September 29, 2006:
JetBird, pursuing an ambition to become Europe's largest air taxi operator of the next decade, has promised to slash the 'going rate' by 50 per cent.
Founder and chairman Domhnal Slattery told EBAN: "We will be the EasyJet of the private aircraft sector - but with the comfort and amenities that private air travellers have come to expect."
He adds: "It is to early to specify prices in detail. Our policy is that we will be at least 50 per cent lower in prices than anything comparable, which is a significant shift in the pricing."
JetBird, which will be based in Switzerland, has announced an order mix of 50 Phenom 100 and 300 aircraft - with an option for a further 50, (as reported in EBAN June).
"The market will determine how many of each we order and when," says Slattery. "The start of the deliveries is based on the certification procedure which is due to be completed in April 2009. We will be the launch delivery customer in Europe."
Md Paul Geaney says: "We will become Europe's largest air taxi operator, taking our first aircraft in 2009 and private jet travel to the mass affluent."
JetBird plans to take delivery of an average of 20 aircraft a year between 2009 and 2013. Geaney expects JetBird to start with 15 aircraft in the first year and for numbers to increase annually.
Slattery says: "My gut feeling is that the mix will start with more 100s and then, as more people get to relish the experience, the 300s will start to dominate in the later stages."
The headquarters will be in Switzerland and the choice lies between Geveva and Zurich.
JetBird believes the majority of current European private aircraft flights take place in an area that can be defined and targeted around London and Milan, Paris, Geneva and Cannes. "There is a huge amount of corporate traffic in the area. Corporate aircraft movements are greatest within 500 kms of at least one of these major cities," says Geaney.