A new fractional ownership and block charter company has been launched in Europe which seeks to challenge the dominance of industry leader and fractional stalwart NetJets Europe.
Jet Republic has acquired 110 Bombardier Learjet 60XR´s - 25 orders and 85 options - which marks the biggest European business aircraft order, it says, with a value of $ 1.5 billion.
The venture is funded by Austrian private bank, European American Investment and a consortium of its clients. Euram Bank´ chief executive Viktor Popovic is also president of Lisbon, Portugal-based Jet Republic which plans to kick-start operations on 29th September.
The 25h charter card programme will be the first offering, says Jet Republic chief executive Jonathan Breeze.
“We have secured agreements with 30 operators companies around Europe including TAG Aviation and ExecuJet to provide charter for our customers. We expect to buy a substantial number of flight hours a year from these companies and attract new customers to business aviation for the first time,” says Breeze.
Jet Republic will also begin selling fractions on its Learjet 60XR´s from the 29th - a year ahead of the first aircraft delivery.
“We plan to have four customised aircraft in our fleet by the end of 2009 and will take delivery of the remaining 25 firm order at a rate of one aircraft every four weeks. If we exercise all our options - which we expect to do - all the 60XRs should be in service in 2013,” says Breeze
“We are offering a number of features and services on our aircraft that other competitors don’t offer, including the latest communications -- wireless connectivity in-flight, such as Blackberry - and security systems, improved seating. It will also have in-flight attendants as standard and offer customers a 24hr global concierge service,” says Breeze. Jet Republic says despite the volatility surrounding the world´s finical markets private aviation is enjoying strong growth.
Breeze says: “The worldwide business jet fleet is set for substantial growth over the next 10 years and Europe’s share of this is set to grow from 13% to 25%. In western Europe alone the numbers of high net worth individuals is rising at a rate of between 7% and 8% year on year and the perception of business travel has changed from potential corporate excess to a business necessity.”