Category Archives: Charter Broker Updates

Wheels Up Memberships Available From Costco

CostoCostco Wholesale is now offering annual memberships to private flight membership program Wheels Up on  Offered at $17,500.00 for an annual Core membership, the purchaser is awarded a bonus $3,500 Costco Cash Card E-Voucher, and a $4,000 flight credit.

Core Membership regular price for individuals is $17,500 annually and corporations $29,500 annually (annual dues starting second year are then $8,500 for individuals and $14,500 for corporations), plus a fixed hourly price for each hour flown – the cost per hour of getting on the King Air is $4,695 per hour, light jets are $5,795 per hour, midsize jets including the Citation Excel/XLS is $7,695 per hour and Super-midsize jets including their Citation X is $9,295 per hour according to a report from the private aviation industry resource.

By comparison charter rates for the King Air 350 average around $2,000 per hour in the US including fees and surcharges, and charter rates for light jets average around $4,600 per hour, the Citation Excel/XLS average $3,850 per hour round-trip and around $6,000 per hour one-way, according to Rick Colson, president of New Flight Charters, a nationwide leader with a best price guarantee on every flight.  The Wheels Up program may be advantageous for those who (1) are frequent users – more than 150 hours per year to bring the total costs per hour down, and who (2) usually fly one-way flights or round trips over many days, according to Colson.  “A membership fee does not mean better hourly rates or reliability in the current market.  Look at your historical or expected usage and compare costs as a whole or trip by trip,” he says.

FlightList PRO announces the new comprehensive Charter Broker Directory  for the US, Europe and Worldwide.  

Of note on a comparison basis, the King Air 350i requires 18% more flight time than light jets for the same trip, therefore flight costs increase 18% to $5,068 on trip cost comparison basis to light jets.

Costco is offering the lower-level Wheels Up Connect Membership at $1,994.99.  Featured are market rate pay-as-you-go private flight bookings, potential shared flight opportunities and Wheels Up Signature Events.

The Wheels Up fleet includes King Air 350i turboprops, Citation Excel/XLS midsize jets, and Citation X super-midsize jets, plus access to a variety of light, midsize, super-mid and heavy jets,  Costco offers the Wheels Up memberships in their section for Holiday, Gifts & Tickets > Hotels & Tourist Attractions.

– First published in 2015, last updated 11/15/20 to reflect Wheels Up price adjustments –

Prior Charter Alerts for Wheels Up
Wheels Up Gets $115 Million Investment From T.Rowe Price, Others
Citation Emergency, Door Opens in Flight – Live ATC recording
Wheels Up Takes Delivery of “Pink Plane In Time for October

Wheels Up Costco

New Charter Aircraft Available: The 2020 Phenom 300E

A brand new 2020 Phenom 300E has been added to Summit Aviation, Inc’s fleet. As part of a floating fleet, it will be available at special point-to-point, one-way pricing.

One of now seven Phenom 300s in Summit’s fleet, this aircraft is decked out with a luxurious Bossa Nova interior. The charter company is confident that this stylish and comfortable interior along with their complimentary onboard Wi-Fi makes this Phenom 300E “our most impressive Phenom option yet.”

Wheels Up Acquires Charter Operator Travel Management Company/TMC Jets

Floating Fleet charter operator TMC Jets with 26 light jets is acquired by Wheels Up.

Floating Fleet charter operator TMC Jets with 26 Hawker 400XP and Nextant 400XT light jets is acquired by Wheels Up.

Membership-based private flight company Wheels Up announced it was acquiring floating fleet charter operator Travel Management Company (TMC).  Terms of the deal were not released.

TMC operates 26 Hawker 400XP and Nextant 400XT light jets across the eastern half of the U.S. on a floating fleet model of one-way priced charters, focusing on the wholesale charter channel consisting mostly of charter brokers.

Wheels Up is a membership model with 93 aircraft; 72 King Air 350i executive turboprops, 15 Citation Excel/XLS midsize jets and 6 Citation X super-midsize jets, and will also arrange other ad hoc charters functioning as a charter broker.  Wheels Up program aircraft are managed and operated by Gama Aviation.  Both TMC and Gama Aviation carry ratings of ARGUS Platinum, Wyvern Wingman and IS-BAO Registered.

All 39 floating fleet operators with 435 one-way price aircraft are in FlightList PRO, the largest charter sourcing platform database.  Full access is $90 month-to-month.  Learn More.

TMC ranked as the 10th most active Part 135 operator in the US according to ARGUS International, flying 19,033 hours in 2018.  ARGUS data shows Gama Aviation was the #1 most active Part 135 operator in 2018 flying 91,195 hours.

The 26 light jets of TMC compliment Wheels Up’s existing fleet which was absent of aircraft in the light jet category.  Wheels Up founder and CEO Kenny Dichter stressed that the acquisition will not alter Gama Aviation’s role in operating Wheels Up’s fleet. “We love our relationship with Gama,” he told AIN.

According to Dichter, TMC will operate as a separate subsidiary of Wheels Up and continue to provide the same service to its existing wholesale channel partners.  TMC will also continue to be lead by its existing leadership team, including CEO Phil Dodyk.

Private equity company TPG Growth bought TMC from its founder Pete Liegl in 2017. TPG also owned a significant stake in XOJET at the time. It sold XOJET to Vista Global in September 2018. TMC owned 68 aircraft when it was sold in 2017 – 36 Hawker 400XPs, 29 Hawker 800XPs, two Challenger 604s and one King Air 200. The company was launched in 2006.

“Wheels Up is officially in deal mode,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up to Corporate Jet Investor. “Light jets clearly go together with King Airs for entry level users and we now have 119 aircraft. We also get more than 90 great pilots and 125 employees who will stay with the business and keep all of its relationships with channel partners going.”

“This acquisition is a foundational piece in our continued brand evolution and mission to provide our members with a total private aviation solution,” said Dichter. “TMC and its light jet fleet are a perfect complement to our anchor partner, Gama Aviation, which will continue to operate the aircraft in our Wheels Up fleet.”

TMC will operate as an independent subsidiary of Wheels Up. It will stay in Elkhart, Indiana with Dodyk staying as CEO. Gama Aviation will continue to operate the Wheels Up fleet.

“The team at TMC is world-class, and we’re proud of the reputation we’ve earned for being one of the safest and most reliable operators in private aviation,” said Phil Dodyk, CEO of TMC. “By joining Kenny and the Wheels Up team, we’re excited to become part of such a renowned brand and a larger company that is deep with talented leadership, which shares our collective vision of building an industry leader.”

Sources:  Wheels Up release, AINonline article, Alasdair Whyte of Corporate Jet Investor

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

Leading air charter brokers and travel professionals use FlightList PRO’s full-market resources, economical rates and marketing opportunities to grow their service level, their business and their bottom line. 

Jet Charter Broker PrivateFly Acquired by Directional Aviation

Directional Aviation, parent to subsidiary OneSky LLC – which holds fractional provider Flexjet and charter brokers Skyjet and Sentient Jet – announced yesterday the acquisition of U.K.-based online charter broker PrivateFly.

Launched in 2008, PrivateFly will combine with charter broker Skyjet, “to create one of the world’s largest online booking platforms for private jet charter, one with a robust digital platform and a physical geography and assets tailored for countries on four continents,” according to Directional’s press release.  No purchase price was disclosed.

The combined PrivateFly/Skyjet entity will have a presence in both the U.S. and Europe and will leverage OneSky’s existing assets and infrastructure.

OneSky’s Flexjet provides fractional jet ownership, leases and jet cards.  Sentient Jet sells jet cards exclusively.  Skyjet sells on-demand charter and a membership program.

Charter Alerts – current news about charter operators, brokers and aircraft – are posted by FlightList PRO, serving charter brokers and operators with the largest platform of aircraft in the U.S., Europe and worldwide.

For its part, PrivateFly acquired U.S.-based broker Bird Dog Jet last November bringing with it a preferred supplier relationship to the $23.7 billion Virtuoso network of luxury travel agencies.

PrivateFly co-founders Adam Twidell and Carol Cork will lead Skyjet/PrivateFly as CEO and chief marketing officer, respectively, a OneSky spokesman told Aviation International News.  They will both report to Andrew Collins, who is now the global brand manager for Skyjet, PrivateFly, and Sentient Jet, and also retains his title as president and CEO of Sentient Jet.

Directional Aviation also holds aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace as well as various parts, services, leasing, and aircraft finance businesses and was estimated to have $2.5 billion in revenues and 3,000 employees in 2017.

Directional has been growing through acquisitions domestically and abroad. It acquired Sentient Jet in 2012 and then Flexjet and Skyjet in 2013.  In 2016, it acquired U.K. charter operator FlairJet.  Directional principal Ken Ricci last year told, “What I see happening is opportunities overseas more – we are starting to see a shift to more opportunities outside the U.S. than within it.”

Sources:  Company press release, AIN,

FlightList PRO, at $90 for 3 users no contract, is a favorite of the most experienced charter brokers and travel professionals; 80% of FlightList PRO users have been arranging charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Free trials available.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

2017 Results and 2018 Projections from 15 Air Charter Companies

Jet Charter Fleet

Photo courtesy New Flight Charters

Air charter activity is up worldwide according to data and anecdotal reports.  US and global economies are favorable and consumer sentiment is improving.  Recent US tax law changes are providing incentive and resources for business growth in the US and helping fuel the upward trend of business aviation for 2018.

We will let the industry speak for itself; from 15 air charter companies, organizations and individuals- compiled here are their own results, projections and commentary on business now and looking forward.

Jason Middleton, CEO, Silver Air

From January 18  “For us at Silver Air, the outlook for 2018 is great in pretty much all areas.  We are seeing aircraft sales go up, aircraft charter volume is going up, and charter clients are stepping up in the size of aircraft as well. We are seeing a particularly strong upswing in the Super Mid category. Aircraft like the Citation X and Challenger 300 are in high demand for charter.


From company website and several online articles:  (PrivateFly acquired US broker Bird Dog Jet in 2017)  “PrivateFly has grown over 50% again in 2017, and we are looking to continue that growth path in 2018, in large part by U.S. expansion. We’ve grown both top line revenue and bottom line EBITDA as a profitable online platform in the digital space proving true viability. After opening our first US office in 2016, we’ve expanded our team with the recent takeover of Bird Dog Jet and received several new awards and accolades. These steps are just the beginning of our American growth, and we have big plans for 2018.”

Jamie Walker, President & CEO, Jet Linx Aviation

From January 18  “Our Jet Card business is growing at a strong and steady pace as more individuals realize the need for private aviation both in their business and leisure travel. Our average growth rate over the past five years has been 30% or more for both revenue and flight hours. I expect that business growth and utilization will continue to grow at 30% or more in 2018.

Overall, we’re seeing tremendous opportunities for growth in 2018 and beyond and are looking to expand to new markets on the east and west coasts, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and San Jose.”

New Flight Charters

Leading charter brokerage New Flight Charters announced in a national release about current jet charter trends and results: 12.5% increase in charter business overall lead by growth in midsize, super-midsize and heavy jets (+16%), and also turboprops (+18%) in that growing charter market segment.  International charters increased by 40% in 2017, led by flights to the Caribbean and Mexico.  Drivers to the growth included improved pricing options with floating fleets, personnel/service level, and increased repeat clients.  January 2018, it reports, continued the same trends.  The company offers the industry’s only “best price guarantee” for jet charter pricing and quotes.

Sergey Petrossov, CEO, JetSmarter

From January 18  “Business is great. We grew over 100% in 2017 for revenue and over 150% in passengers flown. We expect to double again in size in 2018. For the market, we believe the sharing economy will consume private aviation all the way from aircraft ownership to single seat bookings, and consumers will use multiple biz jet solutions for their travel needs.”

Monarch Air Group

Monarch Air Group, an aircraft management company, charter operator and charter broker based in Texas and Florida, published predictions for 2018.

  1. New clients will experience flying private
  2. Charters will lead the business aviation growth
  3. Bitcoin as a payment method will be a must
  4. Diversification as the key to withstanding shaky economies
  5. Consolidation of the very light jet segment


ARGUS through AIN Online 2/5/18:
For the first quarter, Argus predicts a 5 percent jump in year-over-year business aircraft traffic. January will lead the gains with a 5.4 percent increase, with February and March up 4.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Overall, business aircraft flights in the first quarter are expected to number 759,169.

Business aviation flights in the U.S. and Canada topped 3 million last year, reaching that mark for the first time since 2008, according to a 2017 Business Aircraft Activity Review released by Argus International. The 30-page review, which details Argus TraqPak flight activity data in 2017, reports that business aviation flights increased 3.9 percent overall and flight hours jumped 5.5 percent over 2016.

Year-over-year gains were posted in every month of 2017, Argus said, adding that the improvements were fairly consistent throughout the year. Activity in the first half of 2017 was up 3.9 percent over the same period in 2016, while activity in the second half of 2017 was up 3.8 percent.

Part 135 operations enjoyed the greatest gains, rising 9.2 percent last year. This improvement was driven by Part 135 large-cabin jet operations, which led all increases in 2017 with a 14.9 percent jump. Fractional flights ended the year up 4.7 percent, while Part 91 flights inched up 0.1 percent in 2017. Increased Part 91 large-cabin and midsize jet flights—up 2.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively—offset a slide in Part 91 light jet flights, down 0.7 percent, and turboprop flights, down 1.3 percent.

Joe Moeggenberg, CEO, ARGUS

From January 18  “For the first time since 2008, flight activity reached over three million flights in 2017, an upward trend we expect to see into 2018 as our TRAQPak analysis forecasted flight activity for Q1 in 2018 to increase 5% year over year. In 2017, Part 135 activity saw the largest year over year operation category increase of over 9% and large cabin aircraft saw the largest year over year increase across the industry, up almost 15%.

Steve Orfali, CEO, Jetset Group Inc. and Wholesale Jet Club

From January 18  “We believe 2018 will be another very strong year for our companies. Jetset Group saw a 30% increase in business in 2017, and we project about the same in 2018. The economy continues to flourish, and we are seeing more and more people shift to private jet travel as a result of it. I believe we will see some rising fuel prices in 2018, which could bring up the pricing on charters, but that’s why many people opt for our jet cards. They have guaranteed rates with no fuel surcharges.”

Stratos Jet Charter

Charter broker Stratos Jet Charter is calling for growth in charter, 5 trends for 2018:

  1. New aircraft models hitting the market in 2018
  2. Busy weekends for air traffic
  3. More air travelers become jet card program members
  4. Continued growth in charter market

Gary Hammes, President, Delta Private Jets

From January 18  “Business is strong, and with current economic conditions and stock market patterns we are anticipating another record year in 2018. We continue to see strong demand for our product, especially in the corporate space.  We expect to grow our charter business 15-20% and we expect a 20% increase in Jet Card sales. As 2018 progresses, we will continue to expand our fleet by about 15 aircraft to meet growth targets and demand. We are developing an enhanced jet card product, and we recently launched our Sky Access membership program which offers access to empty legs and fixed hourly rate private jet travel.”

ACI jets

ACI Jet is an FBO, aircraft manager and charter operator based in Southern California with a charter fleet of 11 midsize through ultra long range jets.

From article in Paso Magazine:  “Known for its work as a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), ACI Jet has locations at airports in Orange County, Oceano, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles, but the company began when Bill Borgsmiller fueled his Piper Seneca III as the company’s first charter aircraft in 1998.

ACI Jet now employs 190 people, operates a fleet of private jet aircraft, and celebrates a banner year in 2017 with a 20-year anniversary and more growth in 2018.

“In this last year, one of the most exciting things is a new location in Orange County,” Borgsmiller said. “We are adding new aircraft to the fleet. There is big growth.”

In concert with the expansion at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, ACI Jet is building a 35,000-square-foot office complex, and an adjacent 25,000-square-foot hangar as its corporate headquarters on the grounds.”

Andrew Collins, CEO, Sentient Jet and Skyjet

From January 18  “We had an incredibly strong year at both Sentient Jet and Skyjet. Each brand saw growth in many of our key-performance measurements. We moved into new headquarters, launched new products, and pushed our brand and partnership visibility up a few notches.

I feel relatively bullish on 2018 within the major client markets that we serve, especially those in the financial sector. We’re projecting significant growth at both brands and seek to continue to push into new product categories and client segments.

Lastly, it feels like a number of upstarts that pursued significant growth models will continue to have industry visibility. However, unlike perhaps the past few years, they will have to mature their models to meet investor requests and demands and provide real insight into how they will scale and how they plan on truly impacting the private aviation buying segment.”

Greg Raiff, CEO, Private Jet Services (PJS) Group

From January 18  “Our corporate and leisure business was up year over year more than 100% when we compare 2016 to 2017. We expect that dynamic growth to continue in 2018, as the geometric increase in the number of private flyers globally, and the price efficiency of our solution gains broad recognition.”

Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO, Wheels Up

From January 18  “Wheels Up is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2018. We expect another banner year and to exit with 6,000 active members and a $400 million run rate with over 100 aircraft. We took delivery of our first three Citation Xs so we are now a three airplane type fleet. Wheels Up is revenue growing at over 35% per year, and we expect that kind of growth rate moving forward.”


Sources:  company announcements, press releases, articles, online media

FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.

New Private Jet Charter Empty Legs Listing Nationwide Announced by New Flight Charters

Largest Public Listing includes over 150 Jet Charter Empty Legs Nationwide Sourced and Published by Top-Rated Jet Charter Brokerage.

New Flight Charters, a charter aircraft owner and leader in the private jet charter space since 2004, in a news release has announced the largest public listing of empty legs in the jet charter industry.  The company now is listing over 150 upcoming and available empty legs from U.S. private charter aircraft.


Hawker 800XP jet charter with New Flight Charters at Jackson Hole, WY airport.

Hawker 800XP jet charter with New Flight Charters at Jackson Hole, WY airport.

Also known as dead-heads or ferry flights, empty legs are flights without passengers on board when an aircraft needs to be moved.  Often a private charter jet will have empty leg flights associated with an existing flight schedule- when it needs to move to another location to start a charter, or return back to base after completing a charter, or the same situations for its owner flights.

These empty legs, when an aircraft needs to fly a certain direction, can be a unique opportunity for a low-cost jet charter.  Aircraft can be re-routed to accommodate a charter flight need.  For example, an empty leg from Houston to Denver can be rerouted for a Dallas to Aspen charter at a much lower than normal cost.


Rates can vary since each empty leg charter is unique, but pricing is typically 30-50% lower than standard charter quotes.

Examples from the current Empty Legs Listing of 150 flights include:·

  • Jackson Hole, WY – Denver, CO, Hawker 400XT light jet, December 19, $6,800
  • Boca Raton, FL – Teterboro, NJ, Embraer Legacy 600 large jet, December 21, $15,450
  • Sun Valley, ID – Los Angeles, CA, Phenom 300 light jet, December 22, $6,900
  • New York, NY – Palm Beach, FL, Citation CJ3 light jet, December 27, $10,600
  • Los Angeles, CA – Aspen, CO, Gulfstream IV large jet, December 31, $13,950

“When an empty leg matches up with a flight need, there is no better value in private flying,” commented Rick Colson, New Fight Charters’ president.  “Working with the largest charter availability in the industry we use a variety of tools to source ideal aircraft options for any given charter request.”


All Floating Fleets are listed only in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide. 

Floating Fleets are a second attractive and lower cost solution.  A fast-growing option in private jet charter is utilizing a non-based Floating Fleet aircraft for better one-way pricing, point-to-point.  These can be available in all parts of the U.S., for all types of flying, from shorter one-hour flights to coast-to-coast and international flights.  Floating Fleet aircraft do not have to return to a base, and thus can be more cost-effective charter options.

334 floating fleet jets are available nationwide through New Flight Charters; all sizes from light jets to ultra long-range jets such as the Global 5000.  Charter quotes for these floating fleet aircraft are typically 15-30% less than traditional based aircraft.

Any requested charter need can be fully customized for aircraft, size, type, and amenities along with desired ratings or registrations from ARGUSÒ, Wyvern Ltd.Ò, IS-BAO or the Air Charter Safety Foundation.

About New Flight Charters

Since 2004 charter aircraft owner and leading U.S. private jet charter brokerage New Flight Charters has arranged private domestic and international flights with top-rated operator aircraft along with its jet charter pricing Best Price Guarantee, top aircraft availability, industry empty legs list, and a perfect safety history. As a registered U.S. government contractor with an A+ rating by the BBB, and named to the Inc.500 fastest growing list four consecutive years, the jet charter company handles 1,400 flights annually nationwide and serves a wide variety of clientele including Fortune 500 companies, government heads of state, presidential campaigns, entertainment icons, private families and entrepreneurs. Extensive client reviews and industry ratings are available on the New Flight Charters website.

For charter quotes or information nationwide, call (800) 732-1653.

Colorado private charter information and quotes for Denver, Aspen, Vail, Telluride and more can be found at Jet Charter Colorado.  For private jet charter information to and from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, see Jackson Hole Jet Charter.  The nationwide jet charter aircraft listing can be found at Jet Charter Review.

Source:  company press release

Air Charter Alerts by FlightList PRO, are the latest announcements in the private air charter industry about operators, brokers and charter aircraft, and geared towards active participants in the industry.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of users have arranged charters more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years. 

XOJet and JetSmarter Partner Up with Real-time Booking App

On-demand and membership private jet charter firm XOJet today announced a strategic partnership with online charter broker JetSmarter that will combine the former’s service and fleet operations with the latter’s digital distribution capabilities. As part of the alliance, XOJet has named JetSmarter the exclusive digital distribution channel for the company’s fleet of midsize jets.

The core of the partnership is an XOJet-branded mobile app that allows clients to book real-time charter on its fleet of Cessna Citation Xs and Bombardier Challenger 300s. It will use JetSmarter’s technology and be available early next year. In addition, XOJet clients can book shared charter flights, shuttle flights by the seat and last-minute deals via the JetSmarter app. Meanwhile, through the JetSmarter app, members will receive real-time availability and preferred pricing at XOJet, comparable to the operator’s Preferred Access and Elite Access program clients.

Access to XOJet’s charter fleet will be available on the JetSmarter app starting October 1. The JetSmarter andXOJet apps will both be available for iOS and Android devices.

Source:  AIN Aviation International News

Private Jet Service New Flight Charters Is Awarded A+ Rating From Better Business Bureau

Jet Charter Company Also Awarded BBB Accreditation, Affirming It Meets And Will Abide By Certain Standards of Practice and Ethics.

private jet charter flightsU.S. air charter industry leader New Flight Charters announces the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has awarded it an A+ rating, according to a company press release.

The BBB has been tracking New Flight Charters since 2011, and the rating is based on 13 different factors revolving around customer satisfaction.  According to the BBB, factors that raised the rating for New Flight Charters include length of time in business (12 years) along with no complaints filed.

In addition, as of 2016 the BBB has determined that New Flight Charters is now a BBB Accredited Business, affirming that it meets and will continue to abide by the following BBB standards;  Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, Safeguard Privacy and Embody Integrity.

Details on each of these and New Flight Charters Accreditation are available at the BBB review of New Flight Charters.

According to the BBB, their New Flight Charters Business Review includes background, licensing, consumer experience and other information, such as governmental actions, that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.

Source; company press release

Online Charter Broker Stratajet Gets $8M Influx For Booking Platform

Private jet charter booking platform Stratajet announced an influx of $8 million in additional funding. The new investment, which adds to $6 million in capital previously raised, came from London-based venture capital group Octopus Ventures, with support from Stratajet’s existing backers Playfair Capital and JamJar Investments.

stratajet logoUK-based Stratajet launched its platform to consumers earlier this year and according to the company has since generated more than 2 million charter flight quotes.

“This milestone of Stratajet generating two million quotes proves how effective our system can be at giving a wider range of travelers access to the private jet industry,” said Stratajet founder and CEO Jonny Nicol. “Unlike other online brokers, we can provide all customers with accurate prices without wasting the time of the operators.”

Sources:  AINonline, company press release

Other Charter Alerts for StrataJet: 9/17/15 Stratajet Set To Launch Online Charter Booking Engine

Why Are Some Private Jet Startups Failing, With Commercial Airlines Soaring?

— Private jet charters Blackjet, Blue Star Jets and Beacon, among others, have ended operations in recent months, citing funding difficulties as well as problems securing planes, among other issues. —

With commercial airlines soaring, why have some private jet start-ups failed?

By Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2016

The nation’s commercial airlines are reporting soaring profit margins and enough revenue to invest billions of dollars in new planes, airport lounges and even designer-made employee uniforms.

So why hasn’t that success extended to the fleet of private jet start-ups that launched in the last few years?

Private jet charters Blackjet, Blue Star Jets and Beacon, among others, have ended operations in recent months, citing funding difficulties as well as problems securing planes, among other issues.

Many of the new jet charter businesses have tried to jump on the popularity of the “shared economy,” with some comparing themselves to the ride-hailing business Uber. The private jet businesses have also promoted themselves as a way to avoid long airport security lines.


Captain Chris Pimentel, right, waits for passengers to board the SurfAir airplane at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Hawthorne last year. SurfAir is an all-you-can-fly membership airline. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

“There was this feeling that we have this unmet demand,” said Brad Stewart, chief executive and president of XOJET, a San Francisco-based charter jet business.

But according to industry experts, too many of the charters either overestimated the demand or underestimated the funding needed to keep the businesses in the air.

Commercial airlines can squeeze more seats into each cabin and use each jet as extensively as possible to keep costs down, but private charter jets don’t have that option, said Seth Kaplan, managing partner at the trade magazine Airline Weekly.

“The economics of small private jets are not the same as the economics of commercial carriers,” he said.

The most publicized failure was the sudden closure of Florida-based BlackJet, which was backed by tech executives and Hollywood celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z and Will Smith. It collected annual membership fees of $3,000 and up plus fares starting at about $950 to share a ride on other people’s jets.

BlackJet Chief Executive Dean Rotchin wrote a letter to members of the business May 5, saying he was “abruptly ceasing Blackjet operations,” citing “bad press,” the departure of a “critical team member” and finance problems.

Source:  Los Angeles Times

Texas Aviation Start-Up Rise Adds Crowd Sourcing of Private Flights

By Mary Grady, Robb Report, May 10, 2016AdTech Ad

The private-flight service Rise, based in Dallas and launched last year, does not own any airplanes but has created a system to help travelers “crowd source” a charter flight aboard eight-seat Beechcraft King Air 350 twin turboprops.

A Rise Beechcraft King Air 350

With Rise, users pay a $750 deposit and a monthly fee starting at $1,650 for unlimited flights between five Texas cities. The flights are reserved online and scheduled on demand. Multiple users filling up the empty seats on the private plane effectively crowd source each trip and lower the cost compared to a traditional whole-aircraft charter. The company estimates that each private flight saves a traveler 3 hours round-trip compared to commercial flying or driving. Passengers board minutes before takeoff at general-aviation terminals equipped with free Wi-Fi, snacks, a comfortable lobby, free parking, and a bespoke concierge—saving time and energy compared to the main passenger terminals.

8-passenger interior of Rise’s Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft

To date, Rise operates 60 flights per week between the Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Midland airports, but the company says they will expand to six more cities, in Texas and beyond, this year. The company also recently added a new feature, Rise Anywhere, that enables members to crowd source a flight to select destinations including New Orleans, Aspen, and Telluride.

Rise partners with charter flight companies to ensure members will have access to planes, pilots and flights.  The Rise-branded King Air is operated by Monarch Air, a Part 135 charter operator based at Dallas’ Addison Airport.

Source: Article in Robb Report online

Other Charter Alerts about Rise:
All-You-Can-Fly ‘Rise’ Startup Nearly Doubles Texas Flights – Expands Cities
Texas’ All-you-can fly Rise Adds More to Fly
Private Jet Membership Set To Take Off In 2016

“Top 150 Empty Legs” Nationwide Listed by New Flight Charters

Source:  Company Press Release

All types of empty leg charters –  business turboprops through long range jets – available throughout the U.S.

New Flight Charters announced today that it is making available over 150 jet charter empty legs focused on the top private jet destinations nationwide.

These empty legs are available across the country, and are created when an aircraft needs to move for one reason or another, such as to pick up its owner, or returning home from a factory servicing, or returning to base after a charter flight.

This need to move the aircraft can result in low point-to-point pricing, and can be the absolute best values in private jet charter.

For example, a typical empty leg can be booked at around 50% the cost of a regular jet charter.

Currently, a Los Angeles to Las Vegas empty leg in a Beechjet 400A seating 8, lists at $2,900. While, a normal charter rate for this routing is around $6,000.

Click to view the complete list of available empty legs.

“The most common misperception is that empty legs are available between only those cities or airports listed,” said Rick Colson, President of New Flight Charters.

“Empty legs are usually listed as between two certain airports or cities because this is actually the departing and arrival points the aircraft is going, “he added.

“However, a charter can be flown anywhere along that very general route and direction. For example with a empty leg listed from Scottsdale, AZ to Philadelphia, PA, the aircraft can fly a charter from Los Angeles to New York at a discounted one-way price,” said Colson.

One-way charters may have a special cancellation clause because of their price advantage and their need to arrive at the other end.

The aircraft may have a charter booked after the current one-way, which is dependent on it being in that vicinity.

At any given time, hundreds of empty legs are scheduled in the jet charter industry.  New Flight Charters has culled them to 150 of the most popular destinations.  Any other destinations and routings can be searched by request.

Generally speaking floating fleet aircraft have a standard cancellation policy and true empty leg charters are non-cancelable upon booking.

Visit the nationwide empty legs list at or the specialty location Denver Jet Charter or Colorado Empty Legs for Denver, Aspen and other Colorado private jet charters.

Source:  Company press release

Broker and Membership Company BlackJet “Abruptly” Ceasing Operations May 5, 2016:

BlackJet, an on-demand private jet service created by Uber co-founder and chairman Garrett Camp, yesterday informed members that it is “abruptly” ceasing operations.

The Florida-based company was launched in 2012, with the financial backing of venture capital firms (including First Round Capital and CrunchFund), tech executives (including Mark Benioff and Matt Mullenweg) and celebrities (including Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, and Will Smith).

The idea was basically to be Uber for the jet-set, eventually settling into a membership model whereby people paid an annual fee in exchange for access to a network of private jets on which they could book seats. But there were numerous hiccups (including layoffs and a prior service suspension), largely due to capital constraints that seem to have persisted. During the reorganization, Camp was among those who moved on (and gave up his investment).

In fact, TechCrunch inaccurately reported last month that the company had shut down, an incident that BlackJet CEO Dean Rotchin appears to have cited among the reasons for today’s decision (the story was later updated with a correction). A bigger one, however, was financing.

“We probably did more with less than anyone but it’s a critical mass business… There’s a reason why ‘critical’ is part of ‘critical mass,’” Rotchin tells Fortune. “The members were super supportive, the VCs wanted to see our progress continue over a longer period prior to jumping in. There are some aggressive interesting models out there today, someone will make this work.”

Below is Rotchin’s full email to members:

Dear Member:

It is with great regret and personal disappointment that I need to report the following.
Recent events have resulted in abruptly ceasing BlackJet operations.

In the last few days, there was some inaccurate bad press that stunted membership sales, a critical team member stepped down unexpectedly, near-term and longer term financing opportunities were delayed, and it became impossible to continue.

I personally appreciate the amazing support from most of our members. Perhaps I did not do a good enough job of reinforcing the fact that the membership was the key to the ability to deliver the service. Some members were so supportive, and I feel it is important to highlight this aspect because it became evident how most members tried to be as helpful, flexible and cooperative as possible. This was and is very much appreciated.

We are widely considered the pioneers in this field, and we know someone will leverage our learning and crack the code for making the private airfields and private jet fleet affordable and accessible as a part of the US transportation system. Your vision and involvement as early adopters helped to progress this ideal closer to fruition.

Please accept my thanks for your support, and also my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment this causes.


Source:  Fortune online article May 5, 2016

Exclusive Charter Launches Fixed-Rate Flights to Cuba

Exclusive Charter Service is introducing special fixed-rate charters from various U.S. airports into the country’s main gateway, José Martí International Airport, according to a release from the company.

Flights in one of the company’s seven-passenger Piaggio Avanti II twin turboprops from Palm Beach International will be priced at $9,000 each way, or $10,000 from Fort Lauderdale or Miami and $11,000 from Orlando.

In a Hawker 800XP, the Palm Beach rate is $10,500, rising to $13,500 from Fort Lauderdale or Miami and $15,500 from Orlando.  The same aircraft charter from New York’s JFK International Airport is priced at $19,500.

Exclusive’s clearance to operate into Cuba extends to 17 other airports in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Key West, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Fort Myers, Tampa and Washington. It can also offer another 10 different aircraft types, including the Gulfstream G650.

Cuba flights are operated by Custom Jet Charters, LLC.

Meanwhile, the Florida-based company recently launched a membership program called Aero Club. With an annual membership fee, members receive fixed point-to-point flight-hour pricing for various categories of aircraft.

Source:  AIN Online

Flight Options Preps Move To Charter Operations

Flight Options moved forward on Friday with an offer of voluntary separation packages to its pilots as the company lays the groundwork to transform from a fractional operation into an on-demand charter business over the next 12 to 18 months. Flight Options sister operation Flexjet previously made the offer as the two companies begin to reshape their operations, retiring some of the older modelaircraft and moving others into charter.

SkyjetFlight Options will rebrand as Skyjet, a former Bombardier brand that parent company Directional Aviation recently revived to provide charter brokerage services.

The moves are made as parent company Directional Aviation realigns its more recently acquired Flexjet and Flight Options into complementary services rather than competitors. To help differentiate itself as a planned charter-only entity, Flight Options will rebrand as Skyjet, a former Bombardier brand that Directional initially revived in 2014 to provide charter brokerage services.

Voluntary separation packages are being offered to Flight Options pilots through April 30 as the companies seek to reduce the pilot workforce by 70 positions. Directional principal and Flight Options chairman Kenn Ricci told Aviation International News that this comes as on-demand requires less staffing than fractional. The packages were initially offered to Flexjet pilots, who recently voted for representation by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) but were not yet under a collective bargaining agreement.

Flight Options, which previously had been represented by the IBT, sought union approval to make the offer to its pilots, but the union rejected the request. Flight Options moved forward regardless, and between Flexjet and Flight Options, had 80 pilots indicate plans to accept the agreements—exceeding the company’s goal.

The union has, instead, been pushing for a furlough protection plan that would give all furloughed pilots the equivalent of 12 months of compensation. The IBT had expressed concerns that the voluntary program would primarily affect less senior pilots who would not qualify for the maximum benefit.

The company management, however, disagreed with the IBT stance. “I refuse to accept the notion that a pilot, under the employ of this company, does not have the right to decide his or her own future,” Ricci said in announcing plans to move forward with the voluntary package offers. “It is unconscionable that the Teamsters should unilaterally try to take away a voluntary and materially beneficial option.”

Source:  AINonline, by Kerry Lynch

Wheels Up Expands Flight Offerings, Partners With Broker Apollo Jets

Wheels up

Wheels Up dedicated fleet of King Air 350 and Citation Excel aircraft, operated by Gama Aviation.  Photo: Wheels Up

Private aviation membership company Wheels Up announced new product offerings and the launch of a new 8760 Membership tier, both of which enhance the Wheels Up brand, according to a press release from the company.

“Wheels Up is a forward-thinking company always looking to be ahead of the curve and we are committed to delivering innovation to our membership,” said Kenny Dichter, Wheels Up Founder and CEO. “Our members tell us what they want and how they want it. Our mission is to simplify their travel in a complex world.”

New Wheels Up Membership Features:

  • Shuttles: the opportunity for members to purchase seats on scheduled private shuttles traveling to and from popular events and destinations.
  • Hot Flights: a selection of one-way, “empty-leg” flights that are posted daily to the Wheels Up App and updated in real-time.  According to Dichter, “This feature has taken off and our members tell us that they now check Wheels Up Hot Flights before Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.”
  • Flight Desk for charter flights: a dedicated flight desk with offerings to complement the Wheels Up signature fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS aircraft. Wheels Up Flight Desk arranges charter flights for members who are traveling longer ranges, with more than eight passengers and/or desire a larger plane. Wheels Up requires stringent safety standards, working only with FAA and DOT licensed operators who pass a full onsite audit. “With this addition, Wheels Up is now a total private aviation solution and can fulfill any request, continued Dichter.
  • 8760 Experiences: a new unique lineup of experiences available to Wheels Up Members that include private “meet-and-greet” opportunities with top athletes and entertainers, as well as complimentary tickets and suite access to world-class sporting events, in-demand concerts and family shows in cities across the country. “This is a new roster of events available to our members, in addition to our Wheels Down roster of events, which we offer. We are building a lifestyle brand and we want to be in our members’ lives both in the air and on the ground,” Dichter added.

8760 Membership Tier

Wheels Up launched the new 8760 Membership which allows its members a lower cost of entry through a partnership with charter broker Apollo Jets, and access to multiple benefits: Wheels Up Ride Share, Hot Flights and Flight Desk programs; non-guaranteed access to the Wheels Up fleet at higher occupied hourly rates; a lineup of 8760 Experiences, select Wheels Down events, a member benefits program; a members only 8760 app.

“8760 Membership creates the opportunity for more people to join Wheels Up and is a benefit to existing Wheels Up Members specifically for ride-sharing.” said Dichter.

Memberships are also available from Costco; Wheels Up membership price.

With Gama Aviation, operating its flights, the Wheels Up fleet numbers 45 Beechcraft King Air 350i twin turboprops and 15 Cessna Citation Excel/XLS jets. As of April 2016 Wheels Up is reporting 2,300 members.

Source: company press release

U.K. Charter Broker Opens U.S. Office

privatefly jet charterJet charter brokerage PrivateFly has opened a dedicated U.S. office at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.  The European company says the launch is a key step forward in its ambitious U.S. growth plans, following strong sales over the past two years.

The new team in Florida will handle U.S. client flight sales for any global route. PrivateFly says the location of Miami/Fort Lauderdale was also chosen specifically to target a growing private jet audience in the area – a popular luxury travel destination in its own right, and a key connection point for the Caribbean, Mexico and South America.

“PrivateFly’s model is attracting interest from U.S. business aviation customers, who now represent a third of our flight sales,” said PrivateFly CEO Adam Tidwell.  “Florida is the third busiest state for business aviation, after Texas and California.  Its private aviation traffic rose by 3 percent in 2015 following the overall U.S. trend, but we expect the first half of 2016 to see greater growth of around 6 to 8 percent. ”

Source:  company press release

Nationwide Private Jet Charter Service Celebrates Twelve Years Growth, Milestones In Charter Flight Industry

Large Selection, Best Price Guarantee and Industry Reputation Propel Jet Charter Favorite New Flight Charters

U.S. private jet charter leader New Flight Charters this month celebrates its 12th anniversary and record growth, arranging and providing charter flights in the US and worldwide, according to a press release from the company.

Since the company was founded in 2004, the private jet charter industry has experienced tumultuous ups and downs, just in recent times appearing to be confidently climbing out following the 2008 recession.

Private Jet Charter Company Best Ratings Reviews

Private jet charter flight company New Flight Charters, celebrating 12 years growth in 2016

During this time, charter flight company New Flight Charters was growing and profitable 11 of the 12 years, including being awarded to the Inc.500 fastest growing companies list every year from 2009 to 2012, a testament to its service level and returning customers.

Different from most air charter brokerages whose key personnel come from sales jobs outside of aviation, New Flight Charters’ founders had a history in private aviation and were active private and commercial pilots.

“Coming from a background of flight operations and being the one responsible for the customer experience and service, we look at arranging charters quite differently than most,” states Rick Colson, New Flight Charters’ Founder and President, “It’s about the experience, trust and reputation.”

Now with a Charter Management Senior Team of six and a cumulative 46 years in air charter, 51 years FAA-certified experience, 104 years executive management experience and over 17,500 hours personal flight experience, New Flight Charters boasts one of the most experienced and respected teams in the industry.  The company arranges over 1,400 flights each year.

“The largest number of compliments we receive are about our people,” Colson adds.

New Flight Charters has good reason to celebrate;  not only twelve years of consistent growth and success, but recognition as a favorite in the industry and as an air charter role model.

Company Milestones:

  • 2005 Qualified as Registered U.S. Government Contractor, qualified and accepted to the CCR-Central Contractor Registry and SAM-System Award Management.
  • 2006 Awarded Credit Rating by D&B, Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s leading provider of business information for credit, marketing and sales decisions worldwide.  New Flight Charters’ rating and company details are available publicly through D&B online at
  • 2008 Began aircraft ownership and management, placed on a charter operator’s certificate and separately operating it under FAR Part-91 for business.
  • 2009 Launches Best Price Guarantee, assuring New Flight Charters fliers receive the best price in the total market for each and every flight.
  • 2009-2012 Achieves the Inc. 500|5000 fastest growing list four consecutive years, earning the distinction of fastest growing private jet service nationwide.
  • 2010 Publishes Five Questions For Your Air Charter Service, to help private fliers manage risks and ensure a quality and reputable organization is handling their private charter flight.
  • 2011 First in the industry to provide a Company Credentials Report, or anything like it, providing company history, financial, personnel and business credentials to charter industry partners, vendors and clients for review and evaluation.
  • 2011 Passes audit examination by the IRS Excise Tax Division, no changes ordered.
  • 2011-2012 The Most Recommended Jet Charter Service in the world’s largest charter marketplace.  Air charter professionals, operators and brokers publicly recommend charter companies in the market and post comments on their service, history and experiences.
  • 2012-2014 Testing and proving company for groundbreaking industry resource FlightList PRO, featuring the only complete air charter listing directory in the U.S. and 131 countries worldwide.
  • 2013 New Flight Charters’ Five Questions For Your Air Charter Service is adopted and published by The Air Charter Safety Foundation based in Washington D.C. as a consumer guide to chartering an aircraft and made available as a free download at
  • 2013 launches the free Club New Flight, with special member charter discounts, complimentary ground transportation and custom catering, and advance information on empty legs special pricing and new charter aircraft.
  • 2014 Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary as leading private jet charter company, offers special discounts, promotions and free flight concierge experiences.
  • 2015 Achieves 14% growth year over year, more than quadruples total industry trend numbers of 2.9%.
  • 2016 Awarded Better Business Bureau Accreditation, A+ rating. Rating based on 13 factors and no negative information since BBB’s New Flight Charters file opened in 2011.

About New Flight Charters
New Flight Charters arranges over 1,400 separate domestic and international flights each year, with top-rated operator aircraft at leading jet charter rates.  Extensive client and industry reviews are available on the New Flight Charters website.  The private jet charter company serves a wide variety of clientele including Fortune 500 companies, government heads of state, presidential campaigns, entertainment icons, private families and entrepreneurs.  For charter quotes, information or the latest updates, call (800) 732-1653 or visit nationwide or new specialty location Denver Jet Charter for Denver, Aspen and other Colorado private jet charters.

Source: New Flight Charters press release

Startup Company Member Jets Crowdsources Private Flights To Cut Costs, Save Time

By: Bobby Burch  – – 

Overland Park startup Member Jets crowdsources private flights to cut costs, save time

Member Jets CEO Ty Carter

An Overland Park, KS tech firm is bringing charter flights to the masses with its crowdsourcing platform that reduces the costs to fly in swanky private jets.

Founded in 2015, Member Jets created a private aviation community that connects travelers to discounted private flights by aggregating available seats and travel opportunities. Now used at Kansas City’s Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport and the Johnson County Executive Airport, Member Jets is accepting members for its club, which targets businesses and entrepreneurs that highly value their time.

“We’re trying to create a trading environment for aviation,” Member Jets CEO Ty Carter said. “We bring the price point down so you’re not buying an entire airplane — you buy a seat like you would on a commercial airline. But instead of a commercial flight, you’re on a private jet without all the hassles.”

To use the service, a would-be traveler buys a Member Jets membership and creates a profile, indicating preferences and frequent domestic destinations. For safety, the user also must go through a background check and be in good standing with the TSA.

A member can then search, request, select, book and, if desired, share the aircraft with other members, driving down costs.The platform also can notify users of travel opportunities to a desired locale.

A pilot for more than 25 years, Carter said that Member Jets not only reduces private flight costs but also drastically cuts down on travel time when compared to a commercial flight. In addition to skipping security and check-in lines and the option to park on a nearby tarmac, private flights are direct to the desired location.

For example, Carter said that Member Jets can cut off about five hours of travel time on a round trip flight to Denver, six hours to New York City and eight hours to Los Angeles.

And in a world where time is money, Carter said the efficiencies are significant to a business’s bottom line.

“For an entrepreneur whose time is extremely valuable — every minute is important,” Carter said. “Standing in line at airports and the commercial hassles are not efficient. … I’ve seen the advantages of what private air allows you to do — it’s like a time capsule. Your productivity is much higher.”

While still more expensive when compared to commercial flights, Carter said Member Jets’ flights are cheaper than chartering an entire plane. For example, a private one-way flight to Austin, Texas costs about $800 for a 1-hour-and-40-minute flight.

The company is currently only operating out of the Kansas City area but is looking to expand to Denver and Atlanta. Some of its common destinations include St. Louis, Omaha, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Austin, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Wichita, New York City, Denver and other.

Image by Member jets

Image by Member jets

Source:  STARTLAND-Kansas City’s Home For Innovation News

Blue Star Jets Fades to Black, Charter Broker Going Out Of Business

Blue Star Jets is fading to black.

The private-jet-chartering company — named after the airline in the 1987 film “Wall Street” — is quietly going out of business after 16 years.

Todd Rome, Blue Star’s president, is now working with his bigger former rival, Apollo Jets. Ricky Sitomer, Blue Star’s CEO who co-founded the company with Rome, is “doing his own thing,” Rome said.

Blue Star, which sponsored Bridgehampton Polo for five summers and advertised in upscale magazines, will disappear.

“The more volume you do, the better pricing you get,” Rome told me. “We feel our efforts combined will take over this industry.”

Apollo was founded by Al Palagonia, the handsome pal of Spike Lee who once did time for pump-and-dump stock fraud schemes.

Source:  Page Six article April 14, 2016, By Richard Johnson