February 20, 2008
New business jet operator BJets launched its block charter, fractional and aircraft management services at the air show yesterday with a $600 million order for 20 Cessna Citation CJ2+s and 20 Hawker 850XPs and 900XPs, scheduled for delivery over the next five years. It holds options for another 10 Hawkers. Majority owned by the Briley Group and a significant holding of Indias Tata Group, BJets will operate in India and Southeast Asia.
The new company plans to start its operations in the second quarter of this year. It will fly out of Singapores Seletar Airport and Mumbai, and maintain its flight operations center in Hyderabad, India. According to CEO Mark Baiera former NetJets executive in EuropeBJets will base 60 to 70 percent of its fleet in India. The rest of it will reside in Southeast Asia.
The company employs 45 people, most of them pilots. Growth plans call for 200 employees by year-end. Schedules call for delivery by then of 15 aircraftroughly split between Citations and Hawkers. Baier said his team has so far had success attracting crews to fly these business jets.
The value of the firm-ordered CJ2s is $150 million. The CJ2+ is a light business jet, with a range of approximately 1,600 nm. The 11 Hawker 900XPs and nine 850XPs are valued at $450 million. The 900XP, which will soon replace the 850XP as an upgrade, has a range close to 2,900 nm, seven percent more than its predecessor.