From humble beginnings in Hangar Three in Basel EuroAirport in Switzerland, Jet Aviation has become a company with nearly 30 locations and more than 4,500 employees worldwide—no other company provides more services to business aviation today. And as the company celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, Jet Aviation is poised for further growth.
THE RISE OF JET AVIATION
On November 27, 1967, Carl W. Hirschmann saw a great opportunity and seized it. Knowing that reliable maintenance services were essential, Hirschmann rented an empty hangar left vacant by Globe Air at Basel EuroAirport and established his own maintenance company.
Jet Aviation quickly expanded its services and activities through a series of acquisitions, starting with the addition of Pilatus’ ground handling and maintenance facilities in Geneva and Zurich in 1969. And in less than two years, the one-hangar operation was already providing maintenance and/or handling services to IATA chartered flights, private, corporate and government and military aircraft from all three major cities in Switzerland.
In the 1970s, Jet Aviation started opening facilities abroad, beginning with a maintenance facility in Dusseldorf, Germany, and an FBO in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It also launched its aircraft management and charter business and introduced completions and refurbishment services in Basel, completing its first VIP-outfitted aircraft—a Convair 880M—taking it to the 1977 Paris Airshow. The Convair created a sensation in Paris—and for the industry—quickly dispelling any doubts that Jet Aviation was a serious contender in business aviation.
Throughout the 1980s, Jet Aviation became the first truly global player in the market by building and acquiring FBOs and management companies in the United States, which was followed by global consolidation and steady growth in the 1990s. By the mid-1990s, the company had entered Asia, opening a maintenance and FBO facility in Singapore in 1996. When Jet Aviation was purchased by General Dynamics on November 5, 2008, it had already grown its Asian presence to include a flight operations center in Hong Kong as well as an MRO facility.
GLOBAL LEADER IN BUSINESS AVIATION
Now one of the world’s leading business-aviation services companies, Jet Aviation currently operates 29 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and the Caribbean—providing maintenance, completions and refurbishment, engineering, FBO and fuel services, as well as aircraft management, charter and staffing services to private aircraft owners and operators around the world.
With more than 300 aircraft under management worldwide, Jet Aviation is one of the largest global aircraft management, flight support and charter companies, supporting strategically located flight operation centers in Teterboro, N.J.; Burbank, Calif.; Chicago; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hong Kong and Zurich.
Jet Aviation holds its own Aircraft Operator Certificates in the U.S. and in Europe, where its teams of highly skilled and experienced aviation professionals provide dedicated service for daily aircraft operation needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also provides completion monitoring services and additional programs to supplement flight departments’ operations, and it has the capability to track your aircraft anywhere in the world.
In the U.S., Jet Aviation expanded its West Coast aircraft management and charter services in March 2016 with the acquisition of Avjet Corporation, a global jet charter and management company based in Burbank, Calif. Throughout the country, Jet Aviation extends to its clients the Privileged Travel jet card, a pre-paid debit card with the cost of travel deducted on a per-trip basis. Privileged Travel cards are available in 10, 25, 50 and 100-hour increments, and Jet Aviation was the industry’s first program to offer a 10-hour introductory card.
JET AVIATION’S HIGHLIGHTS OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS
FIXED BASED OPERATIONS
Jet Aviation’s international network of more than 20 FBOs provides passenger handling, aircraft refueling and quick turnaround assistance. These facilities cater to the needs of business aviation, ensuring excellent care for passengers, flight crews and the aircraft. Jet Aviation consistently ranks in the top 10 for FBO service in international customer polls.
These are the latest developments:
Washington Dulles Airport: Acquired in January 2017, the FBO encompasses six hangars, 10 acres of ramp space and a newly renovated FBO terminal building that includes on-site Customs and Immigration clearance, a VIP lounge, a flight planning center, an executive conference room and an on-site car rental service.
Van Nuys Airport: Having gained a 30-year lease on a 17-acre site from the City of Los Angeles in 2016, Jet Aviation plans a full-service FBO with a 10,000-square-foot LEED Silver-certified terminal, two 40,000-square-foot hangars, back shops and office space—all to be completed by the end of 2018.
Singapore Seletar Airport: A 3,850-square-meter tenant hangar is scheduled to be added to the current facility to be completed in November 2017.
Boston/Bedford: Jet Aviation broke ground in 2015 on a two-story, 13,000-square-foot FBO, a 40,000-square-foot hangar capable of handling large aircraft up to Gulfstream G650 and Global 6000, and 16,000 square feet of office and shop space. The new FBO is scheduled to open in 2017.
MAINTENANCE, REPAIR & OVERHAUL
Founded 50 years ago, Jet Aviation’s service facility in Basel, Switzerland, truly helped shape one of the industry’s de facto capitals for European business aviation. The company currently employs more than 1,500 professionals at the world-renowned maintenance and completions center, where it supports the full range of maintenance services for most current models and the majority of out-of-production models of Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream aircraft.
The 53-acre site at St. Louis’ Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Ill., includes eight hangars with space for 65 to 70 aircraft, and a total of 625,000 square feet under roof. Jet Aviation services a wide variety of airframes in St. Louis and is an authorized service center for Gulfstream and Embraer and a center of expertise for Hawker and Falcon. It has vast experience in Bombardier’s Challenger and Global airframes, as well as Boeing Business Jets and Airbus.
Jet Aviation’s two service centers in Basel and St. Louis also represent two of the world’s leading completions facilities for private and executive aircraft. With in-house capabilities in design, engineering, cabinetry, upholstery, sheet metal, composite and paint, both centers deliver all of the key functions and trades needed to execute a project from beginning to end. The teams at each location regularly collaborate to ensure the latest technologies and highest standards are used to transform customer visions to final products, truly making dreams come true.
Basel has completed jets as large as an Airbus A340-600 or the Boeing 747-400, while St. Louis has delivered more than 240 green Bombardier completions in less than 20 years—and half of those since 2008. Together, the two facilities have delivered close to 500 cabin interiors for some of the world’s most prestigious clientele.
Jet Aviation began providing global business aviation staffing solutions and support in the U.S. when it purchased Jet Professionals in 1996. The company offers a full range of aviation staffing services, including placements of full time staff for business jet operators and temporary placements. The company specializes in placing pilots, flight attendants, schedulers, dispatchers and technical professionals.