Directional Aviation Capital (DAC)–the company headed by Kenn Ricci that owns Flight Options, Sentient Jet, Nextant Aerospace and Constant Aviation–announced this morning that it is buying fractional provider Flexjet from Bombardier for $185 million. The transaction is expected to close by year-end, pending U.S. government approvals.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Owners of fractional shares in Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops operated by Avantair are trying to take possession of their aircraft in the wake of the August 16 court hearing that put the Clearwater, Fla.-based company into involuntary bankruptcy.
The assets of Clearwater Fla.-based Avantair will be sold and the company liquidated after it failed to meet an August 13 deadline to contest an involuntary Chapter 7 filing in the Florida Middle District U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. Judge Catherine McEwen signed an order during a hearing on August 16 authorizing the case to proceed under Chapter 7.
On Tuesday, the judge overseeing the Avantair bankruptcy case approved a motion for trustee Beth Ann Scharrer to begin examinations of Avantair CEO Steve Santo, CFO Bret Holmes, president David Haslett, associate general counsel Tom Palmiero, executive vice president Kevin McKamey and executive vice president of finance and operations Stephen Wagman “to obtain any and all documents in [their] possession related to the assets, liabilities and business operations of [Avantair].”
Clearwater Fla.-based Avantair’s assets will be sold off and the company liquidated after it failed to meet a deadline last week to contest an involuntary Chapter 7 filing in the Florida Middle District U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. Judge Catherine McEwen signed an order on Friday converting the case to full Chapter 7 status and gave former fractional provider Avantair until this Friday to provide the court with a list of creditors, co-debtors and unexpired leases. The court has also given Avantair’s creditors until December 18 to file a claim.
On Tour Logistics (OTL), a tour transportation and logistics management company catering to the entertainment industry, has partnered with Bombardier Flexjet. Through Flexjet and Jet Solutions, On Tour Logistics will provide clientele with private travel on Flexjet’s Learjets and Challengers, expanding the coverage of current OTL alliance member Averitt Air. “The remarkable flexibility to fly home quickly and safely from almost anywhere is priceless. We could not be more pleased that Flexjet has chosen us as a partner,” said OTL vice president for logistics Steve Gregory.
In response to fleet growth and an uptick in its business, fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet has resumed hiring pilots after ceasing such activity, and then subsequently furloughing pilots, during the Great Recession. It recalled all of its furloughed pilots earlier this year. “We are thrilled to be expanding our dedicated pilot team…and anticipate hiring in the double digits this year and beyond,” said Flexjet vice president of operations Jason Weiss.
Jet Aviation Flight Services (JAFS) has signed an alliance agreement with C-Fly Aviation, a São Paulo, Brazil-based aircraft management and charter provider. As Jet Aviation, a division of General Dynamics, continues to expand its global services to meet customer demand, C-Fly will exclusively provide JAFS with referrals on charter and aircraft management in Brazil. Jet Aviation Flight Services group is responsible for delivering Jet Aviation’s charter and aircraft management services in the Americas and has U.S. offices in Teterboro, N.J.; Van Nuys, Calif.; and Chicago.
Even as the Brazilian economy appears in a slow slide downward, business aviation fractional ownership operator Avantto (Stand 6111) is watching its value grow. “People are flying about 20 percent more, and the number of flights at Avantto is growing faster than the size of our fleet,” said company president Rogério Andrade.
Aircraft fractional ownership is a concept that has been slow to take hold in Latin America, most likely the result of an installed business aircraft customer base too small to support such an effort. But it is growing.
One of the more established fractional ownership programs in Latin America is MexJet, a business unit of long-time Mexican aviation services provider Aerolínas Ejecutivas.