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FLIGHT OPTIONS UNITED WITH RAYTHEON TRAVELAIR



Posted December 31, 2001
Flight Options, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based provider of fractional shares in jet aircraft, and Raytheon Travel Air, a Wichita, Kansas-based unit of Raytheon Company, a Lexington, Mass.,-based defense contractor, have agreed to combine operations into one fractional aircraft ownership program to be known as Flight Options. The two companies combined will have an owner-base of more than 1,600 and a fleet of approximately 200 aircraft.

“This partnership capitalizes on the growth of our industry and affords owners more product line flexibility,” said Kenn Ricci, Chairman and CEO, Flight Options. Ricci continued, “The major strengths of the combined program are safety and service. Both Flight Options and Travel Air have unblemished safety records with over 450,000 combined accident-free flying hours. Additionally, Flight Options and Travel Air are ‘Number 1” in every operating measurement of owner satisfaction as published in the 2001 survey conducted by the independent Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US).”

Under the terms of the transaction, the companies will be combined by the end of the first quarter of 2002. Flight Options will employ more than 1,500 individuals including 900 pilots. Flight Options will continue to emphasize its pilot compensation and comprehensive benefits. Ricci said, “We have always focused on the importance of the flight crews as an integral part of the delivery of excellence service and safety. Pilots are the gateway to our products and we do not underestimate their contribution to our growth.”

The new combined company will place new-aircraft orders with a retail value of $1.7 billion including 115 aircraft on order with Raytheon Aircraft Company with an estimated retail value of $900 million. Also on order are 25 Fairchild-Dornier Envoy 7’s for delivery beginning in 2004 with an estimated retail value of $775 million. The company will also continue to actively acquire aircraft in the open market for its pre-owned aircraft product lines. “For the first time, the sales options between new and previously owned aircraft will be bridged with a revolutionary new pricing model offered by our company,” said Ricci.

Fractional jet ownership allows several owners to own a share of a jet, typically one-sixteenth or larger, entitling each owner to a fixed amount of annual flight time. Owners pay a monthly management fee and hourly rate based on the type of aircraft and share size purchased. The National Business Aviation Association reports the number of companies and individuals using fractional ownership increased by more than 40% last year.

Founded in 1998, Flight Options pioneered the concept of offering shares in previously owned jets. This allows the company to present a cost savings of 35% on comparable programs offered by their competitors, thus opening private jet travel to a broader audience.

With the inclusion of Travel Air, Flight Options will continue to operate with an emphasis in bringing value-added jets to the fractional ownership market. The company will offer fractional shares in its fleet of approximately 200 aircraft, which includes the King Air, CitationJet, Beechjet 400A, Citation V, Citation III, Hawker 800A, Hawker 800XP, Falcon 50, Challenger 601 and Gulfstream IV. Shares will be offered in both new and pre-owned business aircraft.

For further information about Flight Options program contact David L. Howard, Dabora, Inc. PO Box 1007, 730 Madison Street, Shelbyville, Tennessee 37160. Phone 931/684-8123.

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