Since 1967, when the late Carl Hirschmann purchased some aircraft hangars in Basel, Switzerland, and named the outfit Jet Aviation, his company has bloomed into the world’s largest aircraft management and charter firm, with a particular expertise in international flight. Today, the company has a reputation for meeting the requirements of demanding clients, whether they need to fly to Hong Kong on short notice or want their jet stocked with a certain vintage of Bordeaux.
With a vertical organization that includes aircraft management, fixed-base and maintenance operations, aircraft sales and brokering, and engineering and completion capabilities, Jet Aviation provides a complete array of flight services to customers just about everywhere on the planet. More than 3,700 Jet Aviation employees work at 60 stations and facilities, guiding over 170 managed or owned planes. In 2005, the company booked close to 60,000 flight hours around the globe.
Growth has not compromised the company’s commitment to detail. Robert Seidel, senior vice president and general manager of charter jet aviation, observes, “Even though we’re now quite large, we perceive ourselves as a boutique, and our customers do, too. We’ll never compete with Internet brokers and have no desire to.” The company’s prices are on the high end, he notes, but this pays for quality aircraft, scrupulous service, and rapid response.
Jet Aviation charters 23 plane types, ranging from the seven-passenger Beechjet 400 (beginning at $2,250 per hour) to the ultralong-range, 14-passenger Bombardier Global Express (beginning at $8,800). The firm’s partner New World Jet Corp. provides the formal charter services in the United States. Jet Aviation maintains its own fixed-base operations in Bedford, Mass.; Teterboro, N.J.; and Palm Beach, Fla.