New Pilots

Flexjet Supersonic AS2 Integration Plans

2015 12 16

Like its Gulfstream G650s that will enter service next year, Flexjet’s supersonic Aerion AS2s—slated for delivery starting in 2023—will be part of the fractional provider’s Global Access program, Flexjet chairman and parent company Directional Aviation Capital principal Kenn Ricci recently stated. This means that Flexjet will not be selling shares in either of these long-range aircraft.

Instead, existing Flexjet share owners would pay an additional monthly fee to get access to the G650 and AS2, in addition to hourly occupied charges. The company said these hourly charges will be “dynamic,” with members paying lower rates for the hours spent in long-range cruise.

According to Ricci, the AS2 will be relegated to flying international city pairs—likely coastal cities that would allow nearly the entire flight to be flown overwater at the aircraft’s top speed of Mach 1.5. Another reason is the jet will be 170 feet long, requiring specially built hangars, and also need longer runways than traditional business aircraft. Customers using the AS2 would then need to transfer to a subsonic Flexjet aircraft to complete the rest of their trip, essentially a hub-and-spoke system.

Thus, the company will need to have aircraft based outside of its core U.S. market. On this front, Ricci said Flexjet plans to expand into the European market next year, with operations bases likely added in other world regions in the following years.