Carl W. Hirschmann, the deceased, founded Jet Aviation in 1967 as a service organisation when he purchased the former Globe Airangars in Basel, Switzerland, and opened the first corporate jet service center in Europe. After two years, he extended the scope of the enterprise and took over the Pilatus service and dispatch facilities in Zurich and Geneva, entering a new field of work.
He then realized that clients probably still needed transportation while their own airplanes were being serviced, and also began providing air freight charters and flight control solutions to clients in Europe and the Mid East. During the 1970' s, the business extended its service to include airplane operations and charters for clients in Europe and the Mideast.
In 1975 the first non-Swiss service centre was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in 1979 a joint venture was set up with a group of Saudian businesses in the Kingdom of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to run an FBO plant in Jeddah. Jet Aviation added equipment support as a new field of activity at its Basel location in 1977 and has since developed into the world's biggest independently operating completion centre.
The 1980' s saw further growth of the airline in Europe and the Middle East, but more significantly, Jet Aviation successfully penetrated the US and became the first ever major international aviation group. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the firm acquired FBOs in Boston/Bedford, Massachusetts, Palm Beach, Florida and added an FBO in Teterboro, New Jersey, in 1988 to service the strategic New York City Corporatesplace.
In the same year, Jet Aviation took over Teterboro-based Executive Air Fleet, the biggest airplane managment and charters firm in North America. Continued expansion and expansion in the EMEA area with the opening of a service and FBO office in Singapore in 1995. In addition, Jet Aviation Basel, Switzerland, and the three US FBOs in Boston/Bedford, Palm Beach and Teterboro were upgraded to improve overall service and customer service at these locations.
Jet Aviation was given the right in 1994 to extend its ground support operations in Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland, to offer regular and IATA carrier support in order to offer its customers a comprehensive range of aircraft ground support solutions. An important step on the Asiatic was the opening of a servicing and FBO plant in Singapore in 1995. Jet Aviation's worldwide operations include two additional facilities, one in Hanover, Germany, and a full-service FBO at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, USA, in 1999.
Jet Aviation was taken over by the Permira Funds in October 2005, marking the end of 38 years of familial enterprise, and in March 2006, under new owner, Jet Aviation announces the purchase of St. Louis, Midcoast Aviation, Missouri, one of North America's premier providers of service, repairs and overhauls, modification and completion.
On November 6, 2007, after nearly 40 years with the Group, Jet Aviation disposed of its flight and freight operations department in Switzerland to Dnata, the Middle East's leading provider of flight operations. In December 2007, Jet Aviation began offering line maintanance, repair and AOG service at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport.
Jet Aviation purchased the US Savannah Air Center in January 2008, with headquarters in Savannah / Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Jet Aviation and Beijing-based Deer Air entered into a JV in spring 2008 to provide FBO and scheduled services at Beijing Capital International Airport. On November 5, 2008, another milestone in Jet Aviation's corporate development was reached when the acquisition of the U.S. General Dynamics, USA, Falls Church, VA, became effective.
- General Dynamics is a leading supplier of commercial aviation, ground and combat battle equipment, armament and ammunition, naval equipment and information technology. Jet Aviation, as part of General Dynamics, will act as an autonomous entity within the General Dynamics Aerospace Group to pursue its proven successes.
The Jet Aviation Business Jets Limited is Jet Aviation's Hong Kong office. Headquartered at Hong Kong International Airport, it handles unscheduled air traffic in the area. A Bombardier BD-700 Global Express and two Gulfstream G550s with 15 seating are operated by the subsidiary.