What It Is: A division of privately held Directional Aviation Capital, Flexjet provides fractional aircraft shares and leases, as well as jet cards.

How It Grew: In 1995, Canadian business jet manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace established Flexjet, a fractional-ownership program. By 1998, it had some 200 shareowners of more than 40 Learjets and Challengers. By the middle of this century’s first decade, the company had grown to include more than 600 shareowners and a fleet of more than 100 aircraft that featured the Learjet 40 and 60/60XR and Challenger 300 and 604/605. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Flexjet furloughed pilots, but by early in this decade, it was again reporting strong growth and was rehiring crew members.

In 2013, Cleveland-based Directional Aviation Capital, owner of jet card company Sentient Jet and fractional-share provider Flight Options, bought Flexjet for $185 million. At the same time, Directional placed orders and options for 245 Bombardier jets with a retail value of $5.2 billion. Several years later, it began to phase out Flight Options.

In 2014, Flexjet added its first non-Bombardier aircraft, the Embraer Phenom 300, and ordered up to 50 Gulfstream G450s, G650s and in-development G500s. In 2015, Flexjet launched its Red Label premium fractional fleet featuring the upgraded LXi cabin and dedicated crews, and ordered 20 of Aerion’s in-development S2 supersonic business jets. In 2016, it acquired U.K.-based charter operator and management firm Flairjet and introduced intra-European service; added the Embraer Legacy 450 to its fleet; and opened its first branded terminal, in Naples, Florida. The company has subsequently debuted facilities in West Palm Beach, Florida, and at New York’s Westchester County Airport (2017). A Dallas terminal is expected to open this year.

What It Offers:

Fractional ownership. Thirty- to 60-month shares in light jets (Phenom 300, Learjet 75LXi), midsize/super-midsize jets (Challenger 300/350, Embraer Legacy 450), large jets (Gulfstream G450), and ultra-long-range jets (Bombardier Global Express, Gulfstream G500 and G650). Versatility Plus program allows customizable hourly usage plans. 

Flexjet Lease. Sold in blocks starting at 50 hours. Like ownership, provides interchange access to the entire fractional fleet.

Flexjet 25 jet card. Sold in 25-hour increments for the Phenom 300 and Challenger 300.

BJT Management Series: Directional Aviation Capital's Kenn Ricci

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Recent news: In May, Flexjet introduced a days-based fractional-ownership program for the G650. In July, it announced a fleetwide flight operation quality analysis (FOQA) program in partnership with GE Aviation.


Founded: 1995

HQ: Richmond Heights, Ohio

Revenues: Undisclosed

Employees: 1,200

Chairman: Kenn Ricci

CEO: Michael Silvestro

Website: flexjet.com