Fast 5: Corporate Jet As A Service Launches

Cameron Gowans. Photo credit: Four Corners Aviation

Four Corners Aviation President and COO Cameron Gowans explains how its new business aircraft service offers an alternative to charter and jet cards in this interview with Lee Ann Shay.

Four Corners launched Corporate Jets as a Service (CJaaS) in November. Exactly what is it? Is it like Software as a Service?

You got it—it’s the same concept, but for jets. The new product is called Freedom by Four Corners Aviation and the new category is Corporate Jets as a Service (CJaaS). Over the years we recognized that there is a number of entities out there that want or need a jet and can't imagine life or business without one. But, they really don't want to own an airplane and have the hassles of owning and operating it. They just want the advantages that the airplane provides. So we created this concept where you have all of the benefits of owning a jet—the access, personalization and tailoring—without the hassles and uncertainties that go with owning an airplane.

Four Corners’ value proposition is “through client understanding, industry expertise and the pursuit of simplification, we deliver streamlined aviation experiences that reduce risk while protecting capital.” All of our products are designed with that value proposition, whether it is aircraft management, charter products or our flagship product, Freedom. CJaaS as a category didn’t exist until November.

If you charter an aircraft or use a jet card, you get the benefits of an aircraft without having to own it. So how is Freedom different? 

With Freedom, you get the same airplane, the same crew and the same facilities without ownership. With charter, you're competing with other clients for that aircraft. You're at best number two behind the owner of that airplane. With fractional, you're sharing it with a number of other fractional users. With jet cards you could have up to 32 different users. CJaaS allows you to have the same airplane and replaces ownership with aircraft as a service. It gives you the benefits of an aircraft without the administrative burden of ownership.

How many customers do you have for Freedom?

We just launched the program and we have customers in line who we just haven’t put into operation yet. 

How long are Freedom contracts? Is there a five, eight or 10-year minimum?

It’s a five-year agreement.

From a cost standpoint, how do Freedom aircraft contracts compare to purchasing an aircraft?

It depends on the aircraft and the operation because just as every flight department operates a little differently, every Freedom aircraft will operate a little differently. It'll depend on the service levels that the member wants. It will depend on things like how many hours they'll fly, how often the crews will be away, where those destinations will be and where the aircraft is located. So it is as variable as our customers’ operations. When we look at costs, compared to owning and operating an airplane, they're comparable, because the great thing about Freedom is it will eliminate the upfront cash expense and eliminate the residual value risk. And it eliminates the variability in terms of operating costs, because we will guarantee operating costs for the terms of the contract.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.