Fractional aircraft providers have reshaped their marketing efforts to address the difficulty of trying to get customers to buy aircraft shares during a recession. To help stimulate growth, Flexjet has introduced a fly-away lease program, which lets buyers who might not want to make a capital purchase lease a fractional share and exit the lease at any time with 90 days’ notice and with no penalty.
Fractional provider NetJets Europe launched the “Summer Card” for Middle Eastern customers who are planning to spend their vacations in Europe this summer. The jet card is valid from May until the end of October and is touted as providing “the flexibility and convenience required by Middle Eastern customers who visit numerous cities around Europe during their annual summer break.” The cards are available in 12.5-hour increments.
Boston-based charter broker Magellan Jets last month launched its Voyager Program, which entitles members to guaranteed hourly rates on various aircraft; a scheduled departure guarantee (or a 10-percent discount on the traveler’s next flight); three aircraft upgrades per year; concierge service; and one-way and round-trip pricing.
To adapt to current economic conditions, Dallas-based fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet last month unveiled two new jet-card products.
You’ve decided to buy a jet. Maybe it was your most recent airline trip from hell that convinced you. Perhaps a growing business commitment increased the need for easy access to locations where even Emirates Airlines doesn’t go. Or maybe you just want the freedom and excitement of private flying and would like to be able to keep your golf clubs on the airplane.
Against a backdrop of tumbling stock markets and the most serious banking crisis in a century, Jet Republic has launched what it bills as the most direct challenge yet to NetJets’ dominance of the European fractional ownership market. The company has committed to buying as many as 110 Bombardier Learjet 60XRs. The first 25 of these are under firm order, with deliveries due to begin next October, at a rate of about one each month.
as the economy lurches from bad to worse news, the aviation industry is holding its breath, waiting to see how this downturn will affect the business jet market and elements of that market such as the fractional share business.
A substantial majority of fractional aircraft share owners indicated that they are satisfied with their current program. According to the latest Fractional Aircraft Ownership Experience Study, conducted for the fifth year by Aviation Research Group/US of Cincinnati, 92 percent of fractional aircraft customers are satisfied with their current program and program provider.
The only really successful helicopter fractional operator is not in the U.S. as one would expect, but rather in South America–or, to be more precise, in one city in Brazil. That city is São Paulo, the financial capital of the wealthiest state of Brazil. With nearly 20 million people, São Paulo is the most populous metropolitan area in South America and, according to some census compilations, the fourth largest in the world.
“What’s the difference between fractional helicopter operations and fractional business jet operations?” asked one fractional sales professional rhetorically. “Well, it’s like comparing a rare tropical orchid with dandelions. The orchid can grow and prosper in only a special and rather rare environment, while the dandelion sprouts up just about anywhere there’s sunlight and water.