Flexjet’s European arm has officially launched its fractional ownership program there. This week it is taking delivery of its first Praetor 600 super-midsize private jet. It is part of a US $1.4 billion order for Embraer Executive Jets that was announced in October 2019.
“Flexjet has taken the time to lay the groundwork to properly serve those entering the shared aircraft ownership market in Europe,” said Marine Eugène, managing director. “Now that we have the infrastructure in place, we are growing our fleet with the addition of our new Praetor 600 aircraft.”
She added, “The Praetor 600 will form part of our Red label by Flexjet offering, bringing to European-based travelers a unique combination of innovative technology, luxury, and premium service. Our objective is to give owners the ability to travel not just in North America but throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East without leaving the safety and security of the Flexjet family.”
Additionally, Flexjet opened a European Tactical Control Centre in the U.K. to coordinate flight logistics and an aircraft maintenance facility in Milan. In London, Flexjet House offers customers and prospects an experience center and private lounge.
In Europe, Flexjet is offering two options. Shared Ownership begins at 50 flight hours annually, and Access, which is a lease program beginning at 25 hours. Both have terms of 30 to 60 months and a standard lead-time for flight reservations for 24 hours.
|Shared Ownership||Access (Leasing)||Shared Ownership|
|Private Jet Types||Legacy 500, |
|Annual Commitment||50 + hours||25 + hours||75 days|
|Purchase Increments||50 hours||25 hours||75 days|
|Minimum Term||30 months||30 months||30 months|
|Maximum Term||60 months||60 months||60 months|
|Lead-time for Reservation||24 hours||24 hours||24 to 48 hours|
The Praetor 600 will be part of the Red Label fleet. The private jets feature flight crews assigned to a single, specific aircraft, custom cabin interiors, and the industry’s youngest fleet.
Flexjet’s European arm has implemented a standard sustainability offering that goes beyond carbon-neutral to meet its sustainability targets. All owners’ flights will be fully emissions-neutral, compensating for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other non-carbon dioxide warming pollutants in aviation, such as water vapor and aerosol sulfate, and nitrous oxides. On top of that, there is an additional 300% offset.
As the fleet launch customer for the Praetor 600, Flexjet will add it to its existing European-based fleet of Legacy 500s and 600s. It also offers a share program on its Gulfstream G650 for customers based in the London area.
Announced by Embraer in 2018, the super-midsize Praetor 600 seats nine passengers plus a cabin server. Its short-field performance enables it to fly into London City Airport (EGLC). Simultaneously, its range of more than 4,000 miles means it can fly nonstop from Paris to New York or London to Dubai.
The Praetor 600 is equipped with high-speed satellite Wi-Fi connectivity. There’s also a touchscreen Upper Tech Panel that puts flight information and cabin controls at the passenger’s fingertips. Its full fly-by-wire technology in the cockpit powers the Active Turbulence Reduction making for a smoother flight. Enlarged winglets, roughly six feet high, contribute to the aircraft’s fuel efficiency.
The aircraft air quality management system has the ability to move 100%fresh air through the cabin. An additional HEPA filter further improves air quality by filtering out 99.97 percent of all particles, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The Praetor 600 has a cabin altitude of 5,800 feet when the aircraft is cruising at 45,000 feet. This pressure level, combined with higher humidity levels, means travelers will feel less fatigued and more active during the flight and better refreshed on arrival.
Embraer Executive Jets CEO Michael Amalfitano added, “Flexjet is the fleet launch customer for the Praetor aircraft, continuing a two-decade-long partnership with Embraer. We are pleased that Flexjet is introducing the world’s most technologically advanced super-midsized aircraft, the Praetor 600, to the European shared ownership market and has the capabilities to thoroughly disrupt the business aviation market. We are confident that Flexjet passengers here in Europe will enjoy the ultimate experience in business and private aviation.”
Flexjet decontaminated its cabins with anti-microbial treatments (MicroShield 360 in U.S.-based aircraft and Bacoban on EU-based aircraft). Each Flexjet cabin also is equipped with MedAire’s Universal Precaution Kit. It contains tools to help protect both passengers and crew from possible exposure. Every Flexjet pilot or crewmember wears masks and receives a mandatory temperature check pre-tour and a second while on duty. Also, each crewmember remains in compliance with WHO-recommended guidelines for social distancing both on the ground and in the air.
“With private jet service recovering much faster than commercial aviation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that travelers want to minimize their risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and private jets are a lower-risk way to fly in the COVID-19 era. That makes this the perfect time to bring both the versatile Praetor 600 and the Red Label experience to the European market,” said Flexjet CEO Michael Silvestro.
The move brings it head-to-head in Europe with U.S. home-state Ohio rival NetJets. However, Flexjet asserts there is plenty of opportunity for both.
In a press release, Flexjet says, “Currently, only 110 shared-ownership aircraft are providing more than 800,000 flight hours per year in Europe. In contrast, there are nearly 700 private aircraft supporting 1.2 million flight hours annually in the US. Flexjet intends to meet the needs of a European market, underserved by existing flight providers, offering the personalized levels of service, consistency, and attention to detail for which Flexjet is known.”
Flexjet and NetJets regularly battle in the media. Recently NetJets has been complaining about how CARES Act recipients are spending the money. Flexjet took the money. NetJets didn’t. Last year, Flexjet tweaked its bigger rival over “happy” pilots in an ad campaign titled “Shift Happens.”
With Flexjet focusing on super-midsize and large-cabin jets in Europe, expect a three-way fight to include VistaJet, which sells non-ownership programs targeting the same consumer market.
Customers might expect a fair amount of snark between the three. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, VistaJet Founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr wrote in a letter to customers and prospects, “Unlike some of our competitors, I am proud to say that VistaJet has not made any redundancies during this pandemic.” There was a link to an article about NetJets’ cutbacks, although it has since changed course.