Chicago Firm First With Part 135 Eclipse VLJ

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North American Jet Charter Group at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Ill., on Tuesday received FAA approval as the first U.S. Part 135 very light jet (VLJ) operator using an Eclipse 500. Operations are expected to begin Wednesday under the company moniker Q, for Quintessential Traveler service that offers an air limo at half the traditional charter rate, according to North American Jet. "Today begins a new chapter in aviation history," said North American Jet Charter Group President Ken Ross. "With the operating efficiency of a VLJ like the Eclipse, the flexibility and productivity benefits previously available only to company presidents and CEOs are now available to virtually any business traveler." Pricing has initially been based on one-way fares with no daily minimums for aircraft usage or overnight charges. North American Jet claims that up to three travelers will enjoy all the benefits of first-class travel on their Eclipse 500s for about the same rate as a one-way first-class airline ticket. Q service will eventually be expanded to offer a wide range of travel services from ground travel to lodging and entertainment venues. North American Jet expects its Eclipse 500 fleet to expand to more than six of the VLJs by year-end, with projected growth to more than 20 aircraft by the end of next year.