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Status of Flight Options Including Fleet Plans

johnsonrod

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What's the current situation at Flight Options? Are pilots still being furloughed? How many are on the street?

What about the addition of Phenom 300s? Is that still the plan? Will the Phenoms basically end up replacing the Beechjets on a one-for-one basis? How soon are the Phenoms expected to arrive and how many in 09? Any updates? The Phenom 300 looks like a pretty solid performer (certainly far better than the Beechjet).

I guess the long-term future fleet composition would be Legacies, Citation Xs, Hawker 800XPCs and Phenom 300s - right? Let's hope the economic situation improves for all fractionals so that hiring begins again (I am assuming in 2010).
 

johnsonrod

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What's the current situation at Flight Options? Are pilots still being furloughed? How many are on the street?

What about the addition of Phenom 300s? Is that still the plan? Will the Phenoms basically end up replacing the Beechjets on a one-for-one basis? How soon are the Phenoms expected to arrive and how many in 09? Any updates? The Phenom 300 looks like a pretty solid performer (certainly far better than the Beechjet).

I guess the long-term future fleet composition would be Legacies, Citation Xs, Hawker 800XPCs and Phenom 300s - right? Let's hope the economic situation improves for all fractionals so that hiring begins again (I am assuming in 2010).

I guess all the Flight Options pilots are out flying. Any updates? PMs are welcome too.
 

993_Pilot

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The reason that you aren't getting many responses here is that I don't think anyone can give you an accurate answer. The only ones who have any idea are in upper management, and not posting on FI about future strategy. Right now, all we do know is that the Phenom is part of the go-forward fleet. I think they start arriving towards the end of 2009. How many Beechjet owners will renew their contract in the Phenom and/or how many new owners will it attract is anyone's guess. Logic would suggest that the Hawker will start to be replaced at some point, but nothing has been announced, so I couldn't tell you with what or when. The Citation X is unique with it's speed, so there really isn't a competitor A/C, as of now. The Legacy is hard to beat when you compare cabin size to cost (both aquisition and operating), so it is probably a keeper... but it is no Gulfstream and won't be marketed against them in the future. There have been rumors of adding GIVSP's or GV's, and the training program has been approved, but we'll know it is happening when we either get an announcement or the first one shows up on the ramp at CGF.
 
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johnsonrod

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The reason that you aren't getting many responses here is that I don't think anyone can give you an accurate answer. The only ones who have any idea are in upper management, and not posting on FI about future strategy. Right now, all we do know is that the Phenom is part of the go-forward fleet. I think they start arriving towards the end of 2009. How many Beechjet owners will renew their contract in the Phenom and/or how many new owners will it attract is anyone's guess. Logic would suggest that the Hawker will start to be replaced at some point, but nothing has been announced, so I couldn't tell you with what or when. The Citation X is unique with it's speed, so there really isn't a competitor A/C, as of now. The Legacy is hard to beat when you compare cabin size to cost (both aquisition and operating), so it is probably a keeper... but it is no Gulfstream and won't be marketed against them in the future. There have been rumors of adding GIVSP's or GV's, and the training program has been approved, but we'll know it is happening when we either get an announcement or the first one shows up on the ramp at CGF.

Thanks for your update. I hear what you are saying. Clearly disappointing that management continues to be uncooperative and unwilling to share more information. The concern about maintaining existing customers (contract renewals from Beechjet to the Phenom) is a good point and I am sure ordering the Phenom 300 was an effort to secure those renewals - you need a competitive airplane (strong performer) at a relatively "cheap" price to keep their business. Especially in these lean times.
 

o2bflyn

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There have been rumors of adding GIVSP's or GV's, and the training program has been approved, but we'll know it is happening when we either get an announcement or the first one shows up on the ramp at CGF.

When I left Options in 2001 they were starting a GIV fleet. What ever happened to those? How long did that program lasst the first time? Anyone know?
 

Frac Cap

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Johnsonrod, don't feel snubbed by no responses from Flops pilots. Since management reads this board, they can get a read on what some or most of the pilots feel about what is happening with Flops during the final phase of negotiations. We need to hold our cards very close to the vest at this point in the game. But since I am on the subject, we would like to caution them in not wasting valuable time with purposing what we hear could be a substantially below average pay structure. It would be an embarrassment to all involved when it gets overwhelmingly voted down. Not to mention it would further tarnish our image in the market place where we are poised for a comeback.

I will now go silent again.
 

993_Pilot

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...Clearly disappointing that management continues to be uncooperative and unwilling to share more information...

I don't think it is a matter of not wanting to share, but more a question of not really knowing. I think that they are probably exploring lots of possibilities, and there is also probably a difference of opinion of where H.I.G. wants to do with the company, and what Kenn Ricci wants to do. For now, he probably still has to get permission from the board for any big decisions... but that could change soon.

When I left Options in 2001 they were starting a GIV fleet. What ever happened to those? How long did that program last the first time? Anyone know?

It never went past 2 GIV's. Now Kenn owns one of them outright, and the GIV owners mostly went to Netjets. If a Gulfstream program materializes, hopefully he can lure them back and/or attract some new owners.
 

Globalflyer

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It never went past 2 GIV's. Now Kenn owns one of them outright, and the GIV owners mostly went to Netjets. If a Gulfstream program materializes, hopefully he can lure them back and/or attract some new owners.

Didn't Kenn have a local company as the prime owner on that GIV? I thought he did what he used to do in the CW days and take a minority position in it to keep the client under control? Has that changed?

( I remember when Kenn was spelled with only one "n" and he was flying a Cheyenne. I guess his importance dictated the name change. )
 

twad

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Not very good news

As former flops guy, I cant help but to wonder whether or not flops will make it through their current and past problems. It just seems to get more and more bleak. The fact that all the other frac's were granted federal money and flops was left out in the cold is not a good sign.

I heard this week from a buddy on the inside that big layoffs are in the near future. Old airplanes, poor reliability, low morale, and now a extremely weak economy imho, could finally bring the fractional industry to 3 majors vs. 4.

I sincerely hope for my few remaining buddies that have not left yet, that I am wrong in my assumptions. When I left, I felt like the ship was starting to list. Now I feel like 2/3 are under water and going down fast.
 

NJAowner

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Isn't some senator sponsoring a bill to help bail out fractional owners who were victimized and tricked by the fractional providers to buy a bigger share or a share of a larger jet than they could actually afford? Somewhere in this week's multi-hundred-billion assistanmce bills there has to be a provision to help out the fractional owners. The jobs of aircraft manufacturers,their suppliers, pilots, dispatchers, maintenance crews, in flight caterers, FBO line personel, air traffic controllers, CBP officers, jet fuel refiners and truckers and many others are at stake. "I could only afford a 1/16th of an Ultra but they tricked me into a 1/4 of a G-IV but we all knew I would have trouble paying for it."

We all need some humor.

Fly safe.
 

ProFracPilot

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The fact that all the other frac's were granted federal money and flops was left out in the cold is not a good sign.

...what???
 

993_Pilot

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Didn't Kenn have a local company as the prime owner on that GIV? I thought he did what he used to do in the CW days and take a minority position in it to keep the client under control? Has that changed? ...

If I have my facts straight, I think one GIV was wholey owned by Brantley Partners and/or Mr. Pinkus. I think he/they were also the backing behind Kenn when he formed Flight Options back in 1998. Kenn bought the GIV from Brantley a while back, and still has it. The other GIV was fractionalized, and those owners have now either become Legacy owners or (more likely) become owners at NetJets. There were recent rumors of something happening between Jet Direct and Flops, but then I read a story today in AIN online that [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] "the acquisition of JetDirect assets by Brantley Partners-backed JDA Acquisition Company (JDAAC) is still on track.[/FONT]" ... Maybe this thing will coming full circle with Kenn Ricci (backed by Brantley Partners) at the helm without H.I.G. !!?!

Who really knows what the heck is happening ???
 

CALRepublic

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The fact that all the other frac's were granted federal money and flops was left out in the cold is not a good sign.

where did you get that information?? the enquirer?
 

twad

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Associated press

Hey Frac boys,

No kidding, the article was in the Associated press. I am surprised that this is not front page news if you are still flying in the fractionals. Disgraceful! We as taxpayers should be financing some guy that bought into a private fractional jet and now that it is underwater he needs to be bailed out. God forbid some millionaire should lose money! If I show 2 most recent pay stubs I wonder if they will let me buy a quarter share of a GV. I mean they will bail me out if I cant make the payments right?
 

993_Pilot

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Hey Frac boys,

No kidding, the article was in the Associated press. I am surprised that this is not front page news if you are still flying in the fractionals. Disgraceful! We as taxpayers should be financing some guy that bought into a private fractional jet and now that it is underwater he needs to be bailed out. God forbid some millionaire should lose money! If I show 2 most recent pay stubs I wonder if they will let me buy a quarter share of a GV. I mean they will bail me out if I cant make the payments right?

Twad,

If you are referring to Dooker's Thread, "Obama throws $20 billion lifeline to private jet owners", that was a joke. He writes them well and almost makes them believable, but a joke none the less. If you need help getting that fish hook out of your lip, let me know.
 
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ProFracPilot

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The other GIV was fractionalized, and those owners have now either become Legacy owners or (more likely) become owners at NetJets.

FlOps had 1 GIV owner move into the Legacy, who has since left. All of the GIV owners were in that airplane because they wanted a GIV, and they were expecting the fleet would grow sufficiently to service their needs. Obviously, that never happened. So, yes. Most moved to NJI (one owner bought a F900).

The Pinkas airplane was the first to leave. Kenn has the other one (which, although an earlier serial #, is the more desireable of the two).
 

CALRepublic

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Hey Frac boys,

No kidding, the article was in the Associated press. I am surprised that this is not front page news if you are still flying in the fractionals. Disgraceful! We as taxpayers should be financing some guy that bought into a private fractional jet and now that it is underwater he needs to be bailed out. God forbid some millionaire should lose money! If I show 2 most recent pay stubs I wonder if they will let me buy a quarter share of a GV. I mean they will bail me out if I cant make the payments right?

You "the taxpayers" are not bailing out anybody in the fractional world my friend, I promise you. Check your data again, maybe do some research, I have no idea where you got that from.

Wahington and the media bash all forms of corporate flying every chance they get... The governemnt would flush that money down the toilet before they "bail out" a fractional owner.

Due to all the bad rep. Raytheon and Cessna decided to run adds in defense of business aviation. You can find those adds on the Wall Street Journal, NYTimes and USAToday. That's not the behavior of an industry about to get bail out money.

Relax, your money is not coming this way
 

993_Pilot

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FlOps had 1 GIV owner move into the Legacy, who has since left. All of the GIV owners were in that airplane because they wanted a GIV, and they were expecting the fleet would grow sufficiently to service their needs. Obviously, that never happened. So, yes. Most moved to NJI (one owner bought a F900).

The Pinkas airplane was the first to leave. Kenn has the other one (which, although an earlier serial #, is the more desireable of the two).

Then I stand corrected. Thanks.
 
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