Programme will offer Boeing Business Jet-based block charter and contract charter services to Asian market

Aviation services company ACI Pacific (ACIP) and Japanese trading company Nissho Iwai (NIC) plan to begin operations next month of what is believed to be the first shared ownership programme of its kind in Asia and the Pacific Rim. The Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)-based joint venture, called ShareJet, will also provide block charter and contract charter services to companies and individuals throughout the region.

The shared ownership venture, Partnership Sales, is tailored to the business jet operational environment of the Asia-Pacific, says ACIP president and chief executive Terry Habeck. Under the terms of the programme, four owners will each buy a quarter share in ShareJet's initial single aircraft operation, giving each equal time in the aircraft.

The company's first BBJ is due for delivery in November, by which time ShareJet aims to have signed at least two customers. The partners plan to introduce additional BBJs at rate of one a year, with the long-term goal of placing up to two ShareJet BBJs in each of its target countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim, including Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

With tight slot reservation requirements at many Asian airports, notably Japan, flights will usually be scheduled around a month in advance, says Harbeck. However, in the unlikely event of a double booking, ACIP will deploy its Gulfstream GIV, he adds. "We are not like a typical fractional ownership programme as we do not have a core fleet or offer guaranteed response times," Harbeck says.

NetJets, the world's leading fractional operator, has been examining the Asian market but has yet to commit to a programme. Last December Bombardier launched a charter operation called Flexjet Asia.

ACIP will manage the ShareJet aircraft and control the overall operation from its base at Guam International Airport, providing US flightcrews and licensed engineers. The US-registered BBJ will be operated under US FAR Part 121 or 135 airworthiness rules.Tokyo-based NIC, a Boeing sales agent in Asia and global trader in a number of other key markets, including steel, oil and food products, will facilitate initial ShareJet sales. Harbeck says: "They have an array of [high profile] contacts that can be introduced to the benefits of business aircraft usage and the ShareJet concept."

The programme will be tailored to clients of a specific country, Harbeck says. For example in China, South Korea and Taiwan, where accounting and legal systems "make ownership somewhat prohibitive", ShareJet will offer a charter-based service. Other offerings, such as operating leases, are being examined, he says.


Source: Flight International