Tag Archives: Air Charter News

Announcing Jet Charter Floating Fleets Update; Now 23 Operators, 332 Aircraft

FlightList PRO, the largest resource for the air charter professional, announces a major update and recent additions to its Floating Fleets resource.

Floating fleet aircraft with one-way pricing are perhaps the fastest growing business segment in private jet charter.  Ten years ago a handful of operators and their dedicated fleets were pricing and flying point-to-point charters in the U.S.  Worldwide Jet, Segrave Aviation and Red Wing Aeroplane had been operating, and XOJET and Travel Management Company were just getting started.  Today the air charter industry has 23 operators with 332 dedicated floating aircraft; 14 with dedicated floating fleets, and 9 more operators with a number of jets floating and dedicated to point-to-point pricing.

The fast growing one-way-pricing segment of the air charter industry is captured in FlightList PRO’s Floating Fleet section, which is newly updated and includes all 23 operators and 332 aircraft with one-way pricing.

Private jet charter listings, floating fleet one way pricingRecent additions are 8 operators and 61 floating fleet aircraft to the resource, a 53% growth in floating aircraft operators and 23% growth in floating aircraft availability.  The resource is constantly updated.

A special user feature is the ability to select a number of floating fleet operators, and with one click request a flight quote or information.

Sizes and types of one-way priced jets available in the U.S. run the gamut from very light jets to long range intercontinental jets.  The Floating Fleet resource includes 12 VLJ’s, 44 light jets, 81 midsize jets, 51 super-midsize and 65 heavy and long range jets.

 Aircraft, operator, fleet and certificate information is constantly updated in the FlightList PRO resource, which leads the ever-changing air charter industry.

The FlightList PRO platform features every charter aircraft and operator automatically; over 1,600 operators and 7,500 aircraft in the U.S. alone, and 3,400 operators and 16,600 aircraft worldwide.  Air cargo and air ambulance segments are included as well.

Operator details are displayed such as auditor safety ratings, year of make, Wi-Fi enabled and more.  Aircraft can be searched and displayed to meet any number of parameters.

The most knowledgeable charter brokers in the industry are using FlightList PRO; 80% of its users have arranged charter more than 10 years, 25% more than 20 years.  Rates are just $90/month for 3 users.  Free 30-day trials are currently available.


Source:  FlightList PRO 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.

New Long Range Intl Jet Charter Operator W/Fleet G650s, Global 6000s, Falcon 7X

Enter Phenix Jet International, LLC, and it’s charter fleet of – currently 5 – long range jets.  With ARGUS Platinum and Wyvern Wingman ratings backing up it’s intercontinental aircraft capabilities.

  • 2014 Gulfstream 650ER
  • 2011 Gulfstream G650
  • 2012 Global 6000
  • 2011 Global 6000
  • 2014 Falcon 7X

Editor’s note: Along with many other U.S. operators, Phenix Jet International aircraft are available only in the FlightList PRO platform, with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  $90/mo., free trials here.

U.S.-registered and operated, the long range jets are based between Tokyo, Japan and Kong Kong, positioned for Asian transport as well as U.S./Asia nonstop luxury transports.

Asian based aircraft with U.S. operators, and holding ARGUS and Wyvern ratings are a rare availability in the far East.  Just 10 other operators out of 51 with aircraft in China, Hong Kong or Japan hold ARGUS or Wyvern ratings.  4 of the 10 are U.S. operators Avjet Corporation, Executive Jet Management, Jet Aviation and Zetta Jet.  Source- FlightList PRO


By TAMIYUKI KIHARA/ Staff Writer, The Asahi Shimbun Aug. 5, 2017

Charter Gulfstream G650 jet operated by Phenix Jet. Photo: Sojitz Corp.

Gulfstream G650 jet operated by Phenix Jet.  Photo: Sojitz Corp.

Major trading house Sojitz Corp. has set up a company to operate jet planes for wealthy individuals and corporate customers outside Japan in the rest of Asia.

Sojitz set up the subsidiary firm Phenix Jet International LLC in the United States, and has opened an office in Hong Kong, with the aim of offering “business jets” that can accommodate between four and 20 passengers.

The company is hoping to tap into demand for similar aircraft, which is expected to grow among wealthy people in China and Southeast Asia.

In operating the business, Sojitz will keep the jet planes on behalf of their owners and undertake centralized management of their maintenance, arrangement of pilots and operation of flights.

The company has already invested several hundred million yen (several million dollars) in the firm, which will be operated under the “Phenix Jet” brand.

Sojitz is not new to the business sector. It has been operating business jets, mostly in Japan, since 2003, and currently has about 10 jet planes available for the business.

The operation of business jets is flourishing in Western countries. Japan Airlines Co. began operating similar aircraft in France in May.

Demand for the mode of transport is also rising in Asia, partly because they allow efficient mobility in areas that are not served by regular flights. Sojitz expects there will be new demand for 1,000 more business jets in Asia alone over the next 10 years.

Source:  Public news article / The Asahi Shimbun / company materials


Phenix Jet charter aircraft are available only in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

How To Make Money With Airplanes- Management, Jet Cards, Charter: Operator Jet Linx Reaches 100 Aircraft at 14 Bases, 38 Added in 2016

Jet management company and charter operator Jet Linx reaches 100-aircraft milestone

Jet Linx charter operator management company

“A hundred airplanes is a phenomenal benchmark,” said Jet Linx President and CEO Jamie Walker. Photo: Matt Miller/The World-Herald

The trick to making money with airplanes is to not own them.

Jet Linx learned that lesson four years after the Omaha company started in 1999, giving up ownership of its jets and shifting to aircraft management and a private jet travel card service.

Now, Jet Linx is celebrating its 100th managed jet — actually, the fleet stands at 101 today — and ranks No. 3 in the highly fragmented industry of managing and renting out expensive air vehicles as a service to their owners.

“A hundred airplanes is a phenomenal benchmark,” said Jet Linx President and CEO Jamie Walker.

He hosted about 400 clients, staff members, vendors and others for supper at downtown Omaha’s Blatt Beer & Table restaurant, followed by a private concert by the band Smash Mouth at Slowdown.

No. 1 in managed fleet size is Executive Jet Management, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets. No. 2 is Gama Aviation, based in Hampshire, England.

Jet Linx added 38 aircraft last year and is headed for 110 by the end of 2017. Walker attributed that growth, about 30 percent a year in revenue, to the people running its network of 14 local private airport terminals, alongside the 95-member staff at its operational headquarters in Omaha.

From pilots to airplane polishers, Jet Linx has 485 employees.

Members of the Jet Linx local Omaha FBO team, with their Hawker 800XP midsize jet and crew.  Photo: Jet Linx

Joe Moeggenberg, president and CEO of air travel data company ARGUS International of Cincinnati, said Jet Linx’s local network is a unique structure in private jet management, an industry with 2,300 businesses, nearly all of them tiny, that manage private jet airplanes.

Jet Linx — an ARGUS customer — has a cost advantage because most of its flights start or end at its network cities, Moeggenberg said, meaning fewer expensive empty-cabin flights.

Aside from a few jets managed exclusively for their owners, Jet Linx’s card customers can book any of the airplanes made available at the owners’ discretion.

Jet Linx handles fueling, maintenance, safety checks, hangar storage and other services, including employing pilots, as well as scheduling and tracking flights for Jet Linx’s card members, more than 200 in Omaha and 1,300 total.

All 79 Jet Linx charter aircraft nationwide are included in FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  Free 30-day trials available here.

Card members are guaranteed hourly rates — $3,500 to $8,500, depending on the size of the plane — as well as flight access and safety standards, Walker said. Their travel fees cover Jet Linx’s costs and supply revenue for the aircraft owners, often cutting net operating costs by 50 percent.

But no matter how well you manage costs, Walker said, there’s an industry truism: “You cannot make money owning an airplane.”

Besides operating expenses, aircraft prices are high, especially for long-range aircraft.

Jet Linx’s fleet includes seven-passenger Beechjet 400s that can travel 1,400 miles on a tank of fuel, often priced around $700,000, and 14-passenger, $20 million-plus Gulfstream 450s with a 5,000-mile range.

Walker said some businesses would end their company flight operations if they had to absorb all the costs. By bringing in revenue from travel card customers they can keep the convenience and time savings that jets offer.

Besides Omaha, Jet Linx’s local offices are in Atlanta; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Forth Worth, Texas; Houston; Indianapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; St. Louis; San Antonio; Scottsdale, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

Jet Linx is majority owner of each location, with a local partner as minority owner.

“We need somebody locally who gives us that credibility and trust and support in that community,” Walker said, plus contacts to recruit as travel card members.

Besides reduced “dead-head” flight costs, he said, the terminals provide local-style, personalized service for card members and aircraft owners. The local Jet Linx partner typically becomes “the jet guy” in each city, he said.

Later this year Jet Linx’s local offices will celebrate the 100-aircraft landmark. Jet Linx was founded by Denny Walker, Jamie’s father and now chairman. He is former head of MemberWorks Inc., an Omaha-based card membership company. Jamie Walker said Jet Linx has room to grow, with plans to open about two locations a year. He said another dozen or so U.S. cities meet Jet Linx’s requirements for airport services and other standards.

The Omaha World-Herald is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

By: , 6/26/17.  Article in the Omaha World-Herald here.


All 79 Jet Linx charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

Charter Broker Horizon Air Group Acquires Operator Starbase Jet

Horizon Air Group, a charter broker and aircraft sales/acquisition broker based in Dallas, TX, has announced the acquisition of World Class Jet dba Starbase Jet for undisclosed terms, including the air carrier certificate to be rebranded Horizon Jet Management.

Starbase Jet/World Class Jet was a holding of the Randall Reed Family of Companies headquartered in Addison, TX.

Horizon Air Group launched in May 2015 as Horizon Air Charter, with what it called the industry’s first monthly Flight Equity pay-as-you-go jet card program.  The founders of Horizon Air Group, Luis Barros and Robert Rosenberg, both have employment histories with Starbase Jet.  More in 2015’s Air Charter Alert, New Broker Offers Pay-As-You-Go Card And Consulting Services

The acquisition allows Horizon Air Group to not only assist clients with charter services and aircraft sales, but also FAA licensed aircraft operation through the Part 135 air carrier certificate, which is ARGUS Platinum rated, Wyvern Registered, IS-BAO Registered, and has worldwide operating authority.

Starbase Jet’s full charter fleet is available only in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform along with all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  Free 30-day trials available here.

Houston-based Starbase Jet (World Class Jet) with its Part-135 certificate was established in 2000, and currently operates a fleet of 8 aircraft on certificate, based between Houston, Dallas and Santa Ana, CA.  Light through heavy jets, the types include Embraer Legacy 600,  Citation X, Citation Sovereign, Learjet 60, Citation XLS and Citation CJ2.

“In a time when people feel like they only have two choices, to either stick with the classic charter models that have been around for some time or buy into the trendy memberships programs that have been popular lately, it’s important to us to really forge ahead with an alternative that combines the best of both worlds,” said Horizon Air Group CEO Luis Barros.  “We’ve advanced the technology and approach of the classic models along with bringing more of a practical and aviation-based offering to the membership app crowd.”

This acquisition also makes Horizon Air Group one of the largest air charter organizations throughout the south central United States, now offering three major sales functions within the private aviation industry:  Aircraft Management, Charter Brokerage, and Aircraft Sales and Acquisitions.


Source:  company press release, company public information

All Starbase Jet charter aircraft are only available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

The Future For Charter – XOJET, Part 3

By Alasdair WhyteJune 16, 2017, Corporate Jet Investor


Part 1 – An overview and brief history of XOJet touching on its strategic goals and fleet
Part 2 – The Six Principals of Owned Charter


Part 3

The future for charter

With XOJET, his consultancy background and a place on the JetSmarter board, CEO Brad Stewart has a wide view of the US business aviation market. He also spends a lot of time thinking about it.

“There are three key themes at the moment,” says Stewart. “Private airlines like Surf Air or JetSuiteX offering fixed schedules; digital brokerage like JetSmarter, Victor and others; and plane sharing.”

He is not convinced all of them will necessarily succeed. “As a former consultant to United I know how tough the airline market is. Airlines have trouble making money when they cannot fill aircraft. It is much harder with five or six passengers and smaller aircraft,” says Stewart. “But we are not in this market so I don’t know how big it can become.”

Stewart is also unsure if selling individual seats on other routes will work.

“Plane sharing is still unknown.”

“Plane sharing is still unknown. It seems to work on some fixed routes but I am not sure how big this,” says Stewart. “But we are seeing JetSmarter and Wheels Up try it.”

Although he is watching new business models closely he does not see any direct competitors. “We operate in a very different market. Our customers are prepared to pay more for a whole aircraft and have customers with very different requirements,” says Stewart.

XOJet and its 41-aircraft fleet are included in both the Aircraft Search and the Floating Fleets sections of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Free 30-day trials available here.

But he is convinced that digital brokers will shape the industry.  “Digital brokerage is the idea that customers can push a button and get a jet. This is happening. This is a real thing. You have to have an app and online offering.”

JetSmarter announced what it called a strategic partnership with XOJET in 2016. JetSmarter favours XOJET aircraft when its customers charter mid-size aircraft and JetSmarter is developing an app for XOJET customers. Significant XOJET customers – ones spending more than $200,000 a year – also get free membership of JetSmarter.

Stewart is a member of JetSmarter’s board and believes that tech company is not understood by many in the market. “JetSmarter is first and foremost a digital story and secondly a plane story,’ he says. “JetSmarter is the undisputed leader in business aviation.

Private equity typically does not hold on for 10 years but Stewart says that XOJET’s investors  and co-owners TPG and Mubadala are prepared to wait.  “TPG is a wonderful investor,” he says. “We are responsible for getting a great return but there is no pressure for us to sell.” He is an adviser to TPG on aviation and points to its investment in TMC as its support for the sector.

“I am not the sort of person who is jealous of someone with a washboard stomach.

He laughs when asked if he is  jealous of JetSmarter’s valuation. “I am not the sort of person who is jealous of someone with a washboard stomach. My parents taught me to be happy with what I have and I am very proud of XOJET.”

He adds: “It is fantastic being responsible for a whole enterprise. I wake up in the morning and go to run a $500 million business with thousands of clients who are interesting people. It is also satisfying seeing how the business has changed,” says Stewart, “and we have not reached our full potential yet.”

By Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

Part 3 of 3


Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 6/16/17

All 41 XOJet charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

The Six Principals of Owned Charter – XOJET, Part 2

By Alasdair WhyteJune 16, 2017, Corporate Jet Investor


Part 1 was an overview and brief history of XOJet touching on its strategic goals and fleet.


Part 2

The six principles of owned charter

The majority of aircraft that are used for charter in the US are owned by individuals or companies that make them available when they do not need them. This means that most charter companies do not worry about ownership costs. XOJET is one of a relatively small number of charter operators that own aircraft.

Despite ownership costs, XOJET CEO Brad Stewart believes that there are benefits from an owned fleet.  As a former management consultant, he has identified six principles that an owner-operator needs to be profitable. These are: a closed loop network; a floating fleet; high utilization; direct distribution to customers; dynamic pricing; and scale advantages. Although he highlights that these principles may not work for new aircraft.

XOJET meets all of these tests.

More than 80% of passengers on XOJET aircraft come from its own sales team, including its programs. The company says that it sold more than 950 programs in 2016. This program includes Preferred Access (for a refundable $100,000 deposit); Elite Access (guaranteeing availability at 12 hour notice for $200,000 deposit and $8,500 hourly fee including fees and surcharges); and an Enterprise Access for corporates.

In the last few years, XOJET has also added sales offices in New York and Los Angeles to boost its direct sales. It is also about to open a new office in Palm Beach, Florida. This is on top of its headquarters in San Francisco and an operations centre in Sacramento.

XOJet and its 41-aircraft fleet are included in the Floating Fleets section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Free 30-day trials available here.

Most of the 20% of passengers that it does not sell directly come from charter bookings made from broker Sentient Jet (part of Directional Capital) and JetSmarter – both XOJET preferred partners.

XOJET boosts its utilization by not basing aircraft at one airport and having just two types (this also saves on crew and maintenance costs).

He believes any owner-operator needs a minimum of 15 aircraft. XOJET now has a fleet of 41 super midsize aircraft (GMJ has another six). In January 2017 TPG also acquired TMC, which had been XOJET’s preferred travel provider for a number of years. TMC has another 55 aircraft. He does not plan to order any more aircraft for XOJET soon.

He has no plans to launch XOJET outside the US but he is keen to add aircraft management – something the company stopped focusing on in 2006.

“We have clients who are flying a lot and we can help advise them on the pros and cons of owning an aircraft versus program,” says Stewart. “We have a fantastic platform and can offer owners great service. And it fits into our advisory strength.”

He says that the company can launch management itself but is also interested in acquiring significant management companies.

By Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

Part 2 of 3


Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 6/16/17

All 41 XOJet charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

Brad Stewart’s Next Plan for XOJET, Part 1 – Overview

By Alasdair WhyteJune 16, 2017, Corporate Jet Investor

Brad Stewart, CEO and Chairman of XOJet.

Photo: Corporate Jet Investor

Brad Stewart’s business card simply says CEO and chairman, XOJET.

But he actually runs three different companies. There is XOJET, the fleet operator; the company’s Aviation Advisors, XOJET Private Client Services – the charter brokerage; and GMJ Shuttle, which operates corporate shuttles for Fortune 100 companies. He is now looking at adding aircraft management.

“These are all very different businesses but they are connected and stronger together,” says Stewart. “At one level the brokerage and XOJET’s fleet operations are both about advising and serving customers. There is a real synergy there. XOJET and GMJ – no one ever focuses on GMJ – are also the best operators of aircraft in the world – with the highest return on capital in the industry. They do not have to be under the same brand to benefit from synergies.

Stewart says that the three companies also benefit from scale including sharing a management team.

XOJet and its 41-aircraft fleet are included in the Floating Fleets section of FlightList PRO‘s multi-search platform along with all 232 floating fleet aircraft and 14 operators.  Get your free 30-day trial here.

He says that he wants XOJET to be seen as a trusted adviser for individuals and companies looking to fly. This can include using XOJET aircraft or a fleet of 1,087 aircraft that have been vetted by his team. In 2016 much of the charter brokerage was focused on smaller or larger aircraft than XOJET operates. The company says that light jet and heavy jet charter was up 22%.

The three different businesses also give the company diversity. GMJ Shuttle runs corporate flights for large Fortune 100 businesses – a stable, profitable but slow growing division. Charter broking is profitable, relatively low-risk but low margin. XOJET – which owns its aircraft – is a riskier business with potentially higher rewards.

The company was founded in 2002 as PCMT by tech entrepreneur Paul Touw (now launching charter market Stellar). In 2006 it was renamed XOJET and ordered 12 new Cessna Citation X aircraft. In 2007 it raised finance from TPG – one of the greatest aviation investors ever – and Abu Dhabi fund Tasameem. It used this cash to placed orders for new aircraft including one for 20 Bombardier Challenger 300 jets worth $450 million. By 2012 it planned to be operating a fleet of 127 aircraft worth $3.1 billion. In April 2008 XOJET announced its international plans.

But then the global financial crisis hit. Demand for business jet charter fell sharply. The company was forced to change its business plan. Touw left (he has since launched Stellar a business jet charter marketplace). Stewart came in as adviser in 2010 and was promoted to president in 2013. “XOJET was effectively bankrupt in 2009 and 2010,” says Stewart. “The business model was not capable of surviving a terrible market so the company restructured in 2011 and 2012. It is much stronger now.”

The company had sales of more than $300 million in 2016 and Stewart says that it has been profitable for three years.

Part 1 of 3

By Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor


Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 6/16/17

All 41 XOJet charter aircraft are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

Jackson Hole Airport to get Second FBO, Fuel and Services Compeition

By Mike Koshmrl, from Jackson Hole News&Guide, 6/7/17

Private aircraft owners will soon have more options for buying jet fuel and renting hangar space at Jackson Hole Airport.

An application submitted by Wyoming Jet Center has spurred the airport’s board to find a second fixed-base operation to vie with Jackson Hole Aviation, a business that hasn’t had a competitor in decades. The decision to go with two FBOs was made at the airport’s May board meeting. Because of Federal Aviation Administration rules, there was not much choice in the matter, Director Jim Elwood said.

“We’re being forced down this road by FAA regulations,” Elwood said. “The FAA, as we understand it, is very clear in saying that competition needs to be accommodated and should be accommodated.”

Wyoming Jet Center will not receive the business opportunity outright.

Instead, in the weeks ahead airport staff will develop a request for proposals that will allow companies from around the country to bid for the chance to do business in Jackson Hole.

“Given the number of additional inquiries on top of the one we received from Wyoming Jet Center, we thought it would be prudent to go out for bid,” Elwood said. “We’re trying to determine the exact level of interest.”

Jackson Hole Aviation FBO at Jackson Hole Airport

A second FBO (fixed-based operator) will soon be doing business at Jackson Hole Airport to provide competition for private aircraft fueling and services. Photo: New Flight Charters Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Aviation fought the prospect of facing competition, delivering a short presentation to the airport’s board. General Manager Matt Wright said in an interview that having two fixed-based operations was a “failed experiment of the past.”

“I understand where the airport’s coming from, but obviously we’d like to protect our business,” Wright said. “We think that adding a second FBO creates serious safety issues. Maybe more importantly, there’s the increases in aircraft movement and the corresponding noise that it would create.”

Elwood disagreed.

“We’re not anticipating this impacting the volume or numbers of aircraft coming and going from the airport,” he said. “The quantity of aircraft that have interest in coming into Jackson is finite. … They’re not going to turn it into a fuel stop.”

Wyoming Jet Center’s Greg Herrick, a seasonal West Bank resident, was pleased with the board’s decision, though he would have preferred that his application be processed without facing competing bids.

“Competition is a good thing,” Herrick said. “It improves capacity at the airport for handling general aviation traffic, which will enhance safety, we believe. There’s also the economics that competition brings to the table.

“The fuel prices are among the highest in the Rocky Mountains right now,” he said, “and we think a little competition is going to bring those prices down.”

An economic analysis Herrick presented to the airport’s board contended that the jet fuel prices have suffered because of a monopoly. The price per gallon of Jet-A fuel, $6.66 recently, was $1.56 more than Driggs, Idaho, and $2.41 more than Alpine, according to Wyoming Jet Center.

“From our analysis in 2016, there were 1.8 million gallons, roughly, of Jet-A pumped for general aviation aircraft,” Herrick said. “We projected the gross profit margin on that to be well over $8 million. The airport received $219,220 of that, and the national park that leased the land received $3,218.

“$3,200 versus $8 million,” he said.

Jackson Hole Aviation’s Wright said its prices are comparable to those at other resort airports.

But “egregious” is the word the president of an advocacy group for small plane owners used to describe the current price of Jackson Hole Airport’s jet fuel.

“If you had two or three FBOs servicing the airport, you’d probably see fuel prices in the $3 to $4 range,” Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Mark Baker said. “I applaud the Jackson Hole Airport board for taking the initiative and understanding what it means to bring more people to your town and experience the great outdoors there by making it fair.”

Baker said he fields many complaints about Jackson Hole Aviation’s fuel prices and fees from his membership.

“Jackson Hole is one of the top-20 complaint areas,” he said.

Herrick’s pitch included a commitment to giving 15 percent of revenue from aircraft parking fees back to the airport. Revenue sharing, he said, should also be included with “handling fees” that fixed-based operators like Jackson Hole Aviation assess to aircraft owners who do not fuel up at the airport.

A new facility for a competing fixed-base operation would likely be located just north of Jackson Hole Aviation’s building, Elwood said. The new business, he said, won’t be able to operate until next year, after an enlarged fuel farm is built on the premises.

Article in Jackson Hole News&Guide


Source:  Jackson Hole News&Guide

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.

The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of those using FlightList PRO have been arranging charters more than 10 years.

How Private Jets are Sourced for 21 Jet Card Programs

Editor’s note:  Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken a major consumer analysis of private air charter options, companies and ways to fly privately.

The first installment compared 18 jet card companies and programs.
The second installment compared private jet cards to charter.
The third installment is a who’s who in private jet card & prepaid charter.
The fourth installment compares jet card programs –  terms, availability and more.

The fifth installment below answers the question when using various jet card companies, “Where does your private jet come from?”


Forbes.com logoSafety first. It’s the mantra of all of the aviation world globally. Like flying commercially, flying privately is safer than taking a bath. In 2015, nearly 5,000 deaths from drowning in one’s bathtub were recorded in the U.S. For general aviation, there were 384 fatalities. Still, when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a private jet card or prepaid charter program, you probably want to know where the planes you and your family will be flying are coming from.

Large-cabin Gulfstream, Challenger and Falcon jets on the ramp at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.

Large-cabin Gulfstream, Challenger and Falcon jets on the ramp at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Colorado. The number of flight hours in large-cabin jets operated under Part 135 grew by 10 percent in 2016 according to industry data provider Argus.  (Photo credit: New Flight Charters)

One advantage of jet card programs is the expectation of consistent standards in terms of sourcing the planes you will fly on. In some cases, your jet card provider operates the fleet you will be flying on, although during peak periods providers (including fractional operators) will charter planes from the open market to meet demand. There are about 7,500 planes in the U.S. available for charter under Part 135, either via brokers, jet card providers or directly from the operators, although often they are being used by their owners.

Out of this fleet, executives estimate that there are a couple thousand planes that fit the needs of the charter and jet card market, both in terms of what customers will accept for age (a 40-year-old plane may be safe, but many consumers don’t want to fly on one), cabin condition, interior configuration, complete maintenance records for inspection, and availability. While using a company that owns or operates its fleet may seem like an advantage to one person, it’s not a one size fits all market. Several brokers who sell jet cards I spoke with have significant in-house safety departments to oversee the planes they charter to fulfill your jet card flights.

Read:  Who’s Who In The Private Jet Card Market

This is Part 1 of 2 parts on sourcing planes and also pilots. In Part 2, I will share what questions experts say you should ask providers about how they source airplanes, pilots and other safety related issues to consider.

I found that for sellers of private jet cards and prepaid private jet programs, fleet composition broke down three ways: Some companies fulfill flights via fleets they either directly own or manage and operate. Others, like charter brokers, go out into the market to source planes, while some feature a hybrid model, owning or managing jets, but also sourcing them like a broker. Some programs have age limits on the jets they will offer you, and most use two industry rating services, ARGUS and Wyvern, which rate operators. Some have even further in-house standards and reviews.

Below is an overview of responses when I queried companies about their sourcing standards. In some cases, it is based on information from their websites and other published data. I also refer to a survey by Business Jet Traveler of over 1,000 readers about various providers,  however, it doesn’t cover all companies:

Air Partner

Air Partner says it has access to over 5,000 carriers globally through a preferred network of providers. The Air Partner Group has an internal Quality Management System focused on safety. This system, in addition to national safety expectations from the European and American Civil Aviation Authorities, systematically promotes (when available) companies that suit at least one of the following: Wyvern Wingman or Registered expectations, ARGUS Platinum or Gold Plus rating, IS-BAO certification, IOSA certification.

Airstream Jets

Airstream Jets employs a dual-layer approach to safety, according to the company ASJ only utilizes ARGUS Platinum/Gold rated aircraft and crews. Pilots and aircraft must also undergo additional in-house screening and clearance by ASJ management.

Clay Lacy Aviation

The fleet of Clay Lacy is made up of 90 owned jets and jets it manages for owners that have been audited and received the following ratings from third party safety auditing companies: ARGUS Platinum; Wyvern Wingman; and IS-BAO Stage 3. In addition, Clay Lacy has received the FAA Diamond Award and NATA Five Stars award recognizing excellence in maintenance procedures and training. When sourcing aircraft beyond its charter fleet, it uses the Wyvern and ARGUS systems to verify ratings of third-party charter operators. Clients can specify preferences related to the age of the jets they want to use. The fleet is mainly based in the Western U.S., particularly on the West Coast, and its Executive Traveler Program is targeted for customers in the region.

Delta Private Jets

Delta Private Jets has more than 70 aircraft, a combination of managed and floating fleet. All operators are ARGUS Gold or better, and DPJ last year said it was co-funding with the jet owners enhancements to the cabins of its planes, an unusual move for a management company. In the Business Jet Traveler survey of jet card programs last year, 70% of readers marked the operator Excellent/Very Good for Age of Aircraft, while 80% of readers gave it Excellent/Very Good marks for Cleanliness.

Flexjet

Flexjet operates its own fleet. It offers fractional ownership and leases as well as jet cards, which are available on its Challenger 300 and Phenom 300 planes. In the Business Jet Traveler survey, 77% of readers gave Flexjet Excellent/Very Good marks for Aircraft Age, with 88% scoring it in those two categories for Cleanliness.

Jet Linx

Jet Linx has 90 aircraft under management, and in addition to third party ratings, it has its own in-house compliance team that audits planes to ensure Jet Linx standards are being met. The company has an interesting model selling management and jet cards from 14 base airports and growing. Its jet card sales focus is targeted at customers in those markets. At each of these bases, it operates its own terminal with dedicated staff. Its current locations include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Ft. Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville, Omaha, San Antonio, Scottsdale, Tulsa and Washington D.C.

JetSet Group

Operators must have over $50 million insurance, must be ARGUS Platinum or Gold, with perfect safety and maintenance records.

JetSuite

JetSuite’s owned fleet, like the company, is relatively new. Its Phenom 100 and Citation CJ3 were all delivered new between 2009 and 2013. The operator received Excellent/Very Good ratings from 87% of Business Jet Traveler readers for both Aircraft Age and Cleanliness. Using planes that seat four seven passengers, JetSuite’s strength is with customers that want new planes, an owner-operated fleet and are focused on flights around two hours or less.

Magellan Jets

Magellan Jets doesn’t own aircraft but instead sources aircraft and operators that that have been pre-screened and qualified through the proprietary standards of its Magellan Jets Preferred Network. MJPN criteria uses data provided by ARGUS, Wyvern, ISBAO, and the Air Charter Safety Foundation, as well as internal due diligence by the company’s flight support and compliance team. The team is comprised of professional pilots who understand best practices in safety for both aircraft and the crew. Magellan has a 42-point safety checklist for every flight segment, including information such as crew time in type of aircraft. You can customize a program around 10 different jet types and even specify a jet card program that guarantees WiFi.

NetJets

NetJets is the largest fleet operator with some 700 planes. NetJets offers fractional share and lease options. For its Marquis Jet Card program, there are 10 different plane types across the Light, Midsize and Large cabin categories. The company has an impressive operations center in Columbus, Ohio (I’ve personally toured it), and with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as its owner, and clients like Bill Gates, Rodger Federer and Tiger Woods, is one of the highest profile companies in the private aviation market.

Nicholas Air

Nicholas Air offers fractional shares and leases as well three different jet card products. It buys its planes (Pilatus PC-12, Phenom 100 and 300, and Citation Latitude) directly from the manufacturer, operates them and all aircraft are five years old or less.

Solairus

Solairus has a managed fleet of over 100 private aircraft nationwide with four programs broken into Very-Light, Light, Mid-Size and Super-Mid categories. Solairus holds the Platinum rating from ARGUS, the Wingman certification from Wyvern, and is one of only 100 operators worldwide to be IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) Stage Three certified.

Private Jet Services (PJS) Group

Private Jet Services (PJS) Group offers age differentiation within its programs. Elite aircraft are manufactured in the year 2000 or younger and are an average age of six years old. Priority aircraft may be “slightly older” but are held to the same safety standards. It has its own in-house Director of Safety who oversees its vetting program.

PrivateFly

PrivateFly doesn’t own or operate aircraft so it goes out into the market to source aircraft. It is an ARGUS certified broker. The company says, in addition to working with operators who meet industry safety standards, it conducts its own due diligence, including vetting insurance, airworthiness certificates, and aircraft inspections. Upon request, PrivateFly says it will share documents proving safety standards.

Prive Jets

Prive Jets doesn’t own or operate planes. It says the planes it sources “exceed” FAA requirements and all planes sourced for its jet card programs are manufactured in 2000 or newer.

Sentient Jet

Sentient is also a broker, and goes into what it describes as an “open fleet” to source planes, which are aircraft from the “top 25% of operators.” Sentient does auditing and has an advanced certification process as well as a field auditing team. Only aircraft that meet and exceed these standards are used. To become Sentient Certified, aircraft are reviewed based on their history, including maintenance reliability. They must pass a physical inspection that covers key safety elements in addition to the comfort and condition of the aircraft. In the Business Jet Traveler survey, 80% of readers ranked the company Excellent/Very Good for Age of Aircraft and 86% said Cleanliness was at an Excellent/Very Good standard.

Star Jets International

Star Jets International is a broker. It sources from over 5,000 private aircraft worldwide. Operators providing service for Star Jets clients must meet standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for safety, security, and service, according to the company.

VistaJet

Malta-based VistaJet has only had a U.S.-based fleet since 2013. The U.S. fleet is now entirely operated by Jet Aviation, one of the leading management companies in the industry (Its parent General Dynamics owns Gulfstream). Globally, VistaJet owns 72 Bombardier Global and Challenger aircraft. The fleet is ARGUS International Platinum rated and Wyvern Wingman Level. In the survey by Business Jet Traveler, 93% of respondents gave it Excellent/Very Good marks for Age of Aircraft and the same score for Cleanliness.

WheelsUp

The WheelsUp fleet of King Air 350i (all 2013 or later) and Citation Excel/XLS (2000 or later) are operated by Gama Aviation.  They are ARGUS Platinum, Wyvern Wingman or have had an onsite audit completed by WheelsUp EVP of Safety. The King Air 350i is the defining aircraft in its fleet, more economical than jets, but well suited for missions up to 500 miles where a significant portion of the flight is the climb and descent, thereby minimizing the time difference versus a jet.

Wholesale Jet Club

Operators must be Wyvern Pass, ARGUS Gold or Platinum

XOJET

XOJET owns and operates a fleet that includes 42 Challenger 300 and Citation X aircraft. It also taps into some 1,000 more aircraft ranging from long-range Global Express to Very Light Jets and Turboprops. All planes must meet XOJET Charter Vendor Standards with ARGUS Platinum and Wyvern Wingman rated aircraft and operators. Some 83% of Business Jet Traveler readers marked XOJET Excellent/Very Good for both Age Of Aircraft and Aircraft Cleanliness.

From Forbes.com article by Doug Gollan


The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of those using FlightList PRO have been arranging charters more than 10 years, and a full 1/4 – more than 20 years.  Currently 30-day free trials are 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.

Jet Cards: Compare Program Terms, Availability, More – Part 4 of Research & Analysis by Forbes.com

Editor’s note:  Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken a major consumer analysis of private air charter options, companies and ways to fly privately.

The first installment compared 18 jet card companies and programs.
The second installment compared private jet cards to charter.
The third installment is a who’s who in private jet card & prepaid charter.

The fourth installment compares private jet card guaranteed availability, charges, peak days and more:


Forbes.com logo

If you’ve been following along in my series of postings about jet cards and prepaid private aviation charter programs, you’ll know that the results of my research cover over 80 programs. If I ever want to get a masters degree, you can guess what subject my dissertation will be about. In the meantime, it’s the source for most of the information I am providing in these articles.

That said, there are no rules and regulations of what delineates a jet card from pre-paid block charter. While a number of providers say guaranteed availability at your contracted price is required to have a “true” jet card, the fact is some companies market jet card-like products (They give you a nice plastic card with your name and their logo on it) without it having the guarantee on price and availability together. There are also sellers of prepaid private jet travel I’ve found (VistaJet, as an example) that don’t call their product a jet card, yet do guarantee availability at a contracted price.

over 80 jet card and charter programs included in jet card comparison pricing research

Over 80 jet card and charter programs are included in Doug Gollan’s jet card comparison and jet charter research for Forbes.com. (Image by FlightList PRO)

It’s an important consideration because one reason to fly privately is the convenience of traveling when you want. During holiday periods or just busy days of the week such as Monday mornings or Friday afternoons, guaranteed availability does just that. It also means that the provider may have to go outside its own fleet if it has one, or pay the operator more than you are paying on an hourly basis to secure a plane for you. In other words, it might lose money on that trip, or in other cases, it has already laid out money with an operator to have access to planes when it thinks you will want to travel.

Of the research I did, Air Partner, Airstream Jets, Delta Private Jets, Flexjet, Jet Linx, JetSet Group, Magellan Jets, NetJets’ Marquis Jet card, Nicholas Air, Prive Jets, Sentient Jet, Star Jets International, VistaJet, Wheels Up, Wholesale Jet Club and XOJET each provide guaranteed availability, although there are exceptions during peak periods, which is discussed a bit further on in this column.

“Those Who Know Use FlightList PRO.”
80% of those using FlightList PRO have arranged charters for more than 10 years, and a full 1/4 – for more than 20 years.  Just $90/month for up to 3 users, 30-day free trials are currently available. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with companies that don’t have guaranteed access. They may have other attributes that are important to you, such as lower prices, or in the case of JetSuite, the lowest Daily Minimum I found in terms of flight hours, which they charge for just 48 minutes per day. Other providers have minimums of between 1-2.8 hours of flight time per day. It means if you take a single 45-minute flight on a specific day, with JetSuite you will be charged for 48 minutes of your hourly rate while on another provider it could be 60, 90 or even 168 minutes even though your flight was 45 minutes. If you do a lot of short hops where you don’t have a second flight in the same day, you definitely want to ask about the Daily Minimum.

Making it a bit more complicated, Daily Minimums also vary by size of aircraft, with larger planes typically having higher daily minimums. This means if your short haul flying is with a group of 10 people, you are going to need to look at programs that offer larger jets (for example, JetSuite’s Citation CJ3 only seats 7).

Another place you will find extra charges is taxi time, so the more flights you make, the more taxi time you will pay. The standard seems to be six minutes for departures and six minutes for arrival, meaning for each flight you take you will be paying for 12 minutes of taxi time. If your hourly rate is $6,000, you will pay $720 for each flight in taxi time. Yet again, this isn’t standard: Airstream Jets, Clay Lacy, JetSet Group and Wholesale Jet Club each say they don’t charge for taxi time. Several companies I contacted wouldn’t provide data about taxi time charges and Jet Linx only charges six minutes per segment, so if you had an hourly rate of $6,000 with Jet Linx, you would only pay $360 per flight in taxi time.

Lead time in making reservations is another area to consider and again there are considerable variances. For example, Clay Lacy, JetSuite and PrivateFly don’t have a lead time requirement, but then again, none guarantee availability.

Lead time for reservations with other providers varies from six hours with JetSet Group and Wholesale Jet Club (6 hours); Magellan Jets and Prive Jets (8 hours); Delta Private Jets, NetJets’ Marquis Jet Card, Nicholas Air, Private Jet Services (PJS) Group and Sentient (10 hours); and XOJET (12 hours) as the companies I found that offer guaranteed reservations less than 24 hours before you want to fly. During peak periods expect to make your reservations anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days before you want to travel.

What is a peak period or peak day? Well, think holidays, however, for those companies that offer guaranteed availability it ranges from eight to 58 days out of the year. Hourly rates for flying on peak days are subject to increases, from no increase to as high as 40%. So again, if you plan to fly at specific busy times, you will want to study what each provider lists as peak days, which sometimes vary by program within a provider. In other words, it is a really good idea that on a piece of paper you write out the trips you expect to be taking during the next 12 to 24 months.

I was really surprised when I read a survey by Business Jet Traveler that only 3% of jet card buyers use a consultant. One consultant, I talked to says he charges $3,000 to help with jet card purchases and $5,000 to assist with fractional buyers. If I was a serious buyer, to me, it seems like a good investment. Unless you have an in-house counsel, you’re probably going to have your $600 per hour lawyer spend several hours reviewing contracts anyway.

By the way, the typical way people select a jet card is a recommendation of a friend, a previous experience with the company or doing some Google research, which turns up mainly paid ads. I was speaking with one executive of a jet card provider, and his theory is that there is so much to compare and so many differences, it’s overwhelming. The rich person who is plunking down $250,000 more or less assumes or hopes that the company will be accommodating since they want to retain their business with renewals. It’s also a risk, and a provider that works well for a friend or colleague, might not be the best for you.

From Forbes.com article by Doug Gollan


The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of those using FlightList PRO have been arranging charters more than 10 years, and a full 1/4 – more than 20 years.  Currently 30-day free trials are 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.

Compare Private Jet Card & Prepaid Charter, Part 3 of Research & Analysis by Forbes.com

Editor’s note:  Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken a major consumer analysis of private air charter options, companies and ways to fly privately.

The first installment compared 18 jet card companies and programs.
The second installment compared private jet cards to charter.

The third installment is a Who’s Who in private jet cards, prepaid jet charter and private jet memberships:


Forbes.com logoWhen you are buying a private jet card and with most prepaid programs, you are wiring the money from your bank account to theirs. With transactions often ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, it makes sense to know whom you are dealing with.

From my research, I originally found 18 different companies that offer jet cards or prepaid programs, but since publishing the first article in this series, have identified six more, including Singapore-based Zetta Jet, New York-based JetSet Group and Wholesale JetClub, Boca Raton, Florida-based Airstream Jets, GrandView Aviation from Maryland and Colorado-based StraightLine Private Air, started by a founder of Exclusive Resorts. (Note: After publishing this article, I heard from a seventh company, Silverhawk Aviation which recently introduced a Jet Card for customers living within 175 miles of Lincoln, which includes Omaha, Kansas City, Des Moines, Sioux City, Sioux Falls.). In Part 2, I took a look at whether or not it even makes sense to buy jet cards and prepaid block charter programs versus just buying as you go via on-demand charter with some interesting perspectives.

“Those Who Know Use FlightList PRO.”
80% of those using FlightList PRO have arranged charters for more than 10 years, and a full 1/4 – more than 20 years.  Just $90/month, 30-day free trials are currently available. 

In terms of the companies that you will be doing business with if you buy a jet card or prepaid program, they are about as diverse as you can imagine, and when you included related entities, span from under 10 employees to over 300,000.

Air Partner, a U.K.-based company with its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale is the oldest, with its roots in aviation dating back to 1961. The famous pilot and aviation entrepreneur Clay Lacy (he flew a DC-8 with “The Human Fly” standing on its roof) started his namesake group in 1968. Among the most recent entrants are Marquis Jet Partners founder Kenny Dichter, who after selling it to NetJets then launched WheelsUp in 2013, Singapore-based Zetta Jet which started flying in August 2015 and Blue Star Jets (famous for taking its name from the movie Wall Street) co-founder Ricky Sitomer, who started Star Jets International last year.

Some companies are publicly owned, or divisions of publicly traded companies, including Air Partner which is directly traded in the UK, Delta Private Jets (a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines), and NetJets (which owns and sells the Marquis Jet card and is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway). Directional Aviation, which traces its history to 1981, owns two jet card players, Flexjet and Sentient. Its chairman Kenn Ricci started a small aircraft management company and has turned Directional into a multibillion-dollar enterprise which made news in 2015 when it placed an order for what potentially could be the next supersonic passenger jet. Earlier this year he won the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award. Previous winners included the founders of FedEx (Fred Smith), Southwest Airlines (Herb Kelleher) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (Sir Richard Branson).

Other bosses of note include Thomas Flohr, the founder of VistaJet who had the foresight to see the market from a global point of view, and Private Jets Services (PJS) Group founder and CEO Greg Raiff, who started the company with a focus on charters for sports team, live entertainment and political campaign charters before getting into the jet card segment. In addition to Lacy, David Sneed (Delta Private Jets) is a current commercial airline pilot for Delta. In his case, he was furloughed leading him to find a place in management although he now active again. PrivateFly founder and CEO Adam Twidell is a former Royal Air Force pilot and still flies private jets. He is married to his CMO, an ex Conde Nast executive, making them the only husband-and-wife team I came across. Nicholas Air founder Nicholas Correnti accumulated over 1,000 flight hours by the time he turned 16. JetSuite founder and CEO Alex Wilcox was a career commercial aviation executive working under two legends of that segment, Branson at Virgin Atlantic Airways and David Neeleman, who founded JetBlue and is an investor and on the board of JetSuite.

The size of the companies varies dramatically. Delta Air Lines employs 80,000 people, with Delta Private Jets making up 450. NetJets has about 6,000 employees (parent Berkshire Hathaway has 367,000), Flexjet 1,300 and VistaJet 800. At least a half dozen of the companies surveyed employ under 100 people, however, part of the variance in size is that some companies operate the planes you fly on while others use a charter broker model and go into the market to source planes for your flight. In other words, they don’t need the infrastructure to operate planes.

One of the main drivers in choosing the right company and card for you is where you want to fly. Clay Lacy, Delta Private Jets, Flexjet, JetSet Group, JetSuite, Nicholas Air, PriveJets, Sentient Jet, Solairus, Wheels Up, Wholesale Jet Club and XOJET will fly you to over 5,000 airports, but you will be mainly restricted to the continental U.S. and Canada, in some cases including the Caribbean and Mexico as part of their service footprints. Air Partner and NetJets also offer you service in Europe. Jet Linx, Magellan Jets, PJS Private Jet Service Group, Star Jets and VistaJet have global programs. Of course, some programs can arrange charter pricing for you when you go outside their service area, although you will end up paying different rates and may be subject to one-way surcharges and other extra fees.

In total, I found over 60 different variances in private jet card and prepaid private jet programs from they ways you get charged for taxi time to WiFi access, policies on flying your pets or unaccompanied children and perks such as luxury partnerships and access to big sporting events such as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby.

I’ll be detailing the differences in subsequent articles, however, if you want to jump ahead you can find all the information from over 80 programs in spreadsheet format at PrivateJetCardComparisons.com.

From Forbes.com article by Doug Gollan


The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of those using FlightList PRO have been arranging charters more than 10 years, and a full 1/4 – more than 20 years.  Currently 30-day free trials are 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.

Private Jet Cards vs. Charter, Part 2 of Jet Charter Research & Analysis by Forbes.com

Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken a major consumer analysis of private air charter options, companies and ways to fly privately.

The first installment  was a comparison of 18 jet card companies and programs.

The second installment takes a look at private jet cards, vs. charter, and includes comments and feedback sent in from charter and card jet card company executives: 


Forbes.com logoThere are quite a few aspects of buying private jet travel that makes it a very personal decision. In terms of buying private jet cards, there are variances in pricing, fees, daily minimums, the amount of insurance provided, how much you have to pay upfront, policies on taking your pets or sending your kids unaccompanied. There are differences in what type of catering is provided without charge, how many hours in advance you have to make your reservation as well as cancel and much more. Some programs guarantee WiFi. Others don’t. Some require the bulk of your money in advance. Others have an initiation fee and you pay as you go.

I know many of you are time poor and want to get things like choosing a private aviation provider done with so you can move on to more pressing matters. In fact, it is so complicated as I was gathering information for this series, there was so much I put it all together in a website PrivateJetCardComparisons.com which I created and own.

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. More information here-  FlightList PRO and About Us.

A few days ago, I published Part 1 of the series on buying prepaid private jet travel titled, “Before You Buy A Private Jet Card Read This.” This series is based on my research, and the fact that there are so many variances between programs (I found over 60 in the 75 programs I analyzed), it got so unwieldy I put them into spreadsheets and eventually the above-mentioned website, because truth be told, even covering the various differences in this series of articles isn’t as easy as looking at spreadsheets.

After Part 1, I got a letter from a Forbes.com reader, which is below in its entirety.

“One thing I do not see addressed (although possibly you had planned on doing so in future installments) is the fact that most Jet Card programs have an hourly cost far, far higher than the hourly rates a local charter operator would charge for the same class of aircraft.”

“In addition, I would never tie up $100,000 to $150,000 or more in ‘prepaid’ travel; there’s an opportunity cost involved. I could be making more money actively investing those funds, rather than letting the Jet Card company make money off my prepaid funds. In my humble opinion, Jet Cards are a ripoff for the uninformed.”

Having done considerable research on the subject and also having written about the on-demand market, I see them as chalk and cheese. On-demand is probably the right solution for the person who charters planes infrequently, maybe a couple times a year, and does same day trips starting and ending in the same place (where you don’t have to pay for repositioning flights).  It also works better if you have a broker you trust to source the type of planes you are comfortable flying on. You can get a better rate chartering a 30-year old plane than a three-year-old aircraft for sure.  There are a number of other issues too, so I thought I would go back to several executives at companies that sell jet cards and in some cases also offer on-demand charter and put the above question to them. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Michael Farley, the CMO at Private Jet Services Group (PJS) wrote back to me with his answer below:

“Local operators can present savings from time to time. However, the reader better have efficient flying, meaning not one-way travel (or he will have to pay for the return flight to the base), not for a prolonged period of time (there are overnight fees or the customer pays to position the aircraft twice if trips are longer than a day or two), and of course, this is all based on the local operator having availability.  They might have one or two aircraft (but) everyone wants to fly on President’s Weekend. Actually, everyone likes to fly on most weekends! 

“If the client has flexibility in their schedule and can wait for availability, perhaps the limited fleet will not be an issue.  Ninety-nine percent of my clients do not have that type of flexibility.  I should also touch on mechanicals. A local operator is much more likely to leave you out of luck when experiencing mechanicals.  PJS provides equal or better with guaranteed recovery. Our national average (for recovery) is 1.5 hours. 

“I always recommend my clients blend their aviation solutions. I provide cost analysis often for our clients.  After analyzing much of their flying, they often realize the cost comes out equal. They just haven’t been flying with any guarantees of a national program.”

Another executive from a jet card provider who didn’t want to be named responded this way:

“Our jet card comes with $100 million in liability insurance, a certified network that is pre-screened with serious data sharing, a series of guarantees with the product, positioning costs baked in, 100% transparent rates, 24/7 Command Center, Chief Safety Officer, Peak Day availability, guaranteed interchange between sizes, customized client treatment programs, and then a series of ancillary benefits. And that’s just off the top of my head.”

Jamie Walker, CEO of Jet Linx, which only sells jet cards as a consumer product to access its fleet responded this way:

“Your reader is correct with his perspective of the cost for roundtrip flights, but not one-way flights. A local charter operator can provide a lower hourly rate, in most cases, for a roundtrip, but not for one-way flights. That said, the local charter operator is not guaranteeing the consumer availability of an aircraft at those lower hourly rates. The local charter operator is also not guaranteeing a standard of safety by an outside third party. So if the consumer does not require one-way rates or guaranteed availability and safety, the local charter operator may be a good option for them. As for the deposit, we agree, we’d rather them keep their money and invest it elsewhere too, which is why we don’t collect a deposit upfront, our clients pay as they go for the guaranteed jet card services we provide.”

JetSuite founder and CEO Alex Wilcox also responded to my email with the reader’s comments:

“Comparing quoted hourly rates with jet card rates is often apples and oranges. A local operator with a charter plane may have a low rate of say $3,000 per hour, but not disclosed is the three-hour minimum, the requirement to get the plane back to the base, and the cost plus a mark-up for services like deicing.  So the Orange County to Mammoth flight, the local operator rate is $3,000 per hour but with a three-hour minimum, so really $9,000.  The comparable jet card might charge $5,000 per hour, but that’s it. If you have to de-ice, the local FBO adds that on to your bill, maybe another $800, plus their markup. Now you used local but paid twice as much, despite the $3,000 rate.

“If it’s a same-day trip or overnight round trip, then the local charter operator may be cheaper. It would be $9,000 with the charter operator versus $10,000 with the card. Then the hygienic questions come into play: Who owns the plane? How much is the insurance coverage? Do the pilots really abide by duty time rules? Who maintains the plane? Who trained and employs the pilots?

“Jet cards come with a level of diligence and hygiene absent in many mom and pops. It’s not like Uber where we all can recognize an unsafe car or driver and get out. When you take off in a 1979 Lear 25 with an 80-year old captain and a First Officer not type rated in the jet, ‘You pays your money and you takes your chances.’”

A former boss of mine was an owner with NetJets, and certainly, if you want to compare prices, NetJets is not the cheapest. On the other hand, if you visit their Columbus operations center it’s very impressive. I always remember the salesperson telling my chairman, “You’re flying on the same planes that Warren Buffett flies on.” The comment was not about potentially sitting in the same seat as the Oracle of Omaha, but that when you flew with NetJets you could be assured they took safety seriously.

My guess is this is an emotional topic, so I certainly welcome responses. Forbes.com makes it very easy for your to comment at the end of the article, and I will definitely respond!

Author’s Note – After I posted this story, Ronald Silverman, president of VistaJet USA sent me his response, which I am adding below:

“While VistaJet is not considered a jet card (they do sell prepaid block hour programs), in our business model, the higher hourly cost versus charter is associated with the fact that VistaJet provides guaranteed availability of a consistent product.  Further, VistaJet owns the asset and thus the end user does not risk having their scheduled aircraft pulled from them at the last minute because the aircraft owner (typically an aircraft owned by a private UHNW or a corporation) requires the use of the aircraft for themselves, a scenario which I have personally been involved with on numerous occasions.”

Author’s Note – David Sneed, COO of Delta Private Jets also followed up with his take on the question. He also noted that his card members get perks from Delta Air Likes, like Diamond Medallion status, complimentary SkyClub access and discounts when flying on certain fares from its parent airline:

“Analyzing ad hoc charter pricing versus jet card pricing results in an apples to oranges comparison. This is because guaranteed availability and other benefits provided by a jet card are not available in the charter market. Delta Private Jets offers a jet card with guaranteed availability with as little as 10 hours notice and simple, all-in pricing locked in for up to two years, including landing fees, crew overnight expenses, fuel surcharges, deicing costs, and other fees common in the charter market.”

From Forbes.com article by Doug Gollan


The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  FlightList PRO is used by the most successful and experienced brokers and travel professionals in the industry; 80% of those using FlightList PRO have been arranging charters more than 10 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.

Comparison of 18 Jet Card Companies, Programs – Part of Major Jet Charter Research & Analysis

Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken a major consumer analysis of private air charter options, companies and ways to fly privately.

The first installment takes a look at private jet cards, their companies and programs: 


Forbes.com logo

There are many ways to fly privately. Two years ago I took an in-depth look at the on-demand charter market, which at the time was being pelted by new entrants making claims that hiring a private jet would be similar to ordering an Uber. My goal was to clarify how the process actually works and hopefully leave readers feeling a bit more educated about what is a pretty complex process. It was frustrating to read so many stories where the writer was basically just going off the press release enamored by tech jargon and missing what actually goes on, the considerable human element of business aviation professionals that makes the process actually work.

If you don’t fly enough to own your own plane (typically at least 400 hours or more per year), and don’t even need to fly regularly by private aviation, the on-demand charter market generally makes sense. However, if you fly privately more than 25 hours per year, but still not enough to own your own jet or you don’t want to, the other two options are fractional ownership and private jet cards, which I will group together with prepaid private air charter programs, sometimes also called block charter.

Fractional ownership is perhaps synonymous with NetJets, which is synonymous with Warren Buffett. With fractional ownership, you are actually buying a share of a plane and typically make a three to five-year commitment. Jet cards are more flexible, a bit like filling a debit card for future private air travel. Typically you are choosing either a dollar amount or a fixed number of hours, for example, $150,000 or 25 hours.

According to Business Jet Traveler, a trade publication for jet owners and their pilots, jet cards are popular even with private jet owners who need additional lift or perhaps a plane that can fit a different mission, maybe a longer range jet, a bigger jet with more capacity or even a smaller plane that can get into out of the way airports or is more cost-effective for flights under two hours. Maybe you are using your jet during the week for business, but need to fly your spouse into your weekend house. Buy him or her a jet card. For all of the above reasons, jet cards and prepaid private air programs have become extremely popular, with estimated annual sales of about $2 billion in the U.S.

There are some very good reasons to buy a jet card or a prepaid program over just chartering. Firstly, you lock in a specific hourly price instead of having to negotiate a deal each time. Secondly, like fractional programs or owning your own plane, most (but not all) programs guarantee you access with varying parameters for advance reservations and peak periods, typically ranging from four to 24 hours. Some of the programs have put together value-added benefits for their customers ranging from VIP access at sporting events to free nights at luxury hotels and even significant credits at high-end jewelers and fashion houses.

I began to research what I thought would be a straightforward, thorough overview for Forbes.com on jet cards about nine months ago, similar to the piece I wrote about how on-demand private jet charter works. As I got started, I realized there were a lot more vagaries than I thought. As I discussed the story with various providers, it became clear for the similarities there were an array of differences.

First of all, I found 18 companies that offer either the traditional jet card or some type of pre-paid private jet charter program, including Air Partner, Inc.; Clay Lacy Aviation; Delta Private Jets, Inc.; Flexjet; Jet Linx Aviation; JetSuite; Magellan Jets; NetJets; Nicholas Air; Private Jet Services Group (PJS Group); PrivateFly; Prive Jets; Sentient Jet; Solairus Aviation; Star Jets International LLC; VistaJet; Wheels Up; and XOJET. All together, they offered 75 core programs with even more opportunities for customization.

Then as I spoke to executives at the companies and kept adding to a list of variances in the programs, any one of which could be important to you, I all of a sudden had a spreadsheet with over 60 different columns, including who owns the company, how large they are, when they were founded, the service area where you can fly, policies for flying your pets, pricing, surcharges, how much time you are charged for taxing, what type of catering is included, how they source their pilots, what type of experience the pilots need to have, what are their policies for service recovery, will you have WiFi, what type of toilet is onboard, what’s the minimum age for children traveling alone and so on.

Needless to say, it is too much to cover in one column, but to make it a bit easier to digest, I will be covering the various aspects of buying a jet card in a series of articles. If you want to jump ahead, you can visit the site I put together PrivateJetCardComparisons.com where there are nifty spreadsheets so you can quickly compare any of the 62 points of differentiation across the 18 companies and their 75 different programs.

Next I will cover who the players are and some basic background. Since the typical purchase price for a jet card starts at $100,000 (although you can get jet cards for $25,000 or less), customers like you often spend into the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on prepaid private jet programs, so I hope this and the subsequent installments will be helpful.

From Forbes.com article by Doug Gollan


The FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.  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.

GrandView Aviation Adds Three Jets; Only Operator at DCA Regan National

Charter operator GrandView Aviation, based in the Baltimore region, will add jet charters and expand to Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., making it the only charter operator at the airport, the company said Monday.

GrandView Jets will offer charter flights aboard three Phenom 300 jets, light business jets made by Embraer, said Jessica Bowling, GrandView’s director of sales & marketing. These jets can carry eight passengers and fly about 2,000 miles.

Phenom 300 jet for charter operated by Grandview Aviation

2016 Phenom 300 jet for charter operated by Grandview Aviation

“We found that the demand for charter jet and helicopter services is increasing throughout the region, particularly in the Washington, D.C. area,” Bowling said in a statement. “Opening an office at Reagan National Aiport was a natural choice for expansion as we are one of the few operators with permission to operate in and out of [Reagan].”

The new jets double GrandView’s overall fleet, which previously consisted of three Bell 430 and Bell 407 helicopters, flying from Martin State Airport and the company’s Pier 7 Heliport in Baltimore, Bowling said.

The charter operator will have two of the three jets ready this week, and the third will come in the next month or so, Bowling said.


Source:  Colin Campbell of the The Baltimore Sun, and Grandview Aviation

Other Air Charter Alert about Grandview Aviation

Membership Service Wheels Up, Charter Operator Talon Air Combine for NY-FL Shuttle

Source:  AIN Online

Charter membership firm Wheels Up is partnering with Talon Air to launch scheduled per-seat shuttle service in Talon’s super-midsize Hawker 4000s from Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, New York, to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). The service, which is exclusively for Wheels Up members, begins tomorrow and costs $2,100 per seat one-way, including taxes, according to company founding partner Justin Firestone.

Membership costs:
Wheels Up membership for individuals is $17,500 annually and corporations $29,500 annually according to Corporate Jet Investor.  Annual dues (starting second year) are then $8,500 for individuals and $14,500 for corporations.  Membership then allows private flights with a fleet of King Air 350i and Citation Excel/XLS aircraft, at fixed hourly rates – the cost per hour of getting on the King Air is $3,950 per hour and the Citation Excel/XLS is $6,950 per hour according to a report from the private aviation industry resource.  Wheels Up memberships are also available from Costco; Wheels Up membership cost

Flights will leave HPN at 4 p.m. on Fridays and return at 6 p.m. on Sundays, with the exception of this holiday weekend, when the flight will return on Monday at 6 p.m. Firestone said that the shuttle service will run through March 5, but could be extended past this date depending on usage.

“This is currently the only shuttle we are running with Talon Air,” he told AIN. However, it already runs several shuttle flights in the Northeast and central California using its fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350is and Cessna Citation Excel/XLSs that are operated by Gama Aviation. In fact, Firestone said, it will be adding King Air shuttles from New York and Boston to Nantucket and Hyannis this summer, as well as other to-be-announced destinations.

A Hawker 4000 operated by Talon Air for Wheels Up shuttle service between New York and Florida.

A Hawker 4000 operated by Talon Air for Wheels Up shuttle service between New York and Florida. Photo: Talon Air

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

AIN Article here; Wheels Up Partners with Talon Air on NY-Florida Shuttle

Jet Linx Reports Big 2016 Increases in Fleet, Card Holders, Miles Flown

Jet Linx Private Jet Company News, Charter NewsJet Linx Aviation, a personalized private jet operator headquartered in Omaha with 14 Base locations nationwide , finishes 2016 reporting steady growth in its client roster, total aircraft and overall operations.

This year, 32 aircraft were added to the fleet, bringing the total count to 82, ranging from light, mid, super mid and heavy jets. In addition, Jet Linx saw more than a 20 percent increase in Jet Card holders, bringing the total number to 1,200 members.

“Our growth demonstrates the need that we have filled in the private aviation industry for a more localized customer service experience with all of the advantages of a national provider,” said Jamie Walker, President and CEO of Jet Linx.

The Jet Linx full charter fleet of 72 aircraft is ONLY in the FlightList PRO  platform.

New Base Locations

Jet Linx Aviation added two new Base locations this year, expanding their presence to Nashville, Tenn. (BNA) and Fort Worth, Texas (FTW) with a local service team, planes, pilots and a private terminal (in Fort Worth). The addition of these new bases also contributed to overall team growth, with Jet Linx adding 178 team members (including pilots and day-to-day operations staff), bringing the total number of employees nationwide to over 400.

Miles Up In The Air

Jet Linx, which manages the third largest part 135 fleet, concludes 2016 with more than a 20 percent increase in miles flown since last year, totaling 58 million miles since inception. Peak travel times including the Thanksgiving season, aided in breaking previous company records, with 140 legs flown on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and 174 on Sunday, Nov. 27. On the international front, Jet Linx achieved authorization to operate in Cuba, granting Jet Card holders and aircraft owners the ability to travel to Havana and 11 other airports in Cuba upon securing the required visas.

Achieving Highest Safety Standards

Jet Linx is among the four percent of aircraft operators with an ARGUS Platinum Safety Rating, the highest safety rating by the third party auditing service which Jet Linx has maintained every year since 2005. In addition, Jet Linx attained The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Stage 3 certification in 2016 (the highest IS-BAO rating), which has become a globally accepted “gold seal” for business aviation operations attesting to the highest standards in safety and efficiency, placing Jet Linx in the top one percent of all operators for safety.

Source:  company press release

All Jet Linx charter aircraft and operator details are available in the FlightList PRO multi-search platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.

First Two HondaJets Available for Charter in US

Much anticipated, HondaJets are rolling off the Honda Aircraft production line in Greensboro NC, and for the first time are now available for charter.  Two new 2016 HondaJets are now available for charter in the US.

Compared to it’s Very Light Jet (VLJ) category competition, the Citation Mustang and the Phenom 100, the HondaJet betters the field in important ways.  The faster, lighter and more fuel efficient 4-passenger jet has a cabin 20% larger cabin than its competitors, more baggage space, a faster airspeed at 420 kts, and higher cruise altitude at 43,000 feet.  In many ways, the HondaJet is a better fit up in the light jet category.

Cutter Flight Management is first to operate the 4-seat VLJ under US Part-135 charter regulations.  Two are currently available, based in the southwestern US at KPHX Phoenix, AZ and KSDL Scottsdale AZ.  Cutter is a Wyvern Registered operator, and maintains fleet, crew, and insurance information as well as verified regulatory documentation within the Wyvern’s system.  Cutter Flight Management is the aircraft management and charter arm of Cutter Aviation, provider of aviation related services and FBO operations in the Southwestern US and Colorado.

HondaJet private jet for charter

HondaJet available for charter, operated by Cutter Flight Management.

Leading the way again, FlightList PRO is the only charter sourcing platform with the HondaJet and also the full Cutter Flight Management fleet of 9 charter aircraft which includes turboprops, light, midsize and heavy jets.

The HondaJet being uniquely Honda, instead of using engines from other manufacurers, the company began developing its own engine in partnership with GE Aviation ultimately creating the GE-Honda HF20 turbofan engine.  The HA-420 HondaJet is powered by two over-wing mounted HF120 turbofans, each producing 1,997 pounds of thrust.  The engine mounts atop the wings are constructed of metal.  The natural laminar flow wings terminate in sizable winglets. The HondaJet’s fuselage is made of carbon fiber, and its flight deck is built around Garmin’s touchscreen-capable G3000 suite.

The HondaJet cabin and baggage capabilities:

The cabin area is a 12.1-foot-long space that provides plenty of room for passengers. The club seating arrangement gives ample legroom and is spacious for a VLJ, with opposing passenger knees completely out of range.  The hum of the  HF120s can be heard with the lavatory doors open, but with them closed, it is significantly quieter than almost any other light jet.

The lav is also far superior to that of many light jets, some of which section the toilet area off with a simple curtain.  While the HondaJet’s lavatory is not huge by any stretch, it provides complete privacy, a nice sink with a faucet activated by a motion sensor, and two skylights providing natural light and a unique perspective of the skies above.

One benefit of having the engines mounted on the wings is that the HondaJet has an exceptionally large luggage compartment for an airplane in the light-jet category.  The rear compartment is 57 cubic feet and holds up to 400 pounds, which is more than many light jets and some midsize jets.  There is plenty of space to load large suitcases without trouble.

The aircraft also has a 9-cubic-foot cargo area in the nose, capable of carrying up to 100 pounds. Neither of the cargo spaces is pressurized, however, so toothpaste and any liquid materials may want to stay inside the cabin.

Charter a HondaJet light jet

HondaJet operated by Cutter Flight Management, one of the first available for charter worldwide.

There is no question HondaJet’s very light jet  competes directly with the Cessna’s Citation Mustang, Embraer’s Phenom 100 in the charter market, and even some Citation and Learjet light jets.

There are now 25 aircraft on the production line at Honda Aircraft’s facility at the Piedmont Triangle International Airport in Greensboro, NC, which now employs 1,700. Honda expects to have delivered between 40 and 50 aircraft by the end of 2016, ultimately ramping up to 75 aircraft in 2017.

All HondaJets for charter as well as the full Cutter Flight Management charter fleet are available in the FlightList PRO platform which includes all 16,631 charter aircraft and 3,419 charter operators worldwide.

Sources:  Cutter Flight Management, Flying, Forbes online

JetSmarter Becomes First Business Aviation Unicorn

From Corporate Jet Investor, 12/16/16:

JetSmarter this week raised $105 million in funding, at what it says is a $1.5 billion pre-money valuation. This makes it the first business aviation unicorn (a private company with a valuation of $1 billion).

The company said the Series C funds came from new investors  including an Abu Dhabi  growth equity fund, operator JetEdge, London venture capital firm KZ Capital, and a Qatar private equity fund. Some existing investors also participated, although possibly at a different valuation.

The $1.5 billion valuation is astonishing.

An online charter market, Avinode, estimates the total value of the global business aviation charter market at between $10 billion and $12 billion a year – although this does not include flight sharing, something that JetSmarter is pioneering.

Uber – which claims to have raised funds at more than a $62 billion valuation – is the most valuable and best known of more than 170 Unicorns (although many analysts disagree with many of the valuations of companies on this list). Although JetSmarter is often referred to as being like Uber for business jets, it has a very different model. JetSmarter sells first year memberships at $15,000 and says it has more than 6,700 members.

Members can book normal private charter, fly for free on regular shuttle services, charter shared flights and fly for free on empty legs. It does not own aircraft, instead chartering them from operators like XOJET, JetEdge and others.

The company says that it will use the new cash to launch new scheduled shuttles as well as launch in Asia and South America.

This is arguably the biggest business aviation story of 2016. JetSmarter was launched in 2012 and is now apparently valued at $1.5 billion. In comparison, Textron – the parent of Cessna which builds aircraft used by JetSmarter and was founded in 1927 – has a market cap of $13.6 billion.

Source:  Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor, 12/16/16

New 2016 Citation Latitude Midsize Jet Now For Charter From Midwest U.S.

ExcelAire charter operatorA brand new 2016 midsize Citation Latitude is now avaialble for charter from the midwestern U.S.  Charter operator Excelaire announces the addition of the new Latitude, this aircraft is not based at Excelaire’s New York headquarters, however.  The aircraft calls KOSU home, in Columbus, OH.

ExcelAire’s new Citation Latitude is an elegant business jet that features a spacious stand-up cabin (height 6 feet), with seating for 8 passengers.  With outstanding runway performance and considerable range (7 hours non-stop), the Citation Latitude is ideal for a variety of coast to coast and intercontinental trips.  The aircraft is equipped with onboard Wi-Fi internet.

ExcelAire‘s Latitude and full fleet of 11 aircraft are available ONLY in FlightList PRO.

Just 9 Latitude’s are currently available for charter in the U.S., from 9 different operators, according charter aircraft resource FlightList PRO.  All except one are based in the Midwest to Eastern U.S.

The Citation Latitude is positioned between the Citation XLS+ and Sovereign executive jets.  It’s mid-range specs make the Latitude a capable contender for transcontinental or cross Europe flights, but it’s in the cabin where the aircraft really shines.  And, as any air charter broker will tell you, cabins help sell charters.  The Latitude has the largest cross-section of any Citation that Cessna has built, and its windowns are 25% larger.

Citation Latitude midsize business jet for charter.

Citation Latitude midsize business jet for charter. Photo: Flying Magazine

The aircraft can get from coast-to-coast in the US. You’ll be more comfortable on the way there in a Latitude, especially as the cabin pressurisation has been lowered to 9.7psi – effectively meaning that at cruise height, the cabin feels like it’s at just 6,000ft.

“With the new Latitude, we now offer another choice in midsize jets and continue our momentum of growing our fleet — with one more addition expected before the end of the year,” said Robert Molsbergen, President of ExcelAire.  “We are proud to provide the ultimate private jet charter experience, with truly personalized service and the best-in-class team of private jet travel professionals.”

Source:  Excelaire press release
Source:  Corporate Jet Investor

Jet Linx/ProJet Alliance Expands Jet Linx Operations, Aircraft to D.C. Area

Jet Linx Aviation announced it has formed a strategic alliance with ProJet Aviation, to assume ProJet’s managed fleet of aircraft to grow its presence in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

As a result, Jet Linx has expanded its service operations to include three area airports including the Jet Linx private terminal at Dulles International Airport (IAD), Manassas Regional Airport (HEF) and now Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO) where ProJet provides FBO/flight support services including over 75,000 sq. ft. of hangar and office space. In addition, Jet Linx has recruited 15 of ProJet’s team members, including pilots, maintenance, and client service agents.

jet-linx“The addition of ProJet’s fleet to our already growing fleet of aircraft in the D.C. metropolitan area reinforces our commitment to provide the best local service to our clients,” said Jamie Walker, President & CEO of Jet Linx. “Strategically, Leesburg is the closest General Aviation Jetport to Dulles and Virginia’s horse and wine country, making ProJet an ideal partner for us and for our Jet Card clients and aircraft owners in the area.”

Jet Linx full fleet of 72 aircraft is ONLY available in FlightList PRO.

ProJet will continue its FBO services at Leesburg Executive Airport and the Jet Linx D.C. team will operate out of a private terminal facility that is part of the ProJet FBO campus.

Members of the ProJet staff have already joined the Jet Linx team, including its current COO, Josh Rosenblatt, who will serve as Executive Vice President of the Jet Linx D.C. operations, reporting to Base President, Greg Kinsella.

“Through our strategic alliance with Jet Linx, ProJet can focus on the expansion and improvement of our award-winning FBO/Flight Support business,” said Shye Gilad, President & CEO of ProJet Aviation. “The presence and quality of the Jet Linx fleet strengthens Leesburg’s reputation as the private aviation destination of choice for the DC Metro region.”

Jet Linx has flown 50 million miles since its inception and today manages the third largest part 135 fleet with 78 total aircraft ranging from light, mid, super mid and heavy jet aircraft across the nation. The local fleet in Jet Linx D.C. includes a Hawker 900XP and a Lear 60 at their private terminal in Dulles, a Falcon 900 at Manassas Regional Airport, and a Challenger 604, and Hawker 800XP at Leesburg Executive Airport.

Jet Linx Aviation boasts local, private terminals in 14 cities spanning from East to West, guaranteeing service “from” and “to” anywhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, including Cuba. Jet Linx also provides international service to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America.

Jet Linx is among the four percent who have earned an ARGUS Platinum Safety Rating, the highest safety rating awarded to an operator which has been presented to Jet Linx every year since 2005. In addition, Jet Linx attained the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Stage 3 certification this year (the highest IS-BAO rating), which has become a globally accepted “gold seal” for business aviation operations attesting to the highest standards in safety and efficiency, placing Jet Linx in the top one percent of all operators for safety.

Source:  Jet Linx press release