Best of the Best 2007: Charter Companies: Jet Aviation
A Jet Aviation client from the United States ran into a problem recently while attempting to travel from Germany to the United Kingdom. To be more precise, on its way to Germany, the plane he had chartered flew into a bird or birds that damaged the plane enough to ground it. Jet Aviation chartered another aircraft for the client quickly enough for him to arrive in London as originally scheduled. Meanwhile, the company flew a mechanic to Germany with the parts needed to repair the grounded plane. Within 24 hours, the aircraft was repaired and in London, waiting for the client to continue his travels.
“We offer the benefits of a major corporation,” says Robert Seidel, a senior vice president for Jet Aviation, “but clients like to charter from us mainly because they receive personalized, boutique service. We don’t treat people like a number.”
Jet Aviation is indeed a major corporation. It oversees more than 5,200 employees at 60 stations and facilities on four continents, guiding the nearly 200 planes that it manages or owns. Last year it booked more than 65,000 hours of flight time. Founded in 1967 in Basel, Switzerland, the company is one of the most experienced and accomplished outfits in general aviation, with a vertical operation that includes aircraft management, maintenance, engineering, sales and brokering, and interior completions. Its charter operation offers access to more than 1,700 jets in 30 types. Fees for a seven-passenger Beechjet 400 begin at $2,250 per hour, while prices for a 14-passenger Bombardier Global Express begin at $8,800. An eight-passenger Cessna Citation Excel, a plane in the middle of the size spectrum, has a beginning price of $3,000. Jet Aviation also offers a jet card through which you can purchase flight hours in various hourly increments (see here).
Last year the company doubled the size of its U.S. enterprise by acquiring Midcoast Aviation of St. Louis, Mo., one of the leading maintenance, repair, and completion outfits in North America. Jet Aviation now maintains five U.S. fixed-based operations: in Dallas; Palm Beach, Fla.; Bedford, Mass.; and Teterboro, N.J. and at the Midcoast facility in St. Louis. Jet Aviation’s partner New World Jet Corp. provides the charter services in the United States.