New Fleets Afoot

  • Bailey S. Barnard

NETJETS

With the financial backing of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NetJets remains the industry’s largest fractional-share provider—and its fleet continues to grow. In June, the company announced that it had ordered 425 new aircraft from jet makers Cessna and Bombardier. The value of the transaction totals $9.6 billion, making it the largest aircraft order in private-aviation history.

The massive transaction includes 125 firm orders: 75 Bombardier Challenger 300 super-midsize jets, 25 Challenger 605 large-cabin jets, and 25 of Cessna’s forthcoming Citation Latitude midsize jets. NetJets holds options to purchase a total of 300 more aircraft from both manufacturers. These planes, along with the 125 NetJets-branded Embraer Phenom 300 and 120 ultralong-range Bombardier Global jets that it ordered in 2010 and 2011, respectively, will form NetJets’ Signature Series of aircraft, which are scheduled to begin entering the company’s fractional fleet this year. NetJets’ current worldwide fleet comprises more than 700 planes across 13 aircraft models.

Through the Supplemental Lift Assurance program it announced in August, the company is also now making its fleet available to flight departments and whole-aircraft owners. This program grants those companies and individuals access to the NetJets fleet, should they require use of an aircraft on short notice because of unscheduled maintenance or other short-term issues affecting their own jet. In March, the company formed NetJets China Business Aviation Limited, a joint venture with a number of Chinese investors, to capitalize on the growing demand for private aviation in Asia. 877.356.5823, www.netjets.com

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