Companies and entrepreneurs are ditching their private jets as they tighten their belts but Jet Republic believes its business selling shares in aircraft will benefit from a reluctance to abandon the perks altogether.
"The ultra high net worth market has been affected by the current global financial crisis," Chief Executive Jonathan Breeze said in an interview on Tuesday. "Many of those people with private jets are looking to sell them and switch to a fractional ownership model or jet card scheme."
Corporations including General Motors and Ford Motor Co have announced in recent days that they are abandoning their aircraft as running costs, which Breeze puts at about $ 3.5 million (2.4 million pounds) a year, come under close scrutiny.
Breeze said companies and high-worth individuals were increasingly putting their jets up for sale, with the proportion of aircraft on the European market doubling from levels of about 6 percent a year ago.
"In the last three months, it´s jumped to little under 12 percent," he said. "Another 100 jets have been pushed into the market."
The company estimates 211 business jets, with a combined value of $ 3.4 billion, are currently for sale in Europe.
Jet Republic, which launched in September and will start flights in October 2009, said an unexpectedly high 30 percent of sign-ups were from governments and large companies, against the 10 percent it originally forecast.
"Companies are selling fleets of aircraft but they haven´t said they are stopping flying on business jets," he said.