APRIL 26, 2001
United Airlines is planning to launch a business jet division with as many as 200 aircraft by 2006. The company has decided to launch a new wholly owned subsidiary that will provide a complete portfolio of business jet services, including fractional ownership, fleet management, charter flights and corporate shuttle services. The first flights are expected to start early next year.
United will be the first commercial carrier to offer scheduled flights on luxury business jets, which have been traditionally be operated by corporations or as part of fractional ownership programs for corporations and wealthy individuals. United has been negotiating with several major business jet manufacturers for months, and recently signed a memorandum of understanding with one unidentified company, according to Aviation Daily.
"This is a watershed development in commercial aviation because it marks the first time an airline has totally bought into the business jet concept and market," said Aviation Daily Editor-In-Chief Michael Miller. "Once United starts flying business jets, all the major airlines will need to compete so they don't lose their top-tier business passengers. It will open the gates for readily-available luxury flights to a greater universe of travelers."
Source: Business Wire, via Aviation Daily
See also: United Airlines Parent To Form Business Jet Unit (April 25, 2001)