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Flight Options Reports Strong First Quarter Growth and Operating Metrics

Dépèche transmise le 12 avril 2011 par Business Wire

Flight Options Reports Strong First Quarter Growth and Operating Metrics

Flight Options Reports Strong First Quarter Growth and Operating Metrics

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Flight Options, LLC, the second-largest company in the private jet travel industry, today announced strong year-over-year growth in sales and operations during the first quarter of 2011, reflecting broad-based demand from across its client base for the company’s fractional ownership, membership and jet card programs.

“The improvements helped us achieve our second consecutive year of profitability on an operating basis last year, making Flight Options one of the very few private aviation companies to achieve that status in both 2009 and 2010.”

“We are pleased with the steady progress we have seen in bookings, fractional jet and jet card sales, and other key measures of our business during the past two years, and that momentum is carrying over into 2011,” said Michael J. Silvestro, Flight Options Chief Executive Officer. “With an improving economy and a value proposition that allows us to offer more aircraft at less cost than our competitors, we are selling more fractional shares and jet card hours, and have more planes in the air, than at any time since 2008.”

First Quarter Growth

Flight Options announced a 467 percent increase in fractional jet sales and a 46 percent increase in JetPASS Card Sales during the first quarter of 2011, compared to the year-ago quarter. Fractional utilization, which measures how actively the company’s owner/members are utilizing their shares, was up eight percent compared to the 2010 first quarter, while JetPASS flight revenue hours rose 35 percent.

“Our investments over the past two years in fleet enhancements, customer service, sales and operations are helping drive demand across our entire customer base, from fractional owners to jet card users,” added Kenneth Ricci, Chairman of Flight Options. “The improvements helped us achieve our second consecutive year of profitability on an operating basis last year, making Flight Options one of the very few private aviation companies to achieve that status in both 2009 and 2010.”

Flight Options operates a fleet of more than 100 jets for over 1,300 Owners and Members. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company also operates five of its own full-service maintenance centers nationwide to ensure the highest levels of maintenance, service and safety. Flight Options offers its clients a range of programs designed to help them become more productive in their business and personal lives, including fractional ownership, membership and JetPASS Select 25-hour card access which, at a cost of up to 31 percent less than its competitors, combines the low hourly rates of charter with the safety and consistency of private jet ownership.

Expanded Operating Capacity

Flight Options also announced today a second recall of furloughed pilots to help meet growing demand. Flight Options plans to recall up to 24 furloughed pilots in phases, with eight pilots initially re-entering active service in April. They will join a team of 311 pilots, including eight previously furloughed pilots that were recalled in March. The company also announced plans to re-open its Sacramento, California Maintenance Service Center to expand its operating capacity on the West Coast.

Silvestro added, “We are expanding capacity to meet the higher customer utilization rates and increased fractional ownership and jet card sales. Flight Options is fortunate to have highly experienced and well-trained pilots available to step in and help us meet this demand. The additional pilots, as well as the expanded maintenance capacity in Sacramento, will help us meet growing demand for service on the West Coast, expand our strategic presence in this important region and improve our operating flexibility.”

Flight Options’ Sacramento, California Maintenance Service Center, which was closed in 2008, will initially operate as a satellite facility of the Las Vegas Service Center. The Center will employ technicians previously stationed at the Sacramento Center and serve primarily as a “heavy check” facility to support West Coast traffic, ensuring that Flight Options meets its goal of performing all scheduled aircraft maintenance internally. The company operates additional full-service maintenance centers in Teterboro, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; and West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Private jet travel is a leading indicator of business optimism and travel preferences for the wealthy. As the economy improves and our customers increasingly choose private jet travel, the added capacity, pilot recalls and service enhancements we are making today will put Flight Options in a strong position to sustain its operating momentum in 2011,” concluded Ricci.

About Flight Options

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Flight Options, LLC is the second-largest private aviation company in the United States, providing more than 1,300 owners and clients with a full suite of fractional ownership, membership and 25-hour card programs. The company operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft including the Embraer Phenom 300, Hawker 400XP, Hawker 800XP, Embraer Legacy 600 and the Citation X, flying clients to most of North America, the Caribbean or Europe with as little as eight hours notice. With five maintenance centers in Las Vegas, Teterboro, West Palm Beach, Sacramento and Cleveland, Flight Options is the first fractional jet operator to receive an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating and is the only provider to have received the rating five consecutive times. More information is available at www.flightoptions.com or by calling 877.703.2348.

Business Wire

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