COLUMBUS, Ohio - Tuesday, May 20th 2014 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NetJets® Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company and the worldwide leader in private aviation, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on May 21 with employees at an event at its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. NetJets was incorporated as Executive Jet Airways, Inc. on May 21, 1964.
NetJets is the largest company in private aviation with more than 700 aircraft in its fleet worldwide, approximately 6,000 employees around the world and operations in the U.S., Europe and China. The company’s focus on safety and service over 50 years makes it a leader in the private aviation industry.
“NetJets is the iconic brand in private aviation and is responsible for many firsts in private aviation,” said NetJets Chairman and CEO Jordan B. Hansell. “Very few companies in any industry reach the golden anniversary milestone, and through the years NetJets has flourished since it was incorporated in 1964 as a result of the hard work, dedication and commitment of its employees worldwide. We are very proud of our past, but we are focused on our future as we commemorate this special occasion.”
The company was founded in 1964 as Executive Jet Airways, Inc., later changed to Executive Jet Aviation (EJA), by a group of retired World War II Air Force generals led by Brigadier General O. F. “Dick” Lassiter. Early board members included:
Retired General Curtis LeMay, a four-star general and Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and former head of the Strategic Air Command
Retired General Paul Tibbets, who piloted the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first nuclear weapon used in war on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945
Movie actor and famed celebrity Jimmy Stewart
Radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey
Business leader M.J. Rathbone, retired board chairman of Standard Oil, N.J.
EJA was acquired by Richard Santulli in 1984, and he innovated and launched the fractional aircraft business in 1986. Berkshire Hathaway purchased the company in 1998 and changed the name to NetJets in 2002. David Sokol became chairman and CEO in 2009, and was followed by current Chairman and CEO Jordan B. Hansell.
“I purchased a small, used aircraft in 1986 that I named Indefensible because I felt guilty about flying privately,” said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. “I quickly realized the value of having a private jet as a business tool for utility and convenience, and a few years later Berkshire purchased a larger jet that I named Indispensable. I joined the NetJets family shortly thereafter, purchased the company in 1998, and continue to see it as a remarkable company with a fascinating history and an even better future.”
Following are key milestones in NetJets’ storied history:
Executive Jet Airways, Inc. is founded
Executive Jet Management (EJM) becomes operational
Richard Santulli purchases Executive Jet Aviation (EJA) and later develops fractional ownership
NetJets Europe commences operations
Berkshire Hathaway purchases EJA
The Marquis Jet Card Program launches using EJA aircraft
Executive Jet changes its name to NetJets Inc.
NetJets acquires Marquis Jet Card
NetJets orders 125 Embraer Platinum Edition Phenom 300 aircraft
NetJets orders 120 Bombardier Global aircraft
NetJets introduces the Signature Series of aircraft, which are customized jets unique to NetJets
NetJets’ new world headquarters is built in Columbus, Ohio
NetJets announces a new joint venture in China with plans to operate there beginning in 2014
NetJets announces the largest aircraft order in private aviation history (275 Bombardier Challenger aircraft and 150 Cessna Citation Latitudes at a total value of $9.6 billion)
NetJets launches the Signature Series edition of customized aircraft
NetJets announces the formation of Executive Jet Management Europe (EJME)
NetJets leads the industry by giving its U.S. pilots iPads to use as electronic flight bags (iPads are rolling out to pilots in Europe in 2014)
“NetJets flew just under 306,000 flights in 2013 to more than 2,500 airports around the world. A NetJets aircraft took off every 103 seconds last year with more than 190 million statute miles flown – the equivalent of traveling to the moon and back 400 times,” added Hansell.
NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the worldwide leader in private aviation with the largest and most diverse private jet fleet in the world. With a half century of safety and innovation in private travel, NetJets began in 1964 as the first aircraft charter; and management company in the world. In 1986, NetJets pioneered the concept of fractional aircraft ownership – offering individuals and businesses all of the benefits of whole aircraft ownership and more, at a fraction of the cost. Today, NetJets offers a full range of private aviation solutions through its businesses in North America and Europe, as well as in China - once regulatory approvals are finalized. Products include NetJets Shares™, NetJets Leases™ and the Marquis Jet Card®, which provides access to NetJets through a 25-hour jet card.
The North America business is managed and operated by NetJets' subsidiary, NetJets Aviation Inc., and the European business is managed and operated by NetJets Transportes Aereos, SA; a Portuguese/EU Air Carrier. NetJets also offers aircraft management and on-demand charter services through its subsidiary, Executive Jet Management Inc., which includes operations in the U.S. and Europe. Subject to obtaining relevant regulatory approvals, NetJets will also offer aircraft management and charter services in China through NetJets Business Aviation Limited, a joint venture between NetJets and a consortium of Chinese investors. The NetJets companies offer worldwide flight operations. More information on NetJets, NetJets Europe, the Marquis Jet Card, and Executive Jet Management is available at www.netjets.com.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50869180&lang=en
Tom Hoyt, 614-849-7757