Kate Sarsfield/LONDON

VisionAire is evaluating a fractional ownership programme for its six seat Vantage single engined business jet, which will be aimed at small to medium sized companies with an annual turnover of $5-$500 million.

"Our programme will be unique. We will make it closer to owning your own aircraft than any other programme can currently offer," says VisionAire's newly appointed executive vice-president, Angelo Fiataruolo. Under the proposed venture, each $1.75 million Vantage will be divided between no more than four owners, to enable the company "-to virtually guarantee aircraft availability". Unlike existing programmes, customers will not pay an initial capital outlay, but will be charged a single monthly fee of about $20,000, which will cover maintenance, fuel and pilot costs, and allow150-200 flying hours a year. "There will be no hidden costs, just this one set charge," says Fiataruolo. "We will put business aircraft within the reach of more companies," he says.

The programme is expected to be launched around 2001 after the first 100 aircraft have been delivered. St Louis, Missouri-based VisionAire plans to set up about 12 bases throughout the USA, to provide pilot training, maintenance and product support for the Vantage. First delivery is scheduled for late 1999.

The company is also looking at extending the programme to Europe at a later date.

Source: Flight International