Directional Aviation Capital has agreed to buy Bombardier-owned Flexjet, an 18-year-old fractional jet ownership company, which it plans to transform into “a bespoke brand” trading as Flexjet, LLC.
As part of the acquisition, Flexjet will place the largest new-aircraft order in the company’s history for up to 245 Bombardier business jets thought to worth around $5.2 billion, which it expects to close before the end of 2013.
The aircraft order includes a firm order for 85 business jets and 160 options and will feature the next-generation Challenger 350, Challenger 605 and Learjet 75 jets, as well as the Learjet 85, which is due to enter service in the next few months.
Kenn Ricci, head of Directional Aviation Capital, said: “Our vision for Flexjet is of a luxury brand with a young fleet, the latest technology, hand-crafted interiors and an unmatched owner experience. That vision inspired this transaction and this historic order with Bombardier whose product line is uniquely suited to the needs of Flexjet’s current and future customers.”
Ricci is also CEO of Nextant Aerospace, the manufacturer of the world’s first “re-manufactured” business jet, but he claims that Flexjet “will remain a leading Bombardier customer and manager of the world’s largest collection of the manufacturer’s business aircraft.”
Deanna White, president of Flexjet, will continue to lead the company in spite of the acquisition, and said: “This opportunity marks the evolution of the next generation of Flexjet, placing us in a position to work with an exceptional group led by Directional Aviation Capital, an investment firm focused on our core business, with the resources needed to ensure a strong future powered by the latest technology.”
Ricci added: “Flexjet is an extremely well-run, profitable business known for its exceptional focus on owner experience and operational excellence and is a perfect complement to our current portfolio.”
Flexjet is not the first fractional jet ownership company to be owned by Directional, as it joins a portfolio of companies that already includes Flight Options, Sentient Jet cards and Sentient Jet Charter.
Directional also holds investments in other aviation-related including Constant Aviation, Everest Fuel Management, Sojourn Aviation, Spinnaker Air and API.