Embraer announced that fractional provider NetJets has signed an agreement to purchase 50 Phenom 300 light jets and has an option to buy 75 more. At current list prices, the deal may be worth more than $1 billion (U.S.). The aircraft, which the Brazilian manufacturer expects to begin delivering in 2013, will be specially equipped for the Berkshire Hathaway-owned NetJets and called Phenom 300 Platinum Edition.
Richard Santulli’s re-entry into the helicopter game drew mixed reaction from a variety of operators who spoke to AIN. Santulli is the CEO of the newly formed Milestone Aviation Group, a company that will devote most of its resources to helicopter leasing and sale leasebacks.
Richard Santulli, founder of fractional-share company NetJets, is back in the aviation business with a new business jet and helicopter leasing company called Milestone Aviation Group. Santulli, 66, resigned from NetJets last August but said at the time that he would remain a consultant to the company for a year. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought NetJets in 1998 for $725 million.
Richard Santulli announced today the launch of a new business jet and helicopter leasing company, Milestone Aviation Group, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Santulli in the mid-1980s founded fractional share company NetJets, which was sold in 1998 to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Santulli left that company last year. He is now chairman of Milestone.
Berkshire Hathaway’s most recent quarterly financial report notes that revenues at its NetJets subsidiary grew by 18 percent compared with the first quarter of 2009, generating positive pre-tax earnings of $57 million in the first quarter versus a pre-tax loss of $96 million in the same period last year.
Individually last year there was no taller toppling in business aviation than that of NetJets founder and chairman Richard Santulli, who on August 4 announced his resignation from the fractional company he had been building since he acquired Executive Jet Aviation in 1984.
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.
At the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Aviation Business Roundtable Monday and Tuesday, more than 65 aviation business leaders shared their concerns about critical issues with FAA, DOT and TSA leaders and political, policy and financial experts.
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.
New NetJets chairman and interim CEO David Sokol has begun making changes at NetJets Europe, appointing a new boss to run the business and implement job cuts at its headquarters. Eric Connor has been appointed the new CEO and chairman of NetJets Europe following the October 4 resignation of CEO William Kelly “to pursue his own interests.”