Flexjet is expanding its recently announced record-breaking order with to include additional 85s, the prototype of which is due to make its first flight by year-end.
The original order, which sees deliveries starting in 2014 and continuing through 2018, includes 25 Learjet 75s, 30 Learjet 85s, 20 Challenger 350s and 10 Challenger 605s, valued at $1.8 billion. Options include up to another 160 aircraft, raising the total potential value to $5.2 billion, with deliveries stretching through 2024.
The expansion converts 30 Learjet 85 options into firm orders, and adds a further 20 options to the deal. Overall firm orders have therefore increased to 115 aircraft, and the options to 150. The value also climbs to $5.6 billion.
Directional Aviation Capital on Sept. 5 announced plans to acquire Flexjet from Bombardier for $185 million and a commitment to place orders and options for up to 245 Bombardier business aircraft valued at $5.2 billion. The deal, which is yet to be finalized, sees Dallas-based Flexjet maintain its operations and branding independent of Cleveland-based Flight Options.
Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional and chairman of Flight Options, says the new aircraft will “regenerate the fleet” and will provide an opportunity to introduce a series of new interiors. “Maybe we’ve dumbed down the product too much, so we think there’s an opportunity to do more with that. So we worked with Bombardier with the Learjet 75 LXI and modified the interior to provide more space and a series of designer interiors. Even though each one will be configured the same, each will be bespoke in its own way.” The batch of aircraft coming for Flexjet will therefore incorporate up to six different interiors.