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Project Phoenix team acquires first CRJ-200 for VIP conversion

March 31, 2008 - Project Phoenix announced today that it has secured the first Bombardier CRJ-200 Regional Jet for a luxury VIP 15-seat conversion.


March 31, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

March 31, 2008 – Project Phoenix announced today that it has secured the first Bombardier CRJ-200 Regional Jet for a luxury VIP 15-seat conversion.   The move follows confirmation from Ritz Pacific Ltd to accept the aircraft and place it with Jet Asia of Macau, the expanding VIP charter and management specialist. Jet Asia currently operates Bombardier Global Express and Challenger aircraft.

Project Phoenix has secured CRJ-200 Serial No 7211, which was previously operating with Independence Air of the USA with a total of 20,000 hours logged.  Last week the aircraft was ferried to Skyservice at Toronto Pearson Airport for two months’ maintenance as part of the Phoenix upgrade programme.  Thereafter it will move to Flying Colours of Peterborough, Ontario, Project Phoenix’s primary interiors provider, for the interior and completions process. This will include the fitting of long range fuel tanks, giving the CRJ-Phoenix a maximum range in excess of 3,000 nm.

“This VIP conversion programme, based on the industry’s best selling regional jet, represented a terrific proposition for us in this buoyant sector and just too good an opportunity to pass up.  We congratulate the Project Phoenix team for their vision in creating a new market for this aircraft just at the right time and we are delighted to commit as launch customer,”  said Les Merszei,  Managing Director, Ritz Pacific Ltd.   He added: “We will not stop at one aircraft.  There will be many more to follow.”

“The interest we have received in the programme has been quite remarkable,” said Project Phoenix President, Mike Cappuccitti.  “The Asian market is alive and we are especially delighted to be finalizing the first aircraft to operate under the AOC of Jet Asia, a premier player in private air charter in the region.”

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Chuck Woods, Jet Asia’s CEO, said of the aircraft:  “The Phoenix fits into our fleet perfectly by providing an economically sound regional solution with a large VIP cabin.  The Project Phoenix team comprises many people with whom we have had previous experience in project managing our aircraft completions and we are totally confident in their ability to deliver.”

Project Phoenix announced the launch of the CRJ-Phoenix VIP conversion programme at the Dubai Air Show in November last year.  It was launched to address two significant challenges facing the business aviation sector today – rapidly escalating prices and increasingly long lead times.   The programme has been conceived, with the assistance and support of several former senior Bombardier executives who make up Project Phoenix, to offer buyers of large executive aircraft a viable and cost-effective alternative to new business aircraft models in the 2,200 – 3,000 n.m range – for which new customers are having to wait for up to five years for a delivery slot.