Asian airline resolves business and regulatory issues

Asian fractional ownership and charter start-up ShareJet is preparing to take delivery of its first Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) on 11 August, having cleared the hurdles that have delayed its launch.

Guam-based ACI Pacific (ACIP) and Japan's Nissho Iwai (NIC) created ShareJet last year and had hoped to take delivery of the BBJ in November. But the launch of Asia's first BBJ fractional/charter programme was put back by business and regulatory issues that chief executive Terry Habeck says have now been resolved.

ShareJet's California-based affiliate company, Aviation Concepts, secured tentative US Department of Transportation approval earlier this month to operate up to three aircraft and expects to receive a US Federal Aviation Administration air operator's certificate (AOC) within the next few weeks.

"It's been a long wait," says Habeck. "But the timing is good, with the economy improving. We have a lot of interest."

The BBJ is set to perform its first revenue flight on 1 September, for which ShareJet has lined up its first batch of customers - a mix of multinational and local companies from across the Asia-Pacific region.

To fulfil charter commitments, ShareJet has been sourcing BBJs from other operators and using a Gulfstream G400 operated by affiliate company RSVP.

Habeck plans to move the G400 on to Aviation Concepts' AOC and add a super mid-size or large cabin business jet-type to its fleet. ShareJet also plans to add one BBJ-size aircraft a year. The fleet will operate throughout the Asia-Pacific region from a base in US territory Guam and a second base to be opened somewhere in South-East Asia.

ShareJet is using 13 NIC offices throughout the region to market its charter and fractional services. NIC is Boeing's agent in Japan and has aviation businesses throughout the region, but this is its first corporate jet venture.

NIC owns 25% of ShareJet and ACIP, which also manages and maintains corporate jets, owns 75%. Habeck owns 90% of ACIP and all of Aviation Concepts, which will operate the BBJ but will not be involved in marketing.

Source: Flight International