A start-up European fractional and charter operation hopes to challenge the likes of NetJets by, among other things, pouring a perfect cup of espresso. Jet Republic, which will be based in Portugal but held its launch in Farnborough on Tuesday, announcing a plan to buy 110 Learjet 60XRs for $1.5 billion and pay attention to details, like making sure the coffee is up to snuff. As for the economic turmoil that has gripped most of the industrialized world in recent weeks, Jet Republic CEO Jonathan Breeze insists the timing couldn't be better. "This is a sensible, profitable, logical business," he told The Times Online. "I think the challenge in the financial markets simply changes the metrics ... . If anything it probably strengthens the proposition."
And while the coffee reference might sound frivolous, company officials, some of whom came from NetJets, insist it's those details that matter to the three million or so "ultra rich" Europeans who are the target market. Hourly rates will be about $7,500 Euros an hour and there will be card programs. The lead investor is Euram Bank, of Austria.