Tag Archives: Private Jet

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.

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

Editor’s note:  Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken an analysis of jet card companies for his new business providing a paid analysis of jet card programs.

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

Editor’s note:  Forbes.com contributor Doug Gollan has undertaken an analysis of jet card companies for his new business providing a paid analysis of jet card programs.

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

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

Nashville Welcomes Clay Lacy Aviation Hawker 800XP For Charter

Hawker 800XP N285XP operated by Clay Lacy Aviation is now available for private charter based from Nashville, TN.   The midsize jet features 5 large captains chairs, a side facing couch and full lavatory. Ideal for coast-to-coast travel, the aircraft seats eight passengers and offers a surround sound entertainment system with DVD/CD players and an Airshow moving map display.   Clay Lacy Aviation is headquartered at KVNY Van Nuys, CA near Los Angeles and operates a fleet of nearly 50 private jets for charter.

Jet Charter Nashville Hawker 800XP

Clay Lacy Hawker 800XP N285XP for Nashville Jet Charter

Interior - Clay Lacy Hawker 800XP N285XP based Nashville, TN

Interior – Hawker 800XP N285XP based Nashville, TN

ONLY IN FLIGHTLIST PRO – Challenger 850 based KHPN by MAC Aircraft Charter

Charter operator MAC Aircraft Charter LLC announces Challenger 850 N480SJ based at KHPN White Plains, New York.  The 2003 15-passenger large cabin long range jet is the.  The Challenger 850 is the corporate configuration of the Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200.
N480SJ is listed only in FlightList Pro.

Challenger 850 Jet N480SJ for Charter

Challenger 850 Jet N480SJ for Charter

Cheaper fuel prices are slow to trickle down to the private jet-setters

Fortune Magazine online
January 8, 2015

Fortune Magazine online, January 8, 2015 by Ben Geier             @ben_geier

Fortune Magazine online January 8, 2015 by Ben Geier @ben_geier

Will big players like NetJets follow the lead of the smaller Magellan Jets and cut fuel costs for members?

Oil prices have tumbled over the past few months to levels not seen since more than five years ago. Drivers are pocketing big savings from gas prices falling to a national average of just $2.18, more than $1 a gallon cheaper than a year ago.

But the oil market’s downturn has failed to impact some fuel-intensive industries you’d expect. One those is private jet travel, the domain of corporate CEOs and the super wealthy.

Magellan Jets, a private jet company, is an exception. It has reduced fuel prices for new member contracts by 16%.

“While we cannot adjust prices with every fluctuation in the market, we could not watch such a significant swing in oil prices without taking action on behalf of our customers,” said Joshua Hebert, the company’s CEO.

Though Magellan Jets is not exactly a market leader, analysts expect other private jet companies to also cut prices — but it will take time.

James Occhipinti, CEO of ClipperJets, a Magellan rival, avoided saying whether his company had any short-term plans to cut fuel surcharges. Rather, he emphasized the more general benefits to his customers.

“Any time fuel prices fall, private jet travel becomes more defendable and attainable,” Occhipinti said in a statement. “Unlike in the commercial airline industry, when fuel prices fall ClipperJet members benefit.”

Netjets, another Magellan competitor, declined to comment.

The complication, said Kevin O’Leary, the CEO at Jet Advisors, an advisory firm that did research for Magellan, is that many private jet clients sign up for long-term contracts or subscriptions that have a set price for travel. Only when those contracts come up for renewal can clients put pressure on business jet companies to reduce their prices to reflect the lower cost of fuel.

“I don’t see any of the bigger players immediately saying ‘we’re wiping out our fuel surcharge,’” O’Leary said Instead, he said that companies will “chip away” at their prices over time.

On the spot market, jet fuel prices have fallen between 7% and 9.5% over the past year, according to O’Leary.

In some ways, cutting the prices for flights is a game of chicken. Once one of the big players in the industry like Flight Options or Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets decides to reduce fuel charges, the rest of the industry will feel compelled to do so.

“Everyone has to stay competitive,” said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at Teal Group. “If someone cuts, the rest has to cut too.”

In the commercial airline industry, long-term purchasing contracts and fuel hedges impact airlines’ ability to adjust prices with the oil market. Still, if the price of oil remains low, Aboulafia said some airlines will see a competitive advantage in cutting their fuel surcharge. After that, the rest of the industry will have to follow.


Landmark Aviation adds Learjet 45XR at Milwaukee, WI

N504WV Learjet 45XR now available for charter based at KMKE Milwaukee, WI, by Landmark Aviation, operated under the Sterling Aviation operator certificate.

Seats 8
Lavatory Yes
Range Statute Miles 2,387
Amenities:  WiFi-Phone-DVD/CD-Airshow-Lavatory-A/C Outlets

N504WV Exterior, no tail

Learjet 45XR for charter, Milwaukee, WI

N504WV Interior forward

Learjet 45XR for charter, Milwaukee, WI