Warren Buffett’s vision for NetJets is now the company mantra, new Europe CEO says

  • Warren Buffett's NetJets has a new man at the helm of its European division.
  • Mario Pacifico has joined NetJets after spells at Eni, Prada, and Luxottica.
  • The company has also unveiled the latest plane to serve clients using London City airport.

The new CEO of NetJets Europe said Tuesday that he plans to follow a very clear mantra from ultimate owner Warren Buffett.

NetJets offers fractional jet ownership and pay-by-the-hour travel to executives who either cannot afford to or don't see the value in buying a private jet outright.

After three years as a customer, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway firm bought NetJets in 1998. In 2012, Buffett doubled down with an $18 billion investment allowing the company to buy new jets.

Mario Pacifico has been appointed NetJets Europe CEO.
Source: NetJets
Mario Pacifico has been appointed NetJets Europe CEO.

Pacifico was appointed as CEO of NetJets' European arm after spells at Prada, Luxottica and ENI.

He told CNBC that his mission was clear. "Since the beginning, Warren Buffett said 'OK, it is a very capital intensive industry. The important thing is to invest and reinvest in safety and service.'"

"Buffett used to say, 'Price is what you pay, value is what you get.' So for us, this is a mantra," Pacifico added.

The incoming CEO said NetJets Europe witnessed growth in hours flown during 2017 that doubled the rest of the industry. He added that the expectation this year is for further growth, especially in the U.S. and Europe.

The Cessna Citation Latitude aircraft at London City Airport, operated by NetJets Europe.
Source: NetJets
The Cessna Citation Latitude aircraft at London City Airport, operated by NetJets Europe.

More than half of the firm's European customer base comes from London's finance sector, with private equity and hedge fund management driving growth in the last year.

To capitalize on this, NetJets has announced certification to fly its new Cessna Citation Latitude aircraft in and out of London's City Airport. The eight-seat private plane is able to cope with the steep pitch that the airport requires because of noise, surrounding skyscrapers and a short runway.

Pacifico said the aircraft's flexibility will allow it to access a number of smaller airports as far away as Nigeria and the Middle East.

—Correction: This story has been updated to give the proper spelling of Warren Buffett's name.