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.

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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 Forbes.com, “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, Forbes.com

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