Bombardier terminates order
Jet Republic, a private business jet company started in the recession, has suspended the activities of its Portuguese subsidiary.
The company, founded by Jonathan Breeze, a former RAF pilot, cited the "significant difficulties in the aviation sector and more specifically the private jet market."
Bombardier, a Canadian aircraft maker, at the same time terminated Jet's $1.5bn order for 110 Learjet 60 XRs.
The full Jet company statement said: "The aviation market is enduring extremely difficult conditions at the moment.
"For example, in the first quarter of this year, business jet deliveries were down around 22% compared to the same period in 2008.
"Business aircraft manufacturers are expecting net negative orders for 2009 and the UBS used business aircraft index is at the lowest levels in almost 30 years, making it more difficult to place new aircraft.
"Until very recently, we remained very confident of meeting our objectives, but the aviation asset finance market has completely dried up making it much more difficult for potential clients to take out and obtain financing for fractional ownership of jets.
"We have therefore taken the decision to suspend our operations in Portugal until further notice.
"Our holding company is fully operational and will work closely with our shareholders to ensure that the interests of our existing clients, employees and suppliers are protected to the best of our ability."
Mr Breeze, the ceo, launched Jet Republic last December claiming that he could probably benefit from the recession and cuts in travel spending.
He told ABTN earlier this year that he hoped to take advantage of the significant cuts in routes by European legacy carriers.
When he placed the order with Bomdardier for 25 Learjets with an option on a further 85, it was one of the biggest ever placed for private jets in Europe.
The first was due to be delivered next month.
Jet Republic also announced plans just weeks ago to expand from its current staff of fewer than 100 to more than a 1,000 in five years' time.