NetJets Inks Massive $9.6 Billion Bizjet Deal

Fractional firm says deal is largest in private aviation history.

NetJets Citation Latitude

NetJets Citation Latitude

Cessna Citation Latitude

NetJets on Monday announced orders with Cessna and Bombardier for up to 425 new business jets worth $9.6 billion that will form the cornerstone of the private aviation giant's new NetJets Signature Series fractional ownership program. NetJets called the purchases the largest deal for private aircraft in aviation history.

The Ohio-based fractional ownership firm said it will buy up to 150 Cessna Citation Latitudes in a deal that includes 25 firm orders and options for 125 more. The Latitude deal is valued at $2.3 billion at list prices. Deliveries are to begin in 2016 and stretch over 10 years.

NetJets also will buy up to 275 Bombardier business jets, including 100 firm orders for Challenger 300 and 605 series airplanes, with options for 175 more. These airplanes, at list prices, are valued at $7.3 billion. Deliveries are to begin in 2014.

“This purchase demonstrates our long-term planning and represents our ongoing commitment to providing unparalleled safety and service in aircraft uniquely customized for our owners,” said NetJets Chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell. “Beyond the size of this order, what makes the new NetJets Signature Series special are the latest in aircraft technology and in-cabin comfort features we will deliver for our owners. By increasing the range and endurance of our fleet, we will allow our owners to get to even more destinations worldwide.”

Hansell said the addition of the new midsize jets to the NetJets fleet, along with its recently ordered Embraer Phenoms and Bombardier Globals, marks the launch of NetJets Signature Series, part of the fractional giant’s 10-year business plan, which includes continuous renewal of its current fleet of more than 725 business aircraft. The Signature Series airplanes, he said, are the first aircraft that NetJets “helped design from start to finish.” They are bigger, faster, quieter and offer longer range than similar aircraft of the previous generation.

The purchases will provide options to expand the capabilities of NetJets’ North American and European fleets.

Owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NetJets has made a number of bulk business jets purchases in the past, but never has it inked a deal this big. The sales provide a welcomed financial boost to Cessna and Bombardier, while also signaling that the fractional ownership concept, which allows travelers to buy a share in an airplane and have access to the entire fleet at set monthly and hourly prices, is alive and well.