A new business-jet fractional-ownership programme has been launched to meet demand for what the founders describe as "the future of corporate aviation". Prime Fleet is a joint venture between US bank-owned leasing company Fleet Capital Leasing and Prime Airborne, an aircraft management and charter firm.

Initially, the New York-based company will offer one-quarter and larger shares in the two Gulfstreams and one Dassault Falcon 50 owned by Prime Airborne. Over the next 12 months, Prime Fleet intends to acquire around 15 aircraft, the majority of which are expected to be pre-owned. The venture says that it does not know what types it will purchase until it knows the travel requirements of individual customers, but expects them to be medium- and large-size business jets.

"Fractional ownership is one of the most exciting things going on in corporate aviation today. It is simple and it works because it combines the advantages of charter with ownership without flopping over the disadvantages," says Prime Fleet executive vice-president Ronald Standerfer.

"We are the first major player in this field that is not aligned with any manufacturer, and we are the first that is aligned with a financial institution," he says. The company will offer customers the options of purchasing fractional shares outright, leasing them or having them financed.

Source: Flight International