Fractional start-up Jet Republic is aiming to entice Europe's "working class millionaires" into business aviation, with an offering of hot food, wi-fi connectivity and continental-style interiors on its Bombardier Learjet 60XRs.
Despite the effects of the global economic downturn on the traditional corporate sector, the Lisbon-based company believes its core target market of high-net-worth entrepreneurs are still travelling on business almost as much as before the recession, albeit mostly on airlines or occasional charter aircraft.
"These are the sort of people that know the value of a euro and the value of their time," says Jet Republic chief executive and founder Jonathan Breeze.
The company - which is pitting itself against the established leader in the fractional sector NetJets Europe - will take delivery of the first of 110 60XRs it has on order and option in October. An aircraft will join the fleet every month.
© Jet Republic
Jet Republic on 14 April in Paris unveiled its cabin concept - which Breeze, a former NetJets commercial director, says offers "large-cabin style in a midsize jet", with an interior built by Bombardier in Wichita suggesting "very much European elegance". Along with lie-flat seats, every aircraft will have a flight attendant and a large galley provides the means to serve hot meals. The aircraft will be black, with the Jet Republic livery on the tail and wingtips.
Jet Republic's typical ownership offering will be 100h, equating to a one-eighth share of an aircraft, although customers will be able to acquire as little as 50h. The company will also sell jet card membership blocks of 25h on third-party aircraft.
The business is backed by Austrian private bank Euram, and Breeze says take-up is "ahead of budget", although he will not say how many aircraft shares have been sold.