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Flexjet Leads the Way to Recovery

Bailey S. Barnard

During the last several years of financial turbulence, the private aviation industry has reevaluated its business approach in order to maintain its appeal to the consumer. At the forefront of this effort is Flexjet, whose president, Fred Reid, has spearheaded the development of a number of creative solutions since joining the firm in 2008. Most recently, he oversaw the introduction of a 10-hour jet card, which is the smallest hourly amount ever offered with a jet card and is available only until May 14. Reid also has helped initiate such incentives as special-edition jet cards that offer exclusive access and benefits to specific events around the globe, and a strategic partnership with luxury travel brand Abercrombie & Kent, which Flexjet announced in March.

Earlier this month, 80-degree weather in Los Angeles provided a pleasant outdoor environment for lunch with Reid at the Scarpetta restaurant at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills. Reid was in town for the 2011 Milken Institute Global Conference, an annual event bringing together some of the world’s finest minds to explore social, political, and economic issues, and which Reid’s company helped sponsor this year.

Of the numerous topics of conversation explored, Robb Report readers will be most interested to know about some of Flexjet’s newer programs and partnerships, which offer Flexjet customers unique value propositions as the private aviation industry continues its rebound. The strategic alliance with Abercrombie & Kent, for example, gives Flexjet clients access to the travel purveyor’s experts when making travel arrangements. Flexjet also continues its affiliation with global air carrier Korean Air, a partnership that began about a year ago to help broaden Flexjet’s access to the Asian travel markets.

Also, in addition to its frequent offerings of special programs—such as the one available when clients purchase a Flexjet fractional jet share before June 11 that will grant insider’s access to the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred racing championship in Kentucky in November—Flexjet recently announced more competitive pricing for its Flexjet 25 Jet Card, which is operated by U.S. air carrier Jet Solutions. Under this program, new and existing Flexjet 25 cardholders will receive access to an expanded calendar of flight days, amounting to thousands of dollars in savings.

As the private aviation market continues to reassess its business strategies to better service its clientele, Flexjet will maintain a competitive edge by providing a broad range of offerings that include whole and fractional aircraft ownership and management, as well as jet cards and charter brokerage. Flexjet also offers the industry’s youngest fractional fleet, which consists of Learjet and Challenger brand aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, of which Flexjet is a division.

Reid, who brings to the table years of leadership experience with such companies as Virgin America and Delta Airlines, is not typically one to boast. However, during lunch he was quick to mention that Flexjet recently received its 12th consecutive Diamond Award of Excellence for outstanding maintenance training from the FAA, an honor that speaks volumes about the quality and safety of the company’s aircraft and the ongoing reliability of its services. (www.flexjet.com)

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