Jet Republic, a new European operator offering charter, fractional and jet card programs, opened for business today with 25-hour jet card offerings. In June, the startup quietly placed a firm order for 25 Learjet 60 XRs worth some $ 340 million, along with a conditional order for another 85. The buyer was unidentified until Jet Republic´s announcement today. If all aircraft are confirmed, the total value would be approximately $ 1.5 billion, and would make it the largest such transaction in European history. The first new aircraft is to be delivered in 2009, and placed in service beginning next summer. Primary funding for the enterprise comes from Euram Bank, an Austrian private bank, and a consortium of its clients. Euram Bank´s CEO, Viktor Popovic, will also act as president of Jet Republic.
Jonathan Breeze, Jet Republic CEO, said that "Despite the current economic climate, the private jet market is enjoying strong growth. This, coupled with the fact that we believe there is significant room for improvement in the level of service provided by the private jet aviation sector, means there is a very strong and real opportunity for us to take a significant share of this market. We have the right proposition, an extremely talented management team to deliver on our strategy and the financial support to bring it to life." Concierge service is available to all customers and every flight will have a cabin attendant, Breeze stated.The company said its order with Bombardier is for 25 aircraft to be delivered over 22 month period following the first Learjet 60 XR delivery. The remaining aircraft will be delivered one every three weeks thereafter. The jet card program is available now, using selected contract aircraft.