker for our customers, handling all their travel requirements. There are no capital outlays, no deposits, no binding contracts and no management or positioning fees."

The programme is based on occupied time in the air - one £3,000 jet credit per occupied hour in group A to five Jet Credits per hour in group D. Discounts of 37.5% are available for overnight, multi stage and day return flights.

Source: Flight International