““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Notable Fractional Providers
EXECUTIVE AIR SHARE, execairshare.com, 866-946-4900. Day-based fractional program operating Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 light jets and Beechcraft King Air B350 twin turboprops in the Central U.S. and Great Lakes/Mid-Atlantic regions. A 1/8 share provides 40 days of aircraft usage per year.
FLEXJET, flexjet.com, 888-275-8204. Bombardier’s fractional program operates Learjet 40XR, 45XR, 60XR, Challenger 300 and Challenger 604 and 605, and, coming in 2014, the Learjet 70/75 and 85. FlexShare program lets owners split shares between two aircraft; Versatility Plus program provides flexible usage of hours. Flexjet also offers jetcards and charter.
FLIGHT OPTIONS, flightoptions.com, 877-703-2348. Offers shares in Nextant 400XT, Cessna Citation X, Embraer Phenom 300 and Legacy 600. An iPhone app lets owners schedule trips and view current trip status and account information.
NETJETS, netjets.com, 877-356-5823. The Berkshire Hathaway-owned behemoth, progenitor of the fractional industry, operating its largest and most diverse fleet: Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 and (in 2014) Challenger 350; Cessna Citation Encore/Encore+, X, XLS/Excel;Hawker 400XP, 800XP/900XP; Dassault Falcon 2000EX/2000; Embraer Phenom 300; Gulfstream G200, G450/GIV-SP, G550/GV.
NICHOLAS AIR, nicholasair.com, 866-935-7771. Offers shares in Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop and Phenom 100 and 300 jets for owners in the Rocky Mountain region and eastern U.S. Shares start at 90 flight hours per year.
PLANESENSE, planesense.com, 866-214-1212. Offers shares in Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops. Primary operating area is the eastern half of the U.S., southern Canada and portions of Mexico, the Bahamas and Caribbean islands.
SIKORSKY SHARES, flyaag.com, 877-715-7676. Program operated by Sikorsky-owned Associated Aircraft Group bills itself as the only helicopter fractional program backed by the aircraft manufacturer. Offers shares in S-76D executive helicopters.