Wednesday, October 6, 2010

David Neeleman and New York Investment Group purchase JetSuite

JetBlue Airways founder and former Chairman and CEO David Neeleman, in conjunction with New York investment group Acadia Woods Partners, purchased Los Angeles-based JetSuite, a private jet operator with it's operations based at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB). Price was not disclosed. Neeleman and JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox worked together at JetBlue for several years, and Wilcox subsequently was closely involved in the launch of India's Kingfisher Airlines.

Neeleman, who launched Brazilian LCC Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras after leaving JetBlue, said, "The private jet market has been broken for some time, loaded with unnecessary expense, poor asset utilization and low return on capital, despite the exorbitant costs to its users. I believe JetSuite will be able to deploy its uniform fleet efficiently, following some of the basic rules of low cost carriers, to deliver the availability and low price points that are going to open the industry to large numbers of new corporations, resorts and individuals."

In announcing the new owners, JetSuite also said it will take delivery of an additional five Embraer Phenom 100s, bringing its fleet of the four-passenger microjets to 12, including two leased aircraft.

"I am gratified that the JetSuite business model has captured David Neeleman's and Acadia Woods' imagination, and that they share our vision of making private jet travel far more efficient and more affordable than ever before," Wilcox said.

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