Flexjet Orders 30 More Lear 85s
Bombardier chalked up a $600 million aircraft order at NBAA on Monday but the customer was a familiar one. Flexjet, which until six weeks ago was owned by Bombardier, converted an option for 30 Learjet 85s to a firm order. The option was part of a huge order made by the new Flexjet LLC when its parent company, Directional Aviation Capital, purchased the fractional business from Bombardier on Sept. 5. In that order, Flexjet LLC placed firm orders for 115 aircraft and options for 150. In the deal announced Monday, Flexjet LLC also took another 20 options for Learjet 85s so its full order, if exercised, would be for 265 aircraft worth up to $5.6 billion. Flexjet LLC is the launch customer for the Learjet 85 and Directional Aviation Capital principal Kenn Ricci said the "curb appeal" of the mostly-composite mid-sized aircraft prompted the early option conversion. He told a news conference in Las Vegas Flexjet LLC has also created a new interior design for the aircraft that will be exclusive to Flexjet.
Meanwhile, Bombardier has rolled out the first flight test aircraft in Wichita and is expecting the aircraft to fly before the end of the year. The smaller Learjet 75 got caught up in the U.S. government shutdown and is still awaiting final certification by the FAA. There are finished aircraft ready for delivery once the paperwork is complete.