Flight Options new program!!

Answerguy

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Tuesday April 9, 11:31 am Eastern Time
Press Release
SOURCE: Flight Options
Flight Options Announces Factory-Supported Pricing
Innovative Pricing Strategy Announced Following Merger With Raytheon Travel Air
CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 9, 2002--Flight Options, a leading provider of fractional shares in jet aircraft, today announced Factory-Supported Pricing(TM), a groundbreaking pricing program unique to the private air travel industry. The company announced its new pricing strategy shortly after finalizing a merger with Raytheon Travel Air, which closed on March 21st.

Flight Options has been a pioneer in the fractional jet industry, offering shares of pre-owned aircraft at a substantial cost savings over competitive programs. With the addition of new aircraft programs to its product line, the company continues its history of innovative pricing, unveiling the Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) plan.

According to Flight Options' CEO Kenn Ricci, the concept of Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) was developed to reflect the real cost of operating a new plane -- taking into consideration the aircraft's factory warranty for the airframe, engines and avionics. ``Newer aircraft are less expensive to maintain,'' explained Ricci. ``Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) is simply an honest way to price a fractional program that utilizes new aircraft.''

The lower maintenance costs reflected in Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) result in significant savings over comparable plans using identical aircraft. For example, the hourly operating cost for a Hawker 800XP in the first year is $1390/hour with Flight Options' Factory-Supported Pricing(TM). The same aircraft offered through a competitor costs $1828/hour -- a 24% difference in the first year alone.

``If you're purchasing a new plane, we believe you shouldn't have to pay the same price in year-one as you would in year-five,'' said Rich Heckman, Vice President of Marketing for Flight Options. ``Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) is structured to fit the age and warranty status of the plane.''

Ricci added, ``Flight Options is the first fractional program to quantify the age intangible. Until now, all fractional programs have charged the same for aircraft in its program, regardless of age. Traditionally fractional owners have been paying a price for ''new aircraft,`` but are then flown in aircraft that are seven or eight years old. Flight Options' Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) program assures owners that they will never fly in an aircraft more than five years old.''

Ricci emphasized that the company's new and pre-owned fleets will operate separately. ``Customers who buy new will fly only in new aircraft,'' he said. ``After sixty months, the aircraft will become part of our pre-owned fleet. This concept of fleet purity is also an advantage not available in competitive programs.''

``It made a great deal of sense for us to bridge the sales options between pre-owned and new aircraft,'' added Darnell Martens, Assistant to the Chairman and the company's head of strategic planning. ``We think that our Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) approach will cause a fundamental shift in the industry.''

Martens said that there are compelling reasons for customers to choose either type of plan, whether new or pre-owned. ``Offering a broad product line gives our prospective owners more choices,'' stated Martens. ``Pre-owned remains an attractive option because a buyer can get a larger plane for the same purchase price as a new, smaller aircraft -- or they can spend about 35% less for the same type of plane pre-owned versus new. On the other hand, with our Factory-Supported Pricing(TM), new aircraft cost less to operate because of warranties associated with new aircraft and our new-aircraft owners utilize a fleet that will never be more than five years old.''

For further flexibility, Flight Options programs are designed so that a customer can migrate from one aircraft type to another, giving an owner access to the entire fleet.

To meet the demands of its rapid growth, Flight Options is expanding its state-of-the-art Operations Control Center (OCC), which monitors every aspect of flight operations. The original design was modeled after the control centers of NASA's Houston center and Delta Airlines' facilities in Atlanta, Georgia. Phase II, which was recently completed, doubled the size of the previous center. Once construction is complete, scheduled for Summer 2003, the new OCC will be five times larger than the present facility and will accommodate a fleet of more than 500 aircraft.

Flight Options will place $1.7 billion worth of new aircraft orders, including a minimum of 105 aircraft on order with Raytheon Aircraft Company. The company has also committed to 25 Fairchild-Dornier Envoy 7's for delivery beginning in 2004. Flight Options will also continue to actively acquire aircraft in the open market for its pre-owned aircraft product lines.

Founded in 1998, Flight Options pioneered the concept of offering shares in previously owned jets. This allowed the company to present a cost savings of 35% on comparable programs offered by their competitors, opening private jet travel to a broader audience. With the addition of new jets to its fleet, the company continues to be an innovator in the industry with its highly competitive Factory-Supported Pricing(TM) plan. Flight Options offers fractional shares in its fleet of over 200 aircraft, which includes the King Air B200, CitationJet, Beechjet 400A, Citation V, Citation III, Hawker 800A, Hawker 800XP, Falcon 50, Challenger 601 and Gulfstream IV.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact:

Flight Options
Heather Kula Dynes, 216/261-3500
or
Stern Public Relations
Gail Fein, 216/464-4850
 

ERJ - Jay

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Good vs. Bad

Do you see this as a good thing, or a bad thing? I can see how all the RTA owners will be default be members of this program since they were all a part of a new plane program, and a way to entice people to order new planes vs old ones, but, is this a way to show more division within the same program? Or just a marketing ploy to get both the people who only want new, while still keeping the costs down for pre-owned?
 

Answerguy

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I think its a great thing! Its a good deal for people who want to own a new airplane at 24% less cost per hour than the competition. Also if your looking for a previously enjoyed jet you save money, up to 35% on the sales price but pay more per hour. Flight Options is on track to grow like crazy!
 

jetwash

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It looks like things are going to get interesting.
 

SheGaveMeClap

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FYI, all new-hires now go directly into the RTA King Air 200s. Not that it's good or bad, but if you come to class, you can expect that.
 

RJL

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Be careful Answerguy- As I consider my options for future employment amongst the fractionals, I have learned of numerous concerns and uncertainty about the future potential of Flight Options. My research shows that both Flight Options and Travel Air only sold 50% less aircraft in 2001 than in the year 2000. It appears that NetJets sales increased in 2001 over 2000. Look at past issues of Professional Pilot and Business & Comercial Aviation magazines.

I'm not saying that Flight Options will fail and that NetJets will succeed, I'm just saying that after what we just went through with Avolar, we should all be very cautious about "predicting the future." I occasionally fly some "suits" for a large investment company and they say that Flight Options has a long way to go before they will be seriously considered by significant investors. The same folks said that for their money, they bet that 5 - 10 years from now that NetJets will still be growing.

Good Luck Friends-

RJ
 

flydog

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I have independent confirmation of clap's info. New hires will go to the right seat of BE-200 unless there is a specific need in another aircraft. This is from EG himself
 

SheGaveMeClap

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Frac Daddy,

I know it because I'm living proof!! :D All new-hires go right seat in the King Air. The movement should be fairly quick though. Shouldn't be too long before we can bid into the right seat of a jet, or left seat of the KA. Neither of those options would be a bad thing.


Flydog,

Actually, there is a need right now for pilots in the other aircraft, but with the merger and all, the company is letting the current King Air pilots bid into the jets, and putting new-hires in the 200. I agree with that, it's all a seniority based system. Let the existing pilots bid what they can hold, and let the newbies fly what's left over. The class prior to us had guys go to the Hawker, CitationJet and Beechjets, but that was prior to the official merger. They couldn't put those pilots in the King Air because they weren't officially on property. Now that they are, all newbies will fly them. This news shouldn't surprise anyone though. You might be flying lower and slower than the jet guys, but it's still a pretty cool company to be working for.
 

jetwash

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With over a 105 jets on order for the next 2 years even if you start on a King Air you will probably get onto a jet fairly quickly.
Plus you will be paid the same as the guy starting on the Jet.
Don't worry too much about it just get the job and enjoy the flying.
 

Answerguy

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HEY RJL

RJL-why all the negative posts about Flight Options? How do you get off by comparing Flight Options to Avalor? That is like comparing a BMW to an Yugo! You should ask your suits that you fly if they consider Raytheon a serious investor. I would buy as much stock in Flight Options as i could, if i could.
Come on RJL be a little bit more optimistic about things. Did you not pass the sim ride when you interviewed at Flight Options or something? Why all the negitivity?
:)
 

RJL

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No negativity my friend, just reality. I've been caught up in the aviation company hype and jet wash for too many years not to want to check and confirm claims and potential of a "bright and shiny future."

When it comes down to it, the money has to be there for the company to succeed and grow. Avolar is proof that talent and optimism aren't enough to make a company successful. From the postings of some of my brothers on this site, it seems like Flight Options may have the talent. Financially, they will need some help to keep going.

Raytheon had been trying to sell Travel Air for several years before they finally got saved by Flight Options. I was told that NetJets was approached but didn't want anything to do with them-- The Raytheon aircraft was good, the fractional prgram was bad. Ask yourself how Flight Options can afford to combine companies, pay high salaries, charge low rates and still make a profit. It has been many years since I took economics, but I still know that it will be tough for them to succeed and last- Not impossible, but tough.

I was told earlier this month that Executive Jet is the only company that ever made a profit in the Fractional business. I hope to meet you at an FBO in the future when you can prove me wrong.

Good luck All-

RJ
 

SheGaveMeClap

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Glad to be here!!

Frac,

Thanks for the welcome, it's a pleasure to be here. Coming from a jet, things will happen very slowly in the King Air, but everyone I've talked to that's flown them really likes them. With all the PICs in the 200s moving into the jets, and the SICs changing seats, the movement will be quick in the props. That's good for everyone in the King Air program. And there's something to be said for flying all new airplanes. For example, "Hey, flying new airplanes will be pretty sweet!!"

Looking forward to IOE in my new airplane, and looking forward to working with everyone at Options!!

Safe skies all.....

Clap
 

flyingdog

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Question to new FlOpt hired

I see that FO has started new classes. That's very good news and congratulate all the new hired guys. Could any give an answer IF in these classes are any of the former RTA pool pilots? OR IF FO plans to call for a class date any of the former RTA pool pilots? Thank you and hope one day I will join you.
 

SheGaveMeClap

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There were no new hires in the last class of RTAs. The Indoc was new hires at FO and a quick three day Indoc for some of the existing RTA pilots. Nobody made any mention of an RTA pool while I was in the schoolhouse. I didn't even know one existed. If you have any friends at RTA or FO, I'd suggest you have them bring in another resume. Or try calling Eric G. directly, he might know something about a pool. He's a great HR guy, he'll do his best to help you out. Not too sure if he'd know anything about the RTA system yet though, he's got his hands full with the Options group right now. Good luck, I hope you find something out soon.....

Clap
 

HiAlt

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Can the FO pilots please give me the scoop on the interview process?

I.E. - Questions asked, any sim ride, who conducts the interviews, wait time between process and hire or not hired.

Thanks!
 

Jetz

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Wow....good luck Flight Options! Seems like you are starting to turn up the heat on the competition.
 

EJA_PIC

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Check the details

This great pricing plan that FLOPS came up with sounds wonderful. Too bad it only applies to 1 thats right 1 plane. They don't get any more NEW Hawker 800XP's for 15 months. EJA is getting them all. Talk about bate and switch! Look before you leap!!
 

FracPilot

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"This great pricing plan that FLOPS came up with sounds wonderful. Too bad it only applies to 1 thats right 1 plane. They don't get any more NEW Hawker 800XP's for 15 months. EJA is getting them all. Talk about bate and switch! Look before you leap!!"

If it's a used airplane, it will be sold as such. I bet EJA never sells a "new" share of a used airplane, do they? Oh wait, they do. Is that bait and switch, or just good business practice since it's EJA?

You seem to have some real self esteem issues. You were the kid in school that put others down to make yourself feel good, right?
 
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