CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Flexjet LLC, one of the largest and most innovative fractional jet providers, today launched its private helicopter division, integrating Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), which was acquired by parent Directional Aviation, into the Flexjet family. Flexjet will extend complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional Owners, and will sell add-on fractional, lease and charter access in Flexjet-branded Sikorsky S-76 helicopters. The new division will provide on-demand transportation regionally as well as last-mile transport for Owners of Flexjet aircraft traveling from airports to their final destinations, a unique door-to-door travel solution not available through any other provider in the U.S.
Flexjet’s Eli Flint has been promoted to President of the Flexjet private helicopter division, leading the nearly 50 former AAG sales managers, mechanics, operations team members and pilots. He brings more than 25 years of aviation experience to this new role. The division is expected to grow domestically and in Europe over the next five years as point-to-point vertical aviation demand increases worldwide.
“Flexjet’s new helicopter division enhances our position as the leader in combining fixed-wing operations and private urban mobility in the U.S. This distinguishes us as the only operator in our industry to offer seamless travel,” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro. “Today, more and more travelers are seeking an alternative to crowded forms of transportation – opting instead for easier, safer and less stressful options from beginning to end. In addition, this enhanced segment of the Flexjet experience allows our clients to become even more productive with their time.”
Born out of the innovation of Red Label, Flexjet’s private helicopter division is the next revolutionary step in offering private aviation solutions for the world’s most discerning travelers. Flexjet will reimagine what private aviation travel can be – from the safety of flying managed fleets to the packaging of end-to-end flight solutions – offering a differentiator in the fractional jet market competitors will not be able to duplicate. In addition, Flexjet’s helicopter operations will be environmentally responsible: The company upholds a 4AIR Bronze Sustainability + SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) Rating.
The Flexjet fleet will now include the Sikorsky S-76, one of the most respected and longest running-production helicopters, with a heritage of more than 40 years and 7.5 million hours of safe flight. These private helicopters will be outfitted with a seating configuration for up to six passengers plus two pilots. The aircraft can fly at 155 knots per hour and has a range of 300 nautical miles.
Flexjet helicopter operations will be seasonally located in the Northeastern states and in Florida throughout the year providing connections between airports and city centers as well as short-haul regional destinations such as conventions, music festivals and other sport and entertainment events.
“I know how important this time-saving program will be to Flexjet’s busy fractional jet Owners and I am proud to lead this group of aviation professionals,” said Flint, who is type rated in several business jets and until recently was a leader in private jet sales for Flexjet working in the Southeast market. “I also want to assure our Owners that, since safety is the highest priority at Flexjet, the helicopter division will have the same level of oversight, resources and industry credentials as our jet fleet.”
Some helicopter safety elements include:
- Each helicopter has a series of double redundancies for enhanced safety with twin engines, dual autopilot systems and two S-76-certified, highly trained Flexjet pilots.
- The helicopter Safety Management System (SMS), through Baldwin Safety, includes a preflight risk assessment program, a hazard reporting system and a customized landing zone survey conducted for off-airport operations, allowing Owners additional flexibility in their flying.
- The helicopter division has the same operational oversights for weather and performance planning as Flexjet’s jet program, with conservative margins designed for safety and peace of mind.
Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 22 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4Air Bronze Sustainable Rating, is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2 and achieved active voluntary conformance with the FAA’s Safety Management System. Flexjet’s fractional program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the youngest fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Embraer Phenom 300, Legacy 450 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and 650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Legacy 500, Praetor 600. Flexjet’s private helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned and operated Sikorsky S-76 private helicopters serving locations throughout the Northeastern United States and Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.