Icon Aircraft says it’s launching a fractional program for the A5 light-sport amphibian called Icon Fleet Access that is designed to allow easier and lower-cost ownership options.
Icon announced a beta test for the managed fractional program at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that will kick off this fall ahead of the official rollout of Icon Fleet Access at select locations next year.
The program allows buyers to purchase a 50 percent or 25 percent share in a new A5, with Icon providing all scheduled maintenance, hangar, insurance, scheduling, dispatch, staging, pre-positioning and A5 trailer access.
The beta version of Icon Fleet Access will launch in Tampa, Florida, Miami, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. If all goes well, Icon plans to expand the program to as many as six additional sites through the end of next year. Locations under consideration include Texas, the Midwest, Southeast, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Additional locations will be identified by Icon in 2019 and beyond based on market demand. Owners can choose a remote access option that allows them to fly A5s at any Fleet Access location.
Icon thinks the program will be attractive to many non-pilots who are intrigued by the A5’s ability to operate from land or water and are interested in earning a pilot’s license.
“Adventure flying in aircraft like the A5 is some of the coolest and most rewarding flying possible,” said Icon founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins. “There are millions of people who would love to experience this kind of flying in their own plane if ownership and access were made easier. The Icon Fleet Access program is just another effort by Icon in that direction and is aligned with our core mission and commitment to help make flying, especially adventure flying, more accessible.”
Icon is offering limited slots in the beta program, with a 25 percent share selling for $95,000 initially for those who sign up early. Post-beta prices are expected to start at $125,000 for a 25 percent share of an A5 with a monthly management fee of $900 to cover maintenance, storage, scheduling and insurance. There is also a $75 hourly rate when the aircraft is flown. Share owners purchase their own fuel.
Quarter-share owners can fly 75 days a year including two weekend days per month. Reservations can be made six months out, with a maximum of two simultaneous reservations permitted. Owners can take their airplanes for up to five consecutive days at a time. Quarter share owners may also choose to add a family member who can fly the A5 for an additional $350 a month. Term of the contract is three years, at which time the A5 is sold on the pre-owned market and share owners can opt to receive a cash payment or renew with the program in another new A5.
A half share in an A5 will sell for $225,000 and includes fewer restrictions and preferred access compared with the quarter-share program. The monthly management fee will be $1,500, owners can fly 150 days a year, receive remote access privileges for free (compared with a $300 per month charge for quarter-share owners), can book reservations 12 months in advance with a maximum of four simultaneous reservations and receive peak period priority access.
Icon decided to launch the fractional program after it increased the price of the A5 to almost $400,000 last year. Many A5 position holders have indicated they will not buy the airplane at that price, but Icon is hopeful a percentage of those customers will sign up for Icon Fleet Access.
Icon says it is now accepting refundable $1,000 deposits “to identify interest and determine expansion locations.” Existing position holders get preferred access to both the beta and the follow-on program.