Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sky's the limit for jet setters at Westchester County Airport (KHPN), White Plains, New York

Jun. 6, 2013 8:32 PM  

Written by  Theresa Juva-Brown

HARRISON — For sale: an Embraer executive jet with spacious leather couches, big screen TVs, wireless Internet, a queen-size bed and a shower. Seats up to 19 passengers.

Asking price? Only $55 million.

The Lineage 1000 was among the elite collection of private aircraft on display Thursday at Westchester County Airport. The National Business Aviation Association event drew some 3,000 people, presented more than 100 vendors, and featured 35 private jets and helicopters.

Panorama Flight Service, a general aviation company at the airport, hosted the one-day forum and fair. Thursday’s packed event was a sign that business aviation is regaining strength, said Panoroma spokesman Jon Boyd.

“Business aviation is extraordinarily sensitive to the economy. Like luxury boating, we are the first to go into a recession and the last to come out. We are seeing an upturn. We expected it sooner… but now things are coming back,” he said.

The mall of luxury planes wasn’t just a spectacle. Business representatives lined up to greet potential buyers, which included “a mix of Fortune 100 clients and high net-worth individuals,” said Michael Mikolay, executive vice president for Guardian Jet, based in Guilford, Conn.

For a CEO who needs to be somewhere in a snap, Mikolay was offering the Agusta AW139, a six-passenger helicopter with an $8.4 million price tag.

“This is the type of helicopter that goes in and out of New York City, takes executives and connects to airplanes such as this, the Citation Encore,” he said, referring to the jet next to him. The eight-passenger plane — previously owned by a company — could be yours for $5.9 million.

Ensuring company executives get to their destinations quickly is helping the country’s economic recovery, Mikolay said.

“You want these CEOs out there and in the forefront developing new business,” he said.

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