Directional Aviation has "revived" the Flexjet’s former Skyjet brand, creating a new unit that consolidates the charter brokerage activities of its Flexjet, Flight Options and Sentient Jet companies.
The new company is based in New York, led by Greg Richman, managing director of Sentient Jet Charter. Skyjet launches with a combined 1,000 clients and 35 professionals primarily based in New York, Boston and Dallas, with a few other strategic sales locations.
Skyjet was formed in 2007 and acquired by Bombardier in 2000. VistaJet acquired the Skyjet International segment in 2008 and by 2010 Flexjet had focused its charter services under its own brand.
But Richman says as Directional moved to acquire Flexjet late last year, the Skyjet name and possibilities caught the interest of company leaders, especially as the charter market had begun a marked turnaround.
Richman says the Skyjet brand has a long, recognizable heritage, with many of the former customers already welcoming the news of its return. "When I came across Skyjet, I knew that was it," he says. "The feedback was instant."
The company is working out the details of many of its programs, with plans for a formal roll out in September. But he says Skyjet’s mission will be focused on filling a void in the charter market that brings expertise and the best options for its charter customers. "There are a lot of options out there and it can be confusing to the customer," he says.
The company will remain solely focused on the on-demand charter market. Sentient, Flexjet and Flight Options will each retain their own jet card programs, and the fractional programs will also remain separate.
While Directional has built up a considerable business aviation portfolio, Skyjet marks the first substantial consolidation of its separate entities. "We are constantly evolving our understanding of the private aviation marketplace and are evaluating how we can best meet the needs of private jet travelers," says Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation. "Our analyses showed that there continues to be substantial opportunity in the highly fragmented on-demand charter market. Our answer is Skyjet."