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General Electric (GE) will close its corporate flight department as it tries to cut $2 billion in costs.
In a statement sent to Corporate Jet Investor, the company says that it is “…executing on a plan to take out $2 billion in cost by the end of 2018. As part of that effort, starting today, we are reducing the Corporate Air Transport (CAT) services and will use charter companies as needed”.
The move follows the appointment of John Flannery as CEO earlier this year.
According to data supplied by business aviation market intelligence company JETNET, the GE corporate fleet includes three Bombardier Challenger 605s, two Bombardier Global XRS and a HondaJet. GE also owns percentage shares in several NetJets aircraft, including a pair of Gulfstream G450s and a Citation XLS.
GE said that it will sell off its owned aircraft, apart from the HondaJet.
GE formed a partnership with Honda in 2004 to design and manufacture the HF120 engines that power the HondaJet. GE ordered two aircraft for its own use, with the first aircraft delivered in March 2017 and the second due to be delivered in 2018.
Eight days before the announcement that the corporate flight department would close, HondaJet uploaded a video to its YouTube account in which GE executives talked about the productivity gains they were seeing following delivery of their first aircraft.