Since Sentient Jet was purchased by Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners last September, the company has returned to its roots, according to CEO Steven Hankin. Business is down, he concedes, but the slumping economy has forced business travelers to avoid owning capital assets–and therefore moved them toward purchasing jet cards.
Fractional ownership of private aircraft seems to be a struggling business model in North America and Europe but it’s alive and well in this part of the world, according to NetJets Middle East (NJME). The company, which is owned by Saudi Arabia’s National Air Service and is affiliated to U.S.-based NetJets Inc.
Revenues at NetJets, Berkshire Hathaway’s fractional jet share company, dropped $471 million (41 percent) in the third quarter of 2009 and $1.495 billion (42 percent) for the first nine months of 2009, compared with 2008 results, according to the parent company’s November 6 quarterly report. The decline in revenues stems from a 79-percent drop in aircraft sales, according to the report, and a 24-percent reduction in flight revenue hours.
Responding to the brave new world of recession-shaped business aviation, CitationShares last month in New York City unveiled a rebranding that sees the company change its name to CitationAir by Cessna and promote the scope of its offerings beyond the fractional operation it has been since its founding in 2000 as a joint venture between Cessna and Geneva-based Tag Aviation when the two companies bought Wayfarer Starshares (founded in 1998 and
Flexjet, Bombardier Aerospace’s fractional-share program, announced a reconfigured product offering at NBAA, with an emphasis on its ability to offer supplemental lift and other aviation solutions to corporate flight departments.
Marquis Jet’s Randy Brandoff said his jet card company is well positioned to take advantage of the shifting sands of the corporate jet market. Brandoff, the newly appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Marquis Jet (Booth No. 291), said the company’s business is down slightly for the year, but demand is actually on the rebound.
The fractional share marketplace is changing rapidly in response to the lengthy global recession. While most fractional operators already reduced staffing levels to match lower levels of customer activity, it wasn’t until September 11 that NetJets announced layoffs of 350 nonunion employees.
Responding to the brave new world of recession-shaped business aviation, CitationShares this morning in New York City unveiled a rebranding that sees the company change its name to CitationAir by Cessna and promote the scope of its offerings beyond the fractional operation it has been since its founding in 2000 as a joint venture between Cessna and Geneva-based Tag Aviation when the two companies bought Wayfarer Starshares (founded in 1998 an
The recession has dealt an enormous blow to the fractional share industry. Rapidly declining used-aircraft prices and fewer flying hours have affected the industry to the point that most fractional operators have shrunk during the past year, deferred new aircraft deliveries, cut staffing and explored new ways to keep flying. Business has been so bad at the fractionals that some pundits are questioning whether the business model is broken.
There are still white tails sitting on the ramps, but the numbers are dwindling. The inventory of used aircraft for sale remains staggering, but it too is shrinking. The skies aren’t filled with business jets, but as of July–the last month for the which data is available–the number of takeoffs and landings was rising.