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JFI Jets, offering charters to Cuba from Long Island, expands fleet

JFI Jets recently acquired a business jet company

JFI Jets recently acquired a business jet company based in Florida, expanding its fleet. David Rimmer, president of JFI Jets, seen here at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Aug. 27, 2015. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

JFI Jets, an aviation company that launched charter service to Cuba from Long Island in August, has acquired a business jet company based in Florida, the companies announced Wednesday.

Terms of the deal for ACP Jets, based in West Palm Beach, were not disclosed. The acquisition, which requires approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, would expand JFI's fleet from 10 jets to 17.

ACP co-founder and president Suran Wijayawardana will join JFI, with headquarters in Long Beach, California, and executive offices at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, as chief operating officer. David Rimmer continues as JFI's president.

"By merging these two industry-leading companies, we will be the only provider with facilities, aircraft, maintenance and sales offices in the top three U.S. markets for private aviation," chief executive Robert Seidel said, referring to the New York metropolitan area, Southern California and South Florida.

The combined company will offer aircraft acquisition, maintenance, consulting and management services along with its charter business.

Rimmer said JFI has flown three charters to Cuba and demand remains strong, with bookings through early 2016.

He said the acquisition took shape when company executives crossed paths working on aviation industry trade groups.

"We've known each other for a long time," Rimmer said.

While the FAA reviews the acquisition and transition plan, JFI and ACP will conduct flight operations separately, he said. Full integration is expected to take at least six months.

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