Flexjet to Expand International Operations Led by Industry Veteran Raymond Jones
May 23, 2016
- Flexjet to become a European-based private jet travel operator
- Expands Flexjet’s growing international travel capabilities and provides point-to-point private jet travel services within Europe
- European operations set to begin by Q4 2016
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, MAY 23, 2016 – Flexjet LLC, offering travelers access to the world’s most luxurious fleet of private jets, today disclosed additional details of its planned international expansion. Through a fleet of U.S. and European-based aircraft, Flexjet will provide point-to-point global travel capabilities for Flexjet Owners. In addition, international private jet travelers will soon be able to participate in Flexjet programs providing them with access to some of the world’s most desirable private aircraft as well as Flexjet’s renowned levels of service.
Flexjet’s European operations will come via an acquisition of a company with an existing operating certificate. A letter of intent has been signed and a purchase is expected to close later this year, with the first European-based aircraft to be in operation by year’s end.
London-based Raymond Jones, recognized for his accomplishments as a Senior Vice President of sales with Bombardier, will spearhead international operations as Flexjet’s Managing Director –International. Jones is a former Royal Air Force Squadron Leader and holds a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management from City University, London. Jones became familiar with Flexjet when it was owned by Bombardier. In 2013, Flexjet was acquired by Directional Aviation, which was founded in 1981 and is home to the most respected portfolio of private aviation companies around the globe.
“We will serve the global marketplace with programs and services that are astutely tailored to the needs of private jet travelers, while also offering our North American base of shared aircraft Owners the ability to travel internationally without ever having to leave the Flexjet family,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenneth Ricci, who made the announcement in advance of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). “Ray Jones’ all-encompassing knowledge of the international market will afford us a tremendous advantage as we establish a significant operation here in Europe.”
Jones said, “I have long admired Kenn Ricci’s vision for Flexjet’s expansion and am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the company’s international operations. Flexjet is making private jet travel between North America and the international domain more accessible than ever, and is introducing an unprecedented level of service quality into the market. I look forward to working with the superb team Kenn has assembled, internationally and in the U.S.”
Flexjet’s international operations under the direction of Jones will begin by:
- Providing international travel solutions for U.S. shareowners: Increasingly, Flexjet’s North American Owners are using Flexjet’s growing fleet of long range, large-cabin aircraft such as the Bombardier Global Express and Gulfstream G450 for transatlantic travel. Flexjet’s large-cabin aircraft will be augmented by the company’s European program of light-jet aircraft suited for regional point-to-point travel. The initial pan-European fleet of eight (8) aircraft will be based in London, Paris and two additional cities to be selected by year-end. The powerful pairing between long-range, large-cabin aircraft and light-cabin aircraft will allow North American owners to remain within the Flexjet family when traveling globally.
- Creating unique travel solutions for international travelers: Continuing its heritage of tailored program solutions, Flexjet will offer premium on-demand and bespoke membership programs in Europe. These programs will target a per-mile cost comparable to turbo-prop and ultra-light jet European offerings. The highly efficient Nextant 400XTi has been selected as the model aircraft to achieve this mark. Access to a dedicated fleet of Nextant 400XTi aircraft is expected to be offered on a limited basis through select charter brokers.
In addition, Flexjet will offer tailored international programs that appeal to a segment of the market looking to exit whole-aircraft ownership as well as users of charter services looking to transition to a more personalized offering.
- Handcrafted European fleet of Nextant 400XTi aircraft: The Nextant 400XTi outperforms all other light jets in nearly every category with a 2,003-nautical mile (3,710 km) range and a cruising speed of 460 nautical miles per hour (740 km per hour). It also has a seating configuration that allows for the most legroom of any light jet in production. The Nextant 400XT also boasts significantly reduced carbon emissions compared to other light jets and noise compliance that exceeds Stage IV requirements to make it the perfect aircraft for Flexjet Owners with European travel needs.
Each handcrafted Flexjet Nextant 400XTi interior will feature a full refreshment center, fully enclosed aft lavatory, sofa and spacious club seating. Wi-Fi® connectivity will ensure nonstop productivity.
“Flexjet’s expanded global operations will offer a broad level of flexibility, choice and service that we feel will resonate well in this sophisticated marketplace,” added Ricci. “Our approach will establish Flexjet as a true international operator, providing Flexjet Owners with point-to-point access throughout the world.”
Flexjet first entered the shared jet ownership market in 1995, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in May 2015. Flexjet offers shared jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s shared aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, and Flexjet is the first and only company to be honored with its 17th FAA Diamond Award for Excellence. Flexjet’s shared aircraft program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the shared jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years—including their LXi Cabin Collection consisting of the Learjet 75LXi, Challenger 350, the Embraer Legacy 450, Global Express and the Gulfstream G450, G500 and G650, and the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets. In addition, the overall jet collection includes the Embraer Phenom 300, Challenger 300 and Challenger 605. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.
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