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Marion wrote: I am a sea lover. Seems to be an interesting cruise. david martin Abrahams would love to travel on it.

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What Are Your Options?
How do different programs compare?

Here's a look at a selection of charter and fractional companies currently in operation.

In 1986, Executive Jet pioneered fractional aircraft ownership with the NetJets program offering a highly efficient and cost-effective way for individuals and companies to meet the demanding travel requirements of today's busy lifestyles. Executive Jet first implemented fractional jet ownership in the United States, with the NetJets U.S. program, and has since expanded NetJets' success to Europe and the Middle East. This year NetJets will fly over 250,000 flights to more than 140 countries. In 1998 after experiencing NetJets' ownership for three years, Warren Buffett and his company Berkshire Hathaway purchased NetJets and its parent company, NetJets Inc.

  • NetJets International (NJI) is a NetJets Inc. company that was started in 1995 to bring the world of long-range, intercontinental and transcontinental, cabin class, Gulfstream IV aircraft to NetJets' owners. Today the NetJets International subsidiary of NetJets Inc., operates all NetJets' Gulfstream IV-SP and Gulfstream V aircraft.
  • Executive Jet Management (EJM) is a NetJets Inc., company, offering turnkey aircraft management, charter aircraft management, and on-demand charter services. EJM can tailor a program to manage all aspects of flight operations for private aircraft or corporate fleets.
  • EJM Charter Aircraft Management can provide owners with charter revenue if they have available flying time on their aircraft. EJM Charter Aircraft Management can increase aircraft utilization and offset operating costs while adding value to aircraft ownership with guaranteed charter revenue. In addition, owners can recognize significant discounts through large-volume purchase economies of maintenance, fuel, training, and insurance.
  • EJM Charter Services offers 24-hour access to a staff of charter service managers who match customer travel needs with aircraft type, passenger comfort, and budget. In addition, they arrange all third-party services, including ground transportation, catering, customs, and international planning.
CitationShares claims its niche by uniquely focusing on light and mid-size aircraft, which are best suited to the typical private jet trip. The company claims this approach allows it to bring its clients greater value with a practical, safe travel solution. The operator says its clients enjoy the flexibility, comfort, and satisfaction that define the CitationShares experience. This business formula must work, as the company has gained approximately 400 customers after four years in business.

CitationShares is owned equally by two of the leading names in aviation. Cessna is a household name in aircraft manufacturing and TAG Aviation is one of the world's premier aircraft management and operations companies. Cessna brings three of its best selling models to the CitationShares partnership - the Citation CJ1, the Citation Bravo, and Citation Excel. The manufacturer claims its Cessna Citations are flown by more companies and individuals than any other light or midsize business jet model. Cessna and CitationShares have announced an agreement whereby CitationShares has options to purchase up to 50 Citation Sovereigns.

CitationShares currently operates 42 Citation jets, including the Citation CJ1, with low acquisition and operating costs, advanced avionics, and jet performance for the price of a turboprop; the Citation Bravo, which combines the newest-generation jet engines, avionics, and flight controls with best-in-class mission flexibility; and the Citation Excel, the only business jet offering the stand-up cabin comfort of a mid-size jet with the economy and mission flexibility of a light jet.

Delta AirElite
Delta AirElite Business Jets is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, providing aircraft charter, aircraft management, its Fleet Membership Program, and the Flexjet Membership Program. Now in its twentieth year serving business aviation travelers, Delta AirElite is the only business jet operator owned by a major U.S. airline. The company operates a diverse fleet of Bombardier Challenger, Learjet, Gulfstream, and Cessna Aircraft.

With access to more than 400 business jets strategically positioned throughout the United States, Delta AirElite has undertaken a strong initiative to strategically increase its fleet size through charter management agreements. The addition of a Lear 60 continues the company's expansion on the West Coast. The aircraft, based at the Long Beach Airport (CA), joins the Delta AirElite fleet through a charter management agreement. Charter management agreements offer an attractive option for corporations and aircraft owners who want to lower aircraft ownership costs by having their corporate jets certified for Delta AirElite's commercial charter operations.

In May, Delta AirElite and Bombardier Flexjet renamed their popular Fleet Membership Select program as Flexjet Membership. The Flexjet Membership card offers members 25-hour increments of "occupied" time in their choice of Bombardier Learjet 31A, Learjet 45, Learjet 60, or Challenger 604 aircraft. With Flexjet Membership the only thing members buy is time. Flight is available without long-term commitments or capital investment for an all-inclusive price. Members also receive the advantages of Medallion status in the Delta SkyMiles program.

Bombardier Skyjet
Bombardier Skyjet was founded under the name Skyjet in 1997 and launched the first online private jet reservation system in 1999. Since then, they have continued to build and refine an extremely selective network of some of the finest operators in the country. Bombardier Skyjet offers on-demand, pay-as-you-go private jet service for individual charter trips, and also offers an industry-leading jet card membership program, Premier Fleet, designed for people who fly more frequently.

In July 2000, when Bombardier Aerospace was looking for a strategic way to expand its offerings, Skyjet became its top choice. Today, with Bombardier, Skyjet claims to offer the most comprehensive and innovative programs in the history of private jet travel. The company backs up these claims with its state-of-the-art real-time reservation system and expert personal services, reinforced by Bombardier Aerospace's support system.

Raytheon Aircraft Charter & Management
Raytheon Aircraft Charter & Management (RACM), one of the largest charter companies in the U.S., is backed by Raytheon Aircraft Company, an organization with 70 years of experience in manufacturing, operating, and maintaining business aircraft. RACM claims it is unlike most charter companies, as its size allows the ability to offer 24-hour service.

RACM offers a wide range of aircraft management options to make aircraft ownership experience easy and carefree. The company handles all the daily issues that can make aircraft ownership cumbersome and time consuming. Their aircraft management services include maintenance, financial, dispatch, and complete flight operations. RACM has more than 40 years of experience keeping aircraft at peak performance.

About Arturo Weiss
Arturo Weiss is a full-time bilingual (Spanish/English) aviation journalist and consultant. He is the Latin American editor for Aircraft Interiors magazine and writes for various other aviation publications. Arturo is a commercially rated pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

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