Private Preview 2003: Frax to the Max

<< Back to Robb Report, October 2002
  • Fluto Shinzawa

The planes fly faster. The aircraft choices are greater. Even the plates for meals are improved. The oven aboard the eight-passenger Learjet 45XR is smaller than standard ovens, so Bombardier selected appropriate-size pans and plates to guarantee that passengers enjoy properly heated meals as quickly as possible. “My goal is for our customers to feel disappointed when their flights are over because they were such enjoyable experiences,” says Clifford Dickman, president of Bombardier Flexjet.

Other fractional ownership companies are following suit by upgrading their fleets and services.

A Perfect Fit
Marquis Jet Partners owners will soon have the opportunity to dress as well as they travel, thanks to a partnership between Marquis and Ermenegildo Zegna. All Marquis owners will receive certificates that can be used toward the purchase of a suit at any Zegna boutique. Even better, Marquis owners can call a Zegna store and expect ser-vice—even after hours. “If a Marquis owner can’t get there by closing time, all he has to do is call,” says Ken Austin, Marquis senior vice president. “Someone will stay, open the doors, and let him come in and shop. They can deal directly with the general manager of the store or even the CEO of the company.”

The fractional ownership company also plans to cohost events with Zegna at exotic locations to bring clients together and educate them about both brands. A handful of other luxury companies, including Neiman Marcus, Sotheby’s, the Ritz-Carlton Club, and Harrod’s, are currently cementing partnerships with Marquis.

Marquis Jet Partners recently teamed up with the World of ResidenSea, the ocean liner that doubles as a luxury condominium complex, to offer ResidenSea owners access to the Marquis fleet. “There is only a small percentage of the population that is flying fractional,” Austin says. “They are also purchasing or using luxury products like hotels, jewelry, clothing, and travel, so there’s no reason not to work together.”

Learjet Upgrade
For many Bombardier Flexjet owners, most of whom live in Dallas, Miami, or the Northeast, Aspen is a second-home haven. It’s fitting, therefore, that the company will add to its fleet the Learjet 45XR, an aircraft that is perfectly suited for Aspen’s high-altitude airport because it can take off from a short runway. “It can also go very comfortably from Dallas to the Northeast, Dallas to Los Angeles, or San Francisco to Chicago,” says Dickman, the president of Flexjet.

The 45XR, an eight-passenger aircraft, can carry 1,000 more pounds of cargo and fuel than the Learjet 45, and it has a range that is 22 percent greater than the 45. “The 45XR will do everything the 45 can do, only a little better,” Dickman says.

Faster and Better Options
Last March, Flight Options, which previ-ously offered shares of pre-owned aircraft, acquired Raytheon’s Travel Air, giving the company access to new planes. Next year, Flight Options owners will be able to fly in new Hawker 800XP and Beechjet 400A models.

Mike Silvestro, vice president of sales and marketing for Flight Options, calls the Hawker 800XP one of the most popular midsize business jets ever made. (Some 5,000 800XPs are in service.) The plane seats eight passengers comfortably, and it can fly from coast to coast, cruising at 523 mph.

The Beechjet 400A is slightly smaller than the Hawker 800XP, has a range of 1,746 miles, and flies just a hair faster at 529 mph. Despite its size, the seven-person jet has one of the most spacious cabins in the light jet class.

Bombardier Flexjet, 800.FLEXJET, www.flexjet.com
Flight Options, 216.261.3880 or 877.703.2348, www.flightoptions.com
Marquis Jet Partners, 212.499.3790 or 866.JET.1400, www.marquisjet.com

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