With support from its new investors, Flexjet is placing the largest private aviation order in its history valued at approximately $5.2 billion for the business jets, after 18 successful years as Bombardier’s fractional jet ownership division.
The transaction for the sale of Flexjet is expected to close by the end of the year.
“This opportunity marks the evolution of the next generation of Flexjet, placing us in a position to work with an exceptional group led by Directional Aviation Capital, an investment firm focused on our core business, with the resources needed to ensure a strong future powered by the latest technology,” said Deanna White, President, Flexjet.
“Flexjet remains committed to providing owners with exceptional private travel experiences, while maintaining the highest standards of flexibility. We look forward to offering our owners and their guests access to the newest, most advanced aircraft available.”
Kenn Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation Capital, described Flexjet as an “extremely well-run, profitable business, known for its unmatched focus on owner experience and operational excellence”.
“Our vision for Flexjet is of a luxury brand with a young fleet, the latest technology, custom interiors and continued industry-defining service,” he added. “That vision inspired this transaction and landmark order with Bombardier.
“There is tremendous opportunity for a bespoke brand in the private travel market and Flexjet, with its enhanced fleet, is uniquely suited to fill that void.”
The firm order includes 85 business jets, featuring next generation Challenger 350, Challenger 605 and Learjet 75 jets, and the highly anticipated Learjet 85 aircraft. The agreement also includes options for an additional 160 business jets. Fractional shares are now available, with some aircraft deliveries beginning in 2014.
“With this historic order, Flexjet will remain a leading Bombardier customer and manager of the world’s largest collection of the manufacturer’s private jets,” added Ricci.
When the transaction closes, White will continue to lead Flexjet through the next chapter of growth and evolution. Flexjet will continue to be run as an independent brand, with even more resources available to fulfill its promise of offering exceptional travel experiences to owners each and every flight.
This development emerges during a momentous period of growth for Flexjet, which is reporting a 96% increase of new fractional and jet card sales in January to June 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
In the first six months of this year, sales of new fractional shares increased a notable 112%, while new jet card sales grew a solid 68%. As a result of this growth, Flexjet is hiring pilots and employees to satisfy the increasing demand.
This year, Flexjet also marks the 50th anniversary of Learjet with a nationwide tour featuring the Learjet 85 model, and the tenth anniversary as the first private aviation provider to manage the Challenger 300 aircraft, celebrated as the world’s best-selling super mid-size jet.
Flexjet, the world’s second largest fractional jet ownership services provider, currently manages one of the youngest collections of aircraft in the fractional jet industry – averaging approximately six years of age – which will be refreshed with each new aircraft delivery.