The rebound in business travel has resulted in NetJets Inc., the business-jet operator owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., placing a record order for as many as 120 Bombardier Inc. business jets.
The purchase was valued at more than $6.7 billion at list prices, and includes 50 firm orders and 70 future options, according to NetJets.
The purchase of 120 jets would be the largest aircraft purchase in the history of private aviation, Mr. Buffett said on CNBC.
“We have committed huge amounts in the anticipation of demand that occurs over the next 10 years,” he said.
NetJets, which also ordered 125 Embraer business jets in October, said it expects the planes’ arrival to help meet increasing demand following what has been a difficult time recovering from the recession. NetJets ended 2010 making a profit after David Sokol was named by NetJet owner Warren Buffett as President and managed to turn the company around in 2009.
The Bombardier jet orders include 30 of Montreal-based Bombardier’s Global 5000 Vision and Global Express XRS Vision aircraft, which will be delivered starting next year. The deal also includes 20 firm orders for Bombardier’s new Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets, which will be handed over starting in 2017.
NetJets has a fleet of more than 800 business jets, including aircraft manufactured by Cessna Aircraft Co. and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., and operates a fractional-ownership model that lets customers buy flight-hours across a fleet of jets.
NetJets made a $207 million profit in 2010, including a 7 percent sales increase, compared with a loss of $711 million a year earlier.