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Tue, Jun 10, 2008

AirShares Elite Acquires iFly

Columbias (nee Cessnas) Out, Cirruses In

Professionally managed aircraft pioneer AirShares Elite announced Monday it has purchased Southern California-based "aero club" iFly, effective immediately.

AirShares personnel tell ANN the acquisition will extend the company's penetration in the SoCal market, while greatly expanding the network of iFly’s Los Angeles and San Diego-area members. AirShares Elite CEO David Lee says the acquisition will provide significant benefits for the customers of both companies.

"AirShares is the largest national shared ownership program and iFly runs the biggest program in the Los Angeles/San Diego market," Lee said. "Together, we will offer our customers an even greater range of flying experiences -- more planes in more locations, with a larger, more experienced and more capable organization. The new organization will be a plus for all of our owners."

The company will operate a fleet of Cirrus SR22 G3 Turbo aircraft in the Southern California market, which iFly Chairman Andrew DeMond believes will provide greater utility to iFly’s members, who previously flew a fleet of normally aspirated Columbia (now Cessna) 350s.

"AirShares and iFly have been the innovators and market leaders in our respective markets; now, we can move forward together," DeMond said. "For iFly’s California members, the combination with AirShares lets them move up to a turbo-normalized aircraft ideally suited to the West Coast market."

AirShares Elite will provide access to its transition training program to iFly’s members, enabling them to begin flying its fleet of Cirrus aircraft within the next few weeks.



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