Company Jet Has New Flight Officer

    GRAND RAPIDS — The Company Jet announced that it has hired James Lara as its new executive vice president and chief operating officer.

    The announcement came from the firm’s president, Charles R. Cox.

    Before joining the firm, Lara was vice president and general manager of aviation and travel for Sea Ray Boats.

    According to Cox, Lara has an airline transportation rating and certification as an international captain. James is also rated in the Dassault Falcon 10 and 20.

    The firm, headquartered at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, was founded late in 2002 by Northern Jet Management, a corporate aviation management company.

    Northern Jet specializes in turnkey aircraft and flight department management, executive charter service and aviation consulting services.

    Another of its specialties is fractional aircraft ownership and operation and those are the functions of The Company Jet.

    In something like a flying condominium, the firm sells businesses from one-eighth to all of an aircraft, which can be either jet or turbo-prop. The firm then can use any aircraft in The Company Jet fleet for direct-connection business travel between smaller airports, saving time normally lost in airline connections through major commercial hubs.

    The idea, as Cox explained it to the Business Journal last year, is that The Company Jet enables company executives to focus on work rather than travel. The firm has a miscellany of aircraft suitable for sending anything from one officer to a technical team to another site in the country.

    He said fractional aircraft ownership makes a lot of sense for firms that require extensive executive travel time because it cuts costs and avoids the waste of corporate executive time and energy, enabling officers to be more productive and avoid personal exhaustion.

    Cox claims that The Company Jet is the pre-eminent fractional jet service company in America.

    He also said Lara’s achievements in aviation make his employment a “breaking-the-sound-barrier decision” for the growth of the company.

    Upon assuming his new position, Lara said the reputation that The Company Jet has established in the FBO (fixed-base operator) aviation arena is respected throughout the industry. “My short-term mission is to listen,” he said, “and learn from a team of aviation professionals who’ve operated one of the most successful and long-term aviation organizations in the country.”

    The Company Jet Web site is

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