|Parent company||General Dynamics|
Jet Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), was founded in Switzerland in 1967 and is one of the leading business aviation services companies in the world. Close to 5,600 employees cater to client needs from 26 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. The company provides maintenance, completions and refurbishment, engineering, fixed base operations, along with aircraft management, charter services, aircraft sales and personnel services. Jet Aviation's European and U.S. aircraft management and charter divisions jointly operate a fleet of more than 200 aircraft. Its headquarters is in Zurich.
The late Carl W. Hirschmann established Jet Aviation in 1967, as a maintenance organization when he bought the former Globe Air hangars in Basel, Switzerland and opened the first maintenance facility for business aircraft in Europe.
Two years later, he expanded the company and entered a new line of business by acquiring the Pilatus maintenance and airline handling operations in Zurich and Geneva. Then realizing that customers may likely still require transport while their own aircraft are being maintained, he also began offering aircraft charter and management services to European and Middle Eastern customers.
In the 1970s, the company expanded its services to provide aircraft management and charter services for European and Middle Eastern customers. The first maintenance base outside of Switzerland was established in 1975 in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in 1979, a partnership was formed with a group of Saudi businessmen in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to operate an FBO facility in Jeddah. In 1977, Jet Aviation added outfitting services as a new line of business at its Basel operation and the facility has since then grown to become the largest independent completions center in world.
1980s brought further expansion to the company in Europe and the Middle East, but more importantly, Jet Aviation successfully entered the U.S. market to become the first global player in the business aviation industry. Since the mid '80s, the company bought existing FBOs in Boston/Bedford, Massachusetts, Palm Beach, Florida and added a FBO in Teterboro, New Jersey, in 1988 to serve the strategically important New York City corporate marketplace. The same year, Jet Aviation acquired Teterboro based Executive Air Fleet - the largest aircraft management and charter company in North America.
The consolidation and steady growth in the EMEA region and North America marked the 1990s. Jet Aviation Basel, Switzerland and the three U.S. FBOs in Boston/Bedford, Palm Beach and Teterboro were expanded to enhance the overall quality and services at these facilities. In 1994, Jet Aviation was granted the right to expand its airline handling services in Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland to provide services to scheduled airlines and IATA carriers. A major move into the Asian market was the opening of a maintenance and FBO facility in Singapore in 1995. Two more locations, including a maintenance facility in Hannover, Germany and a full-service FBO operation in 1999 at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, in the United States were added to Jet Aviation's global network.
In October 2005 Jet Aviation was acquired by the Permira Funds, which marked the end of 38 years of family entrepreneurship and in March 2006, the company, under new ownership, announced the acquisition of St. Louis, Missouri-based Midcoast Aviation, one of the leading maintenance, repair and overhaul, modifications and completions companies in North America. After almost 40 years as part of the group, Jet Aviation sold its airline and cargo handling division in Switzerland on November 6, 2007 to Dnata, the largest supplier of air travel services in the Middle East. Since December 2007 Jet Aviation also provides line maintenance, defect rectification and AOG services at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport. In January 2008, Jet Aviation acquired U.S. based maintenance and completions company Savannah Air Center located at Savannah / Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. In Spring 2008, Jet Aviation and Beijing-based Deer Air, signed a joint venture to operate a FBO and line maintenance facility at Beijing's Capital International Airport.
November 5, 2008 marked another chapter in Jet Aviation's history when the company was acquired by U.S.-based General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, VA. General Dynamics is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. As part of General Dynamics, Jet Aviation will operate as an independent business unit within the General Dynamics Aerospace Group to continue with its successful business model.
Jet Aviation Business Jets Limited is the Hong Kong branch of Jet Aviation. It is based at Hong Kong International Airport, operating non-scheduled passenger services in the region. The branch operates one Bombardier BD-700 Global Express aircraft and two GulfStream G550 with 15 seats capacity. The branch was established in 2002.