Plane crazy? New airline launched


Recent turmoil in the airline industry hasn’t prevented a new private jet company from getting off the ground.

Jet Republic bosses are putting their trust in the ultra-rich avoiding the turbulence from the credit crunch as they launch their new luxury service.

The company has placed an order worth around £830m for 110 Learjet aircraft, each seating seven passengers.

The airline will fly to more than 1,000 airports in Europe, including the UK, from its base in Lisbon, Portugal.

Wealthy customers will be served hot meals while they watch iPod videos.

The company’s British chief executive, Jonathan Breeze said the launch offered a “very strong and real opportunity”.

He said: “Despite the current economic climate, the private jet market is enjoying strong growth.

“This, coupled with the fact that we believe there is significant room for improvement in the level of service provided by the private jet aviation sector, means there is a very strong and real opportunity for us to take a significant share of this market.

“We have the right proposition, an extremely talented management team to deliver on our strategy and the financial support to bring it to life.”

The industry has seen high-profile airlines XL and Zoom go out of business in recent weeks.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh has predicted another 30 companies are under threat amid trouble in the world financial markets.