Investor Warren Buffett, called the Oracle of Omaha for his success at investing in businesses through his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has placed a record order for business jets valued at $9.6 billion to be flown by pilots of Berkshires bizjet operation NetJets.
NetJets ordered as many as 425 jets from Bombardier Inc. and Textron Inc. Textron’s subsidiary Cessna will strengthen Berkshire’s NetJets as the U.S. and European economies “ultimately come back to a much stronger position,” NetJets Chief Executive Officer Jordan Hansell told reporters yesterday on a conference call.
Deliveries will begin as soon as two years from now as NetJets expands its current fleet of more than 700 planes.
“This is a favorable time to buy,” Michel Merluzeau, an aviation consultant for G2 Solutions in Seattle said in a telephone interview. “It’s a good demonstration of the anticipation of cycles.”
“It’s prudent to take a stand now and make a decision now to be sure that we’re well positioned to compete over the longer term,” Hansell said on the conference call.
The order is the largest ever for business aircraft, according to NetJets, eclipsing the $6.7 billion list value for the company’s March 2011 purchase of as many as 120 Bombardier Challenger aircraft. In October 2010, NetJets agreed to buy as many as 124 Embraer Phenoms, with a list value of $1.05 billion.