In October 2022, private aviation company Flexjet had announced plans that it intended to become a public company, through a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Horizon Acquisition Corp II. The two companies just agreed to terminate this arrangement and as a result of the termination, Flexjet will remain a private company.
Flexjet says its strong financial performance will allow for continued opportunistic acquisitions, as well as strategic growth in infrastructure, fleet, and geographic expansion without the need for public capital.
“Because we have been dedicated stewards of our capital, there will be no impact on the growth initiatives we have launched during the past several years, which remain full steam ahead,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci. “We believe that the decision to terminate at this time is in the best interests of our aircraft owners, employees, and other stakeholders.”
In 2023, Flexjet’s plan for growth includes:
- Taking deliveries of aircraft, with an additional 37 expected this year, bringing the fleet to more than 270 aircraft by year-end (excluding helicopters). By the end of 2023, Flexjet will have added nearly 88 aircraft since Q1 2021.
- Bolstering its global infrastructure, including additional private jet terminals, the largest in-house maintenance network in private aviation, maintenance facilities and a new Cleveland headquarters, which will feature a state-of-the-art operations and control center.
- Continued acquisitions of opportunity, such as the recent acquisition of Constant Aviation.
- Further expansion of the industry-first helicopter offering now operating in Europe and in the U.S. Northeast, South Florida, and London with Sikorsky S-76.
- Hiring across the organization, including planned hiring of 388 additional flight crews and 338 aircraft maintenance technicians in 2023. In total, Flexjet is expected to hire an additional 1,400 employees.
“Flexjet and our other branded storefronts are highly sought-after and trusted brands with 40 years of history in the aviation sector. In 2022, we outperformed the financial targets provided at the start of the SPAC transaction and continue to deliver significant cash flows and compelling year-over-year growth. Our position of strength gives us the flexibility to access the public markets at the appropriate time,” said Ricci.
Some of the key brands that are part of the Flexjet family include jet card provider Sentient and on-demand charter providers FX Air and Private Fly.
“Changing course mid-stream is not the easiest path, but I have always respected our team for having the discipline to do just that,” added Ricci. “We will remain nimble and alter course if necessary to ensure we are always doing what is truly in the best interest of our business. Nobody is better positioned to meet the needs of an expanding global private aviation market as is Flexjet.”
Todd Boehly, Chairman and CEO of Eldridge and Chairman, CEO, and CFO of Horizon said, “We have enjoyed and will continue our long partnership with Flexjet’s management team and respect their decision. We are glad that Flexjet and Horizon were able to agree to the termination in a manner that is fair.”
flyExclusive had also announced plans to go public in a SPAC deal, at about the same time as the Flexjet announcement. flyExclusive CEO Jim Segrave recently confirmed the intention to become a public company, with an expected date in August or September 2023.