Flexjet is a part of the 100-year-old Bombardier Company, which is one of the largest commercial and business jet plane makers across the world. Over the past 2 decades, there have been over 25 programmes launched by the company, including the current Fractional Ownership Programme, which shall be a virtually unrivaled offer in luxury aviation industry, at least in the short term scheme of things. It offers the perfect solution for the corporate that may have the need for exclusive jets, but don’t have the financial resources needed to justify it.
The basic concept of the Flexjet Fractional Programme is centered on the partial ownership of a closed group of luxury business jets for a fixed fee. The current offer is that of the Learjet 85, of which 1/16th share can be availed for $1.13 million. By paying for this share, the owners are given rights of ownership and usage, and allowing them to fly over multiple destinations without having to stop over at other destinations unlike other commercial flights. The other distinct advantages included would be the lower cost of maintenance of the aircraft which would be taken care of by a team of professionals, along with exclusive setups as per customer preference, and also a professional office like ambiance to hold meetings and corporate get-together without paying an amount out of their budgets. There is also the Jet Card Programme, which allows the user to purchase flying miles through the debit card, allowing them to use the jet for a fixed distance during their business travels. With the luxury market, once again looking up, this programme ought to fit most customers the best according to market experts.
We had interviewed an executive of the company, who detailed out programme for us. Take a look below to know more about the programme:-
Q: Please explain fractional jet ownership.
A: For individuals or corporations who fly 50 or more hours per year, but not enough to justify the purchase of an entire aircraft, Flexjet* fractional jet ownership offers the greatest benefits in the industry. Unlike a timeshare, customers have full access to an entire fractional ownership program fleet—consisting exclusively of legendary Learjet* and Challenger* aircraft, averaging approximately four years of age—and not just in the jet type in which they own a share. Fractional share sales begin at one-sixteenth of an aircraft, which represents 50 hours of flight time annually. Owners purchase only the amount of aircraft needed, with each flight tailored specifically to their requirements and managed through Flexjet’s industry-leading customer account management, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Q: What are its advantages over buying flight time by the hour, via jet cards or charter operator?
A: Similar to fractional jet ownership, jet cards—where customers can purchase flight time starting at 25 hours—provide customers with the benefit of flying on a closed fleet, offering the highest control over aircraft maintenance and safety. With charter, travelers fly on an open fleet of aircraft, however this approach may offer better economics for those who only need to make a handful of one-off trips annually.
The Flexjet 25* Jet Card Program—operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions—is available as a traditional 25-hour program and also includes options for 30- and 35-hours of flight time. More details can be found at www.flexjet25.com.
Q: What are the benefits of private air travel over commercial?
A: Fly Directly. Commercial carriers serve approximately 450 airports in the U.S., while business jets fly to more than 5,000 airports. This allows private jet passengers to land closer to their destinations. Plus, Flexjet’s fractional ownership program business jets are certified to fly higher than commercial planes, enabling them to fly faster.
Your Schedule. With one phone call, Flexjet fractional aircraft owners are off visiting three cities, pitching five proposals and returning home in time for dinner.
Continue Working. In addition to decreased travel time, time can more efficiently be used on a private jet as important meetings can be held or travelers can focus on key projects and make important phone calls from the air.
Q: The economic downturn in 2009 took its toll on business aviation, with low sales of new jets, but used aircrafts market saw an upsurge. Why do you think people will go with fractional jet ownership in the long run than buying used jets?
A: Fractional jet ownership has improved along with the economy as it offers a number of distinct benefits over other private aviation solutions. Customers have the ability to purchase only the amount of aircraft and flight time needed without the hassles of managing, maintaining and insuring their own aircraft. If they have a board meeting and need to move a large group, they can utilize multiple aircraft at a time. One can visit three cities in a day and be back in time for dinner. What’s more, fractional jet ownership also offers owners tax depreciation benefits.
Q: How do you see the fractional jet ownership market in the future? Will it become more popular than a jet card system and charter?
A: Fractional jet ownership will continue to grow a sense of control and flexibility that cannot be matched by non-ownership aviation solutions. As compelling as fractional jet ownership remains, however, it may not be the answer to everyone’s needs. For many, the answer lies not with a single, specific solution, but with a set of solutions working in harmony. This could include a mix of fractional jet ownership, jet cards and charter solutions. Ultimately, those with a consistent need for private jet travel may be best served by identifying an aviation company that offers access to the broadest range of potential solutions, such as Flexjet.
Q: What are the most important factors one should take into consideration while going for a fractional jet ownership program?
A: There are five main areas to review when selecting a fractional jet ownership provider.
Stability: Identify a provider who is financially stable and with a history in the aviation industry. If the owner is a manufacturer – true plane people – that’s a real plus point.
Team: Look for proven, dedicated team members who have been in the industry for years and have weathered its ups and downs.
Profitability: Make sure the company is profitable, which enables the provider to invest in its program and give more value back to its fractional aircraft owners.
Geographic Reach: In today’s interconnected business world, don’t settle for a partner who does not offer access to global travel.
Product Diversity: Seek a provider with product diversity that can recommend the best private aviation solution, not simply sell you the solution at hand.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: After years of anticipation, Flexjet has just kicked-off its Learjet 85* fractional jet ownership sales program as Bombardier's exclusive launch customer. Set to revolutionize the industry, the all-new Learjet 85 aircraft features the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency to usher in a new class of performance and comfort.
Flexjet currently has an order for seven Learjet 85 aircraft that will be made available for purchase through its fractional jet ownership program. Final pricing is $1,137,500 for a 1/16th share of the Learjet 85 aircraft, but there are incentives available on the first four aircraft that make it less expensive than the Cessna’s Citation Sovereign (also priced at $1,137,500).
To ensure new and current owners a seamless transition to the Learjet 85 aircraft upon its anticipated delivery in the fourth quarter of 2013, Flexjet is offering guaranteed access and availability to its elite fractional ownership program aircraft—the youngest in the industry with an average age of approximately four years.
"There is also the Flexjet 25 Jet Card Programme- operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions- which allows the user to purchase flying miles through the debit card, allowing them to use the jet for a fixed distance during their business travels."