Jetfly's newly-launched U.K. division aims to accelerate its fractional ownership growth by targeting niche sectors and promoting environmental appeal. "NetJets Europe is in the broad centre of the market," says Alexis Grabar, md of Avolus and representative of JetFly in the U.K. "We are servicing the corporations and the high net worth individuals that focus on
large business jets and those travellers that require the smaller air taxi versions."
Fractional ownership is being developed alongside established brokerage business. A European fleet of 27 aircraft is planned by 2009 consisting of ten TBMs, 13 PC-12s and four Piaggio Avantis. JetFly now owns 11 aircraft - five TBMs and six PC-12s. "By the end of the year this will be 13 - six TBMs and seven PC-12s," says Grabar. "Next year the fleet will be 20 with the addition of two TBMs, three PC-12s and two Piaggio Avantis."
He explains: "Our business target is to develop numbers in the U.K. from seven clients to 15 by the end of the year, to 20 next year, raising the fractional ownership percentage of JetFly's business from around 10 per cent to around 20 to per cent. In the same period JetFly's total clients in Europe will rise from 80 to 100."
Avolus was launched just two years ago and billed as a fully integrated luxury transport provider brokering and organising bespoke "door-to-door" combinations of private jet, helicopter, yacht and limousine travel. It now also repre-sents Luxembourg-based JetFly, founded in 1999 by Jacques Lemaigre du Breuil. Says Grabar: "The turboprops use less fuel than the usual midweight jets and are more energy efficient and eco friendly. Their dimensions allow for access to short runways that other jets may not be authorised to use. This flexibility means that, while commercial flights can reach only 250 airports in Europe, turboprops have access to 2,200. They have the cabin space of a midsize jet, yet cost around 50 per cent less. TBMs and PC-12s are very popular aircraft but single engined so they cannot be chartered publicly by the hour and fractional ownership is the practical route."
Avolus, he says, will broker "best price" one-off charters as well as bespoke high-end and low-end services. "BBJs service a special market catering to corporations and high net worth individuals. There is a leisure demand, where, for instance, 16 to 19 members of a family might head to destinations such as remote islands six to eight hours charter away. There is some demand from Russia and the Middle East but many clients are from the U.K. and continental Europe," says Grabar. "One of the biggest clients is a property developer who likes the advantages of the A319."
He concedes that VLJ fleets could become competitors at entry-level. "But my business evaluation is that JetFly has been operating for seven years and has its core of 25 pilots and 65 co-owners who are well pleased with the service. The VLJs still have to prove themselves to co-owners and clients."
Grabar, who started in aviation at the age of 22 and has worked for Eurocopter, Airbus Industrie, EADS group and Marquis Jet/NetJets Europe, predicts: "The VLJ operations will take time to establish themselves."