Flexjet is an American provider of fractional ownership aircraft, leasing, and jet card services. Founded in 1995 as a division of Bombardier Aerospace, it is currently owned by Directional Aviation, an aviation private investment firm.
|Founded||15 May 1995|
|Destinations||Point to point|
|Parent company||Directional Aviation|
|Headquarters||Richmond Heights, Ohio|
|Key people||Kenn Ricci, Chairman|
Michael Silvestro, Chief Executive Officer
Flexjet is a provider of fractional jet ownership, leasing and jet card services. Directional Aviation, the private investment firm founded by aviation entrepreneur Kenn Ricci, has owned Flexjet since 2013. Headquartered in Richmond Heights, Ohio, Flexjet is led by Ricci, its chairman, and by Michael J. Silvestro, its chief executive officer. Flexjet is one of the largest fractional private jet companies. The company employs more than 600 pilots serving 2,100 clients.
Founded in 1995, Flexjet entered the fractional jet ownership market as a division of Bombardier Aerospace, the world's largest business aviation manufacturer and itself a division of Bombardier Inc.
At one time, Flexjet offered not only fractional ownership and jet card but also aircraft charter services. Flexjet entered the charter market in 2000 when Bombardier Aerospace acquired Skyjet, which pioneered the online booking of private jet charters. Under Bombardier, Skyjet became one of the first companies to offer a membership program; eventually, the program became the Skyjet Card.
By 2002, Flexjet had seen 20 percent annual growth since its founding. It employed more than 1,000 people, half of them flight crew members, and operated a fleet of 105 aircraft to serve 640 owners. At the time, Flexjet held an approximately one-sixth of the total fractional market, which then amounted to 650 aircraft and 3,500 owners.
Flexjet saw its first substantial profit in 2006, with sales of fractional shares up 28 percent and revenue up 30 percent compared to 2005. It maintained the approximate 16 percent share of the fractional market it had enjoyed four years earlier. During this period, the company began expanding its range of aircraft, including the Learjet 40 and 45, 60, 60 XR, Challenger 300, Challenger 604 and Challenger 605.
In 2008, VistaJet acquired the firm's non-U.S. operations, then branded as Skyjet International, and absorbed its operations. Subsequently, Flexjet consolidated the remaining domestic charter services under its own brand.
The financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession had a substantial impact on the private jet industry, forcing cutbacks and retrenchment at many carriers. Flexjet weathered the downturn and, by the spring of 2013, was again reporting robust sales, with fractional share sales increasing 108 percent year over year in the first quarter. Flexjet began bringing back pilots who had been furloughed during the downturn.
In September 2013, private aviation investment firm Directional Aviation announced that it would acquire Flexjet from Bombardier for $185 million in cash. At the same time, Flexjet placed orders with Bombardier for 85 jets valued at about $1.8 billion, with options for up to an additional 160 jets that could bring the contract's value to $5.2 billion.
In 2014, Flexjet exited the charter market. As part of the first consolidation of its aviation companies, Directional Aviation moved the charter brokerage operations of its Flexjet and Sentient Jet companies to the Skyjet brand. Skyjet would concentrate solely on charter services, with Flexjet continuing to offer fractional programs and Sentient Jet offering jet card programs.
Currently, Flexjet offers three programs: Fractional ownership, lease, and the Flexjet 25 Jet Card.
In 2015, Flexjet also launched Red Label, an offering under which each aircraft has a dedicated flight crew, customized interiors, and seating configurations and the industry's youngest fleet. Each of the aircraft under Red Label is less than five years old.
Other developments included the 2016 opening of the company's first exclusive private jet terminal, in Naples, Florida, followed by the opening of similar facilities at West Palm Beach, Florida and Westchester County Airport, New York. A facility at Love Field in Dallas, Texas is expected to open during 2019.
Flexjet also announced the launch of intra-European service in 2016, establishing the infrastructure for its offering initially through the acquisition of United Kingdom-based charter and management company Flairjet, enabling operations within Europe. In 2018, a European affiliate of Directional Aviation's OneSky acquired a controlling interest in Milan, Italy-based Sirio S.P.A., a private jet operator and aircraft management firm. More recently, OneSky acquired United Kingdom-headquartered PrivateFly, a digital booking service for private jet charter flights.
|Aircraft||ICAO code||In Service||Orders||Passengers||Ref|
|Bombardier Challenger 300||CL30||34||—||9|||
|Bombardier Challenger 350||CL35||17||—||9|||
|Bombardier Challenger 650||CL60||13||—||19|||
|Embraer Legacy 450||E545||17||—||9|||
|Embraer Legacy 500||E550||4||—||12|||
|Embraer Phenom 300||E55P||1||—||6|||
|Bombardier Global 6000||GLEX||4||—||13|||
North American Launch Customer
In October 2019[update], Flexjet announced an order for 64 aircraft from Embraer Executive Jets, including the Praetor 500, Praetor 600, and Phenom 300. Additionally, it will be the North American launch customer for the Gulfstream G700.
- "2017 FLEXJET MEDIA KIT" (PDF). flexjet.com. FlexJet. 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
- Ostrower, Jon; Johnson, Karen (5 September 2013). "Bombardier Bails Out of Its Flexjet Business". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. OCLC 781541372. Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
Bombardier Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to sell its Flexjet fractional-jet operation, reflecting the post-recession dynamics of business aviation, and landed an order from the buyer for new jets worth up to $5.2 billion.
- Huber, Mark (18 June 2016). "Flexjet Takes On NetJets". Barron's. ISSN 1077-8039. Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
Flexjet's fleet services 2,100 customers; you may own a quarter share, but your airplane is used by 12.8 other customers.
- "Qatar Airways And Flexjet Announce Alliance" (Press release). Qatar Airways. 14 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
The new agreement, effective today, May 14, enables customers travelling on Qatar Airways' scheduled flights to and from New York, Washington, Houston and Montreal, to book a private premium jet service in a single transaction to cover over 5,000 airports across the region.
- "About Us - Flexjet's Past, Present, and Future". flexjet.com. FlexJet. 12 March 2015. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- "Here Are the Three Major Companies Selling Multiple Shares in Business Jets". The Indianapolis Star. Associated Press. 22 February 1998. p. 202.
- "Bombardier Skyjet Celebrates 10 Years at the Forefront of a New Generation of Business Jet Travel Solutions" (Press release). Dallas, Texas: Bombardier Skyjet. 24 September 2007. Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2019 – via Marketwired.
Bombardier Skyjet, the pioneer service for online booking of privately chartered business jets and provider of the Skyjet Card, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and continued leadership in providing a range of solutions for business jet travel that did not exist a decade ago.
- Weisberger, Harry (13 November 2006). "After a decade, Flexjet is firmly in the black". ainonline.com. Aviation International News. Archived from the original on 13 January 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
This will be Flexjet’s first year of "complete profitability" under a new accounting standard that allows reporting of only part of a sale in a given year.
- Trautvetter, Chad (24 June 2014). "Directional Consolidates Charter Brokering Under Skyjet". ainonline.com. Aviation International News. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Bombardier Flexjet bought Skyjet in 2000, three years after the charter broker was started, but sold Skyjet International to VistaJet in 2008 and subsequently shelved the U.S. division of Skyjet. Since then, VistaJet absorbed Skyjet International into its operations and no longer uses the name.
- Lynch, Kerry (27 June 2014). "Directional Revives Skyjet Charter Brokerage". aviationweek.com. Aviation Week Network. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Directional Aviation has "revived" the Bombardier Flexjet's former Skyjet brand, creating a new unit that consolidates the charter brokerage activities of its Flexjet, Flight Options and Sentient Jet companies.
- Trautvetter, Chad (23 May 2013). "Flexjet Sees Uptick in New Business Growth". ainonline.com. Aviation International News. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet reported an 83-percent rise in new business growth in the first quarter versus a year ago. During this period, its fractional sales reportedly climbed by 108 percent, while new jet card sales rose by 48 percent.
- Whyte, Alasdair (15 August 2013). "Flexjet seeks pilots to cope with increasing demand". corporatejetinvestor.com. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Flexjet announced it is looking to hire pilots to cope with growing demand for fractional ownership and card programmes.
- Bergqvist, Pia (6 September 2013). "Flexjet Changes Ownership, Places Record Breaking Order". flyingmag.com. Flying. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
A group named Directional Aviation Capital has purchased Flexjet, the fractional ownership business formerly operated as a division of Bombardier.
- Lynch, Kerry (27 June 2014). "Directional Revives Skyjet Charter Brokerage". aviationweek.com. Aviation Week Network. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
Skyjet was formed in 2007 and acquired by Bombardier in 2000. VistaJet acquired the Skyjet International segment in 2008 and by 2010 Flexjet had focused its charter services under its own brand.
- Velocci, Tony (18 September 2015). "Red Label Raises the Ante". Business Avaition. Forbes. Forbes. ISSN 0015-6914. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
Flexjet this week launched a new service offering named "Red Label," which the fractional-ownership provider believes will allow it to deliver a private aviation experience more akin to owning your own aircraft in its entirety.
- Layden, Laura (25 February 2016). "Flexjet opens private terminal in Naples". Naples Daily News. Gannett. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
Flexjet owners are flying high in and out of the Naples Municipal Airport. They're the first ones to experience a Flexjet-exclusive private terminal. It's the first of several planned at airports where Flexjet sees the greatest demand for flights.
- Lyon, John (3 May 2018). "Flexjet to Pamper Private Fliers at Its New Terminal in Dallas". robbreport.com. Robb Report. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
The fractional jet ownership company Flexjet has announced plans to open a new private terminal in the Braniff Centre at Dallas Love Field. In addition to a terminal exclusively for Flexjet customers, the facility will feature covered parking, 32,000 feet of office space for Flexjet staff, and 60,000 square feet of hangar space for Flexjet’s maintenance operations, which are presently located in Addison, Texas.
- Trautvetter, Chad (3 August 2016). "Flexjet Buys UK-based FlairJet in Euro Expansion Bid". ainonline.com. Aviation International News. Archived from the original on 4 August 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Flexjet Ltd., the UK subsidiary of U.S. based Flexjet, today announced the acquisition of aircraft charter management firm FlairJet from Marshall Aerospace to expand the fractional provider's footprint into Europe, using a fleet of eight Nextant 400XTis, as well as Flairjet's existing fleet of seven managed jets.
- Trautvetter, Chad (28 November 2018). "Flexjet Europe Gears Up for More Growth". ainonline.com. Aviation International News. Archived from the original on 30 November 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Earlier this year, the company’s European affiliate acquired a controlling interest in aircraft charter and management firm Sirio at Milan Linate Airport, augmenting its AOC at UK-based Flairjet.
- Lyon, John (23 November 2018). "PrivateFly's New Escape Lets You Indulge in the Glamor (and Scandal) of the Golden Age of Hollywood". robbreport.com. Robb Report. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Web-based air charter company PrivateFly, which was acquired by aerospace private investment firm Directional Aviation earlier this year...
- "Flexjet (LXJ) Fleet, Routes & Reviews — Flightradar24". flightradar24.com. Flightradar24. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- Gollan, Doug (21 October 2019). "Flexjet, Qatar Executive will be launch customers for the Gulfstream G700". privatejetcardcomparisons.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
As the National Business Aviation Association’s annual convention kicks off here, Flexjet followed up its morning announcement it is buying $1.4 billion in private jets from Embraer by placing an order to be the North American launch customer for the Gulfstream G700.
- Gollan, Doug (21 October 2019). "Flexjet orders $1.4 billion private jets from Embraer Executive Jets". privatejetcardcomparisons.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
Flexjet’s order includes 64 Praetor 500s and 600s, plus the best-selling Phenom 300