New Fleets Afoot
In the first half of 2012, the number of clients who had left other companies’ programs to join Flight Options’ fractional-ownership, jet-membership, and jet card programs was up almost 50 percent compared to last year. CEO Mike Silvestro attributes much of this success to his company’s rapidly expanding fleet, which comprises 100 aircraft, including the recently delivered Embraer Phenom 300 and Nextant 400XT, both highly fuel-efficient light jets. (Nextant Aerospace, which is owned by the same private investment firm as Flight Options, replaces the engines, avionics, and interiors of the Beechjet 400A and Hawker 400XP to create the Nextant 400XT.) "This category of airplane is very popular," says Silvestro. "We now have two jet models that do 2,000 nautical miles [2,300 land miles] with four people and operate for about 35 percent less than a typical aircraft in the midsize category."
Flight Options ordered 100 Phenom 300 jets in 2007 and has received 18 to date. The company’s Jet Membership Club participants have access to the Phenom 300s, and Flight Options plans to offer a similar program for the Nextant 400XT. Customers join the program by paying a one-time up-front fee that guarantees a base hourly rate during the three-year membership period and gives members use of the aircraft in 75- or 150-hour blocks. 877.703.2348, www.flightoptions.com