Northern Jet Management and SpeedBird confirm merger


Operators Northern Jet Management and SpeedBird have confirmed a merger deal.

The deal will close in the second quarter of the year, bringing the combined company’s revenue to more than $110m. The new company will have a fleet of 37 aircraft and 209 employees, including 98 pilots.

The combined company now has 20,000sq ft of hangar space in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 24,500sq ft in Naples, Florida and 32,500sq ft in Orlando, with additional offices in Milwaukee and Chicago. 

Chris Bull, CEO and founder of SpeedBird is the new CEO of the merged companies, while Chuck Cox, CEO, Northern Jet Management has become chairman and a shareholder.

“We are now positioned to become one of the top 20 private jet operators in the US,” said new CEO Bull. “Northern Jet has been a leader in private air travel for business and leisure for more than 30 years, and our collective commitment to superior client service and safety are well-matched. Their extraordinary team, aircraft fleet and facilities are significant milestones forward for us and will continue to elevate our clients’ experience.” 

New chairman Cox said: “It was important for us to find a company that shared the same values and commitment to putting our clients first and providing sophisticated and safe service to airports throughout the country and abroad.

“We found out cultural match in SpeedBird and we are now collectively positioned to serve our mutual clients with even more opportunities for business and leisure travel.”

SpeedBird began as a Florida-based start-up and in June last year the firm was looking to add 30 more captains and 20 first officers in response to growing demand. Its fleet includes: Cessna Citation X, CJ2 and CJ3, Beechjet 400A and King Air 350 models, as well as a Eurocopter EC130.

Michigan-based Northern Jet Management has a fleet of more than 20 aircraft of mid-size and super mid-size jets including Learjet, Gulfstream G150, Challenger 300 and Cessna Citation Sovereign.

The merger was facilitated by global investment bank William Blair.