“What’s Going on at Flight Options?” — James Butler Turns a Critical Eye Toward this ‘Big Four’ Fractional Provider

Bethesda, Maryland • June 2010

In a recent interview with Business Jet Traveler, private aviation attorney and Shaircraft CEO, James Butler, talks candidly about the prospects for Flight Options.

Butler, who has had great success in getting Flight Options owners significantly more for their shares when they sell than Flight Options originally has offered, explains that, “Flight Options hasn’t treated our clients equitably and we’ve had to fight to get fair values for them.”

In addition to its dubious valuation tactics, Butler is also critical of Flight Options’ overall business approach, saying, “I think they’ve not settled on a particular business model or approach to the market. They’ve tried to be an older-aircraft carrier at lower prices. They’ve tried to be a carrier with all kinds of aircraft. They’ve tried to [offer just] a few models — part new, part preowned. I just don’t think they’ve ever quite settled on an approach.”

Ultimately, while Butler explains that he wouldn’t rule Flight Options out if the price point is right for a client, he emphasizes that he’ll still make any client considering Flight Options aware of his concerns. “Some of the other fractional providers are supported by pretty deep pockets, and when we have a company that’s struggled and has an investment banking group funding it, we’re not as sanguine about their capital situation and liquidity to weather the difficulties in the market right now as we are some of the others. And it’s a time to go with strength.”

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