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JetBlue to JetSuite

A strong group of aviation professionals with significant ties to JetBlue formerly announced the creation of JetSuite in a press release yesterday. Led by Alex Wilcox, one of the original founders of JetBlue and later the COO of Kingfisher Airlines, JetSuite plans to operate Phenom 100s in a managed owner aircraft model concept. JetSuite plans to serve the West Coast and start by early next year.

JetSuite has an order for 50 Phenom 100s and options on an additional 50 Embraer aircraft. It will be the largest US operator of the Phenom aircraft. Speaking of large, the Phenom 100 is one of the largest of the new vlj models. The Embraer website has a great cross sectional comparative analysis of the Phenom cabin comparing it to the Eclipse 500, the Mustang, the CJ1, and the (potentially soon to be resurrected) Adam 700.

More details about JetSuite’s plan are available on its website which has been up for some time. Here is some additional information:

The press release states that Wilcox is “joined by several former JetBlue founding colleagues, including Usto Schulz, JetSuite’s Vice President Certification and Safety, who was Vice President, Safety for JetBlue and was with the Federal Aviation Administration for 17 years, and Amy Curtis-McIntyre, former Vice President of Marketing at JetBlue who is consulting on JetSuite’s brand and product. Also, Ken Burnham, former Fleet Captain for the DC-10 at United Airlines, has joined JetSuite as Vice President, Flight Operations.”
The JetSuite concept appears to be an innovative air charter management and owner/operator operation. While the aircraft are not being utilized by the owner, their “care and feeding” and charter flying will be handled exclusively by JetSuite.

The website states: “As a JetSuite owner, you are given a set number of hours to use per year for free. If you need additional hours, you can purchase them at a discount to our retail rates and significantly less than other offerings. . . . In exchange for placing your aircraft in the JetSuite fleet, you receive JetSuite’s premier management service at absolutely no additional cost. While our competitors charge you a monthly maintenance fee, our comprehensive program includes aircraft maintenance, hangaring, pilot training, arranging flight plans and flight crew, and much more at no cost.”

JetSuite’s choice of the aircraft, business plan and charter concept is surely worth watching as there is no doubt with respect to the depth of the aviation experience of its management team.

This is true for all licensed drivers, however, the course that is completed must be approved by the current insurer in order to receive any applicable discount. While the individual must pay a fee to receive the necessary training it is usually minimal enough to not entirely offset the related savings.

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