Hawker Beechcraft sells charter business

Oct. 24--Hawker Beechcraft Corp. has sold its charter and management operations to Sentient Flight Group.

The business will remain in Wichita, and its 22 employees will become Sentient employees. General manager and director of operations Chad Landes will continue to head the organization.

Hawker Beechcraft sold the business in order for the company to focus on its main function of manufacturing and servicing aircraft, Mike Turner, Hawker Beechcraft spokesman, said.

The company also believed that the growth potential of the business was limited under Hawker Beechcraft, officials said.

Turner declined to release the terms of the sale, which closed Monday, or the business's annual sales and income.

The operation's 22 planes will continue to operate under the existing charter certificate. The sale included current aircraft contracts.

"Sentient is a good fit for that business," Turner said.

Hawker Beechcraft still will use the operations for its own charter and management needs, Turner said.

Sentient Flight Group, based in Weymouth, Mass., was formed in April after Sentient Jet and JetDirect Aviation merged.

It has operations in Massachusetts, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Its operations include aircraft management, private jet charter, a private jet membership program, fixed base operations and aircraft maintenance.

Sentient recently agreed to buy TAG Aviation USA's aircraft management business from Switzerland-based TAG Aviation Holding. The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of the year, Turner said.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com [mailto:mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com]

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