Flexjet was in buying mood at NBAA, converting 30 of its 75 Bombardier Learjet 85 options into firm orders, and adding another 20 ­options for the midsize business jet, for which it is the launch customer.

The first aircraft will be delivered to the Richardson, Texas-based operator shortly after certification, which is scheduled for the third quarter of 2014.

Customer reaction to Bombardier’s 10-seat Learjet 85 has been overwhelming, says Deanna White, president of Flexjet, which was acquired last month by Directional Aviation Capital, owner of fellow fractional operator Flight Options, charter card pioneer Sentient Jet and aircraft re-­manufacturer Nextant Aerospace.

Bombardier Flexjet 640

Bombardier's Steve Ridolfi with White and Ricci. Image credit: Billypix

“We have already pre-sold shares in the Learjet 85 to 68 customers, They have placed their deposits without even seeing the aircraft,” she adds.

Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation Capital, says: “Significant customer demand has convinced us that increasing the size of the Learjet 85 fleet is not only necessary, but will give us a significant product advantage.”

Flexjet placed orders and options in September last year for 245 Bombardier business jets. The historic deal included firm orders for 25 Learjet 75s, 30 Learjet 85s, 20 Challenger 350s and ten Challenger 605s. Today’s conversion of options to orders brings the firm order portion of the transaction to around $2.4 billion.

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Source: Flight Daily News